A Falls Church florist delivered some botanical aid to the four Democratic congresswomen who were the subject of one of President Donald Trump’s Twitter tirades earlier this month.
It didn’t take long for Alisa Rabinovich, owner of Galleria Florist in Falls Church, to take action after witnessing an all-too-common political altercation devolve into something nastier.
In response to in-fighting between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) and four freshmen Democratic congresswomen — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — Trump chose to chime in with a tweet, asking “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came?” That line in particular struck a racial connotation with Americans who watched the verbal barbs being traded, especially ones who are a part of the country’s immigrant community.
Rabinovich decided to lend some scented support to the congresswomen after seeing customers send floral arrangements to Pelosi as well as, as she put it, “an assistant for a well-known female singer” deliver some to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. So the Russian refugee who immigrated to the U.S. when she was six years old sent custom arrangements to each of the congresswomens’ offices in D.C. as an act purely motivated by human decency.
“If somebody wants to withhold their support of a small business because they think it’s a political move then that’s ridiculous,” Rabinovich said, who mentioned that she hasn’t received a response from any of the congresswomen as of yet. “I don’t think anyone would fault me for doing something nice for someone. Just because I sent flowers to people in the Democratic party doesn’t mean I did anything negative to anyone in the Republican party.”
Rabinovich’s gesture landed her press coverage in other outlets, including American University’s WAMU, an interview on the Thom Hartmann Show and an article on the website DemocraticUnderground.com. She’s also received calls of support from some customers and has even spurred others to do the same by sending the congresswomen their own arrangements.
Born in the Soviet Union-controlled Uzbekistan, Rabinovich and her family traversed through multiple countries before finally getting clearance to come to the U.S. She would grow up in the New Jersey/New York area, earning her citizenship by the time she was 16 and would later go on to get her degree in visual merchandising and interior design.
Her first job was working in a flower shop, an occupation that was always seen as a fallback for Rabinovich whenever she was in between gigs. She later realized she enjoyed working in flower shops more than any other job and started her own business out of her apartment in Arlington. Rabinovich wound up purchasing Galleria Florist in July 2015 when searching for a production space to operate out of, and last December she became an owner of Nosegay Flowers in Washington, D.C. — a former employer of hers.
She re-emphasized that the flowers were merely a show of goodwill, but did add a general message to all Americans that, “The U.S. is a melting pot. It stands for inclusivity, not exclusivity. That’s what’s going to keep us going; diversity and the knowledge our immigrants bring to the country.”