Fall 2016

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PATRONS | Fall 2016 6 PROGRESS NOTES T he moment Chelsea Gaudenti antic- ipates all year has arrived. Linens are on the tables. e centerpieces are in place. Final touches to the entrance arrange- ment are complete. e lights are just right. It's the final minute of calm. "at is a moment of excitement and happi- ness I look forward to," says Chelsea. "It's several months of work finally coming together. ere's a feeling of relief and relaxation, but also of pride." is year marks the Gaudenti family's 15th year of contribution to Torrance Memorial Medical Center's annual Holiday Festival Gala and Fashion Show. Chelsea was only 10 when her mom started to design flower arrange- ments for the show. She assisted for many years and has stepped up to co-plan the event by her mom's side during the past three. ey talk often about the event's importance to their family and business and why it remains their largest charitable contribution each year. "We've always said, 'What's one thing we can contribute to that everybody can use?'" says Chelsea. "We don't want to just pick and choose favorites. We decided on the hospital. Obvious- ly everybody needs it. At one point, somebody's always going to need something from the hospital, especially Torrance Memorial because they're amazing. We want to give back to that. We love the staff there and we love the vision. We felt like we were with our people." Chelsea, the 25-year-old manager of Rolling Hills Flower Mart, grew up watching her mom, Christine Gaudenti, run the family business. Chelsea can remember hanging out at the store as a young child—sweeping up, trying her hand at arrangements and learning how to make customers feel special. "I started with her here when I was 7," says Chelsea. "I would come in and scrub all the floors and clean the flowers in the back and stay late any time she had weddings or events or parties. I learned from watching her." After high school, Chelsea attended Loyola Marymount University and earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish with a minor in business and ethics, but she was quickly drawn back to flowers. Today she runs the business, which includes a two-store operation in Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach. Mom Christine started the business out of the family's garage in 1992, but her hobby soon expanded. "She spent so much time designing flowers that my father (Bob Gaudenti) finally put his foot down and said, 'Enough! Let's open a store. No more flower production in the Flower Power For local family-owned business, it's lights, camera, flowers at Holiday Festival. WRITTEN BY ALANA GARRIGUES | PHOTOGRAPHED BY REMY HAYNES CHRISTINE GAUDENTI AND HER DAUGHTERS LINDSEY (LEFT) AND CHELSEA (RIGHT).

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