If the number of people trying to peek through the windows at what’s going on inside is any indication, Sheri Clemmer can expect a good crowd Oct. 9 at the grand opening of Floral Fusion. The flower shop is now undergoing final preparations at the old feed mill in Floradale.
Even with the addition of some landscaping elements out front, the building’s exterior leaves no doubt of its past, but the former office space in the front has been transformed into something reflecting the European sensibilities of Clemmer’s floral designs.
“I wanted to do something different, something creative. It’s flowers with a modern flair,” she said of the new venture. “It’s certainly something different for Floradale.”
With the help of friend Lori Lichty, who runs her own business doing home interiors, she’s decorated the retail space in a modern colour scheme, emphasizing the home décor items also for sale.
After 16 years in the field, she felt it was time to strike out on her own, having worked on a number of side projects of her own while working for other florists in Kitchener-Waterloo.
“A girlfriend of mine got married eight or nine years ago, and she asked me to do her flowers. Since then, I’ve been getting calls every summer to do weddings – it’s just spread through word of mouth,” Clemmer explained.
She’s been working with flowers since a co-op placement at Frey’s Flowers in Elmira when she was a student at Elmira District Secondary School.
As the idea for her own shop developed, a neighbour suggested the old mill located near her Floradale home.
“We came and took a look at the place and thought, “this could work.’”
Along with husband Tinus Clemmer, other family members and friends, she’s been working on the space since June. The work all comes together when the doors open Oct. 8.
From the outset, Clemmer’s goal was to operate a flower shop outside of the traditional format.
“I like a lot of the modern stuff, things like European hand-tied bouquets. You see that in the bigger cities, but you don’t see a lot of it around here,” she explained, adding there will certainly be arrangements available for all tastes, funeral arrangements, wedding arrangements and flowers for other occasions.
Looking to “jazz things up,” her goal from the earliest stages of planning was to provide a service different from what might already be available in the area.
With this shop, Clemmer is part of something of a renaissance in Floradale, where there’s been a bit of a building boom in recent years, from the new Floradale Mennonite Church through to the recent rebirth of the old Ruggles store as Bonnie Lou’s Café.
“We’ve got a new school, a new fire hall, a new café and new a new flower shop – it’s going to be the place to be,” she said of the village.
Floral Fusion, located at 2239 Floradale Rd., is set to open Oct. 8, with grand opening festivities Oct. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. More than a few of the curious are expected to stop by to check out the revamped space.