Cathy Spiegelberg has her two grandmothers to thank for her love of flowers.
One grandmother – the late Lorina Spiegelberg – always planted flowers outside and liked violets in particular.
“She would always give me a violet and say, ‘Here – this one will live,'” Spiegelberg said.
Spiegelberg was a youngster at the time and didn’t know how to take care of flowers. As a result, the violets her grandmother often did not survive very long.
Her other grandmother – Lucille Drath – did silk wedding flowers and wedding cakes.
Growing up in Weyauwega, Spiegelberg was always at one of their houses, and by the time Spiegelberg was a junior in high school, there was no question about what she wanted to do after she graduated from high school.
After graduating from Little Wolf High School in Manawa in 2000, she applied for and was accepted at Rittiner School of Floral Design in Boston.
“I knew I wanted to do that,” she said of floral design. “I tried to get into local floral shops.”
She learned that she needed experience.
Her mother, Cindy Drath, drove her to Boston, and six months later when Spiegelberg had completed the program, her mother picked her back up and they drove home to Wisconsin.
Spiegelberg learned about the school through a search, liking the fact that it concentrated on floral design.
Today, she has been doing flowers for 10 years and recently completed renovating space in downtown Weyauwega for the new location of her business, Premier Petals, at 110 E. Main St.
Spiegelberg had been looking for a space since moving back home to Weyauwega seven years ago.
“I always said that if the right building falls in my lap, that’s where I’ll go,” she said.
That happened 18 months ago when she bought the former barbershop.
The building fit all of her criteria – well, most of it.
“I wanted it to be old and to be able to live above it. I wanted exposed brick walls, hardwood and tin ceilings,” Spiegelberg said.
The building did not have exposed brick walls but it had everything else, including built-in cabinets and mirrors from the days when it was a barbershop.
She saw that as a good exchange for the lack of exposed brick walls.
Renovation began soon after she purchased the building in May of 2009, and later that summer, ground was broken for a 19 by 60 foot addition on the back of the building for her work space.
In the original part of the building, Spiegelberg added lots of color to the walls including several shades of purple (her favorite color), accented with green.
The tin ceiling is painted chocolate brown, with another wall is painted tan. “It looks like chocolate and peanut butter,” said Spiegelberg who likes both chocolate and peanut butter – preferably when they are together.
The upstairs apartment will be hers eventually.
Since opening in Weyauwega, many who have stopped in have asked her why it took so long for her to open. That is when she explains that the addition was being built in the back.
From the moment that Spiegelberg began working in floral design, she knew that someday, she wanted her own shop.
After she returned from school in Boston, she was a floral designer for a year at Reynebeau’s in Little Chute.
Then, she moved to Menomonie where she worked at Menomonie Floral for another year.
Spiegelberg next found herself moving back home to help her father, Paul Spiegelberg, on his farm.
She worked with him and her late grandfather John Spiegelberg seven days a week, enjoying the time she got to spend with them.
When a couple of her cousins got married about five years ago, Spiegelberg did the flowers for their weddings. One of her cousins said to her, “Why are you not doing this?”
Spiegelberg knew it was just matter of when and where before she had her own floral shop.
In the meantime, a garage was built for her at the farm.
“That was about four years ago,” she said. “I did weddings just at that time. I had to order to a ‘T.’
Now, I can order anything. The opportunities are endless.”
Her father is looking forward to being able to find another use for that garage.
And, Spiegelberg is happy to have her own flower shop.
“I had 10 years of thinking of this place,” she said. “It’s finally happened.”
Her holiday hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday. Premier Petals can be reached at 920-407-1974.