Shop Talk : Martha's Vineyard Florist and Gifts expands
Photo by Katryn Yerdon
Ellen O'Brien, principal owner and florist for MV Florist and Gifts, has grown her love for flowers from a home-based business that she started in 2009 to a new storefront at 12 Mariners Way, adjacent to the Edgartown Post Office shopping area.
The store celebrated its grand opening on March 31. What was a home business in Ms. O'Brien's basement is now its own store. "People wanted to come to my home floral design studio to see what flowers I had," Ms. O'Brien explained. "It was difficult because it was in my crowded basement. Now I love that the store is accessible.
"It is the right space, right size, not too large, and my customers deserve it. Another benefit is that Shear Inspiration Salon & Spa, and the wonderful ladies who work there, is right next door, which is an adjunct to what we do."
This new location offers Ms. O'Brien and her team of floral designers the opportunity to create, interact with their customers, and provide instant service for their flowers and arrangements along with a selection of Island-made gifts. Remember that Vineyard Maide Gift Baskets is part of the business, though they will still predominantly be made and delivered from her home studio.
As for their well-known Fair Trade roses, for those not in the know, Fair Trade Certified Flowers means, according to Green Lifestyle Magazine, "...a socially responsible labeling system that denotes an ethically sound product, workers who are fairly treated, and a safe work environment that employs environmental practices. No sweatshops, no forced labor, no slave labor."
There will a few be finished baskets available at the shop, along with the ability to make a basket with the local items that will be available in the store. According to Ms. O'Brien, currently those selections include "Anne Bennett's Vineyard Sweets chocolates, Linda Alley's jellies, Barbara Reynolds's photo cards, Debbie Hale's pottery, and MV Candles, as well as Fair Trade gifts from around the world."
If you would like a specific, personally designed basket for on Island (a $10 delivery fee is applied) or ordered for shipping off Island, you may see the list of available products on the website, mvflorist.com and then call to place your order at 508-693-6195. Included in the larger selection of gift items available are products from such Vineyard vendors as The Black Dog, Nicky's Italian Oils, By the Sea Salt, Vineyard Vines, Little Rock Farm, and Cronig's Market.
When asked how she came to be a florist, Ms. O'Brien said, "My mother loved flower arranging and was part of the Flower Club, so I have always been surrounded by it. Then when I was raising my children I took some classes as a way to do something for myself. I then started doing arrangements for friends and family, at most just charging or the actual cost of the flowers I used. Everyone loved them, and I enjoyed doing it so much that I began my home-based business in 2009, after I had taken a professional course at the prestigious Rittners Floral Design School."
Asked what her favorite type of arrangement is to design, Ms. O'Brien answered simply, "All of them. It's whatever the person wants. That's the great part about designing, every arrangement is different and unique."
If you would like to see the fruits of Ms. O'Brien and her team's labor, visit them in their new retail shop Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.