Updated: Feb 17, 2018
As of last week, Eastern Hemlock Florals is officially open to the public! While it’s still fresh, I want to share with you guys the journey of creating and building this business from the ground up. It all started when my husband got a job in Midland. We were living in Innerkip at the time, my husband was working at Toyota and I was working both as an Artist and a Florist at a flower shop in a nearby town. Although I loved my job at Floral Occasions we both knew that being closer to family and the water was important to us.
We then stayed at my In-laws for 5 months while searching for a property that would be perfect for starting up a flower shop. During this time, I went to Bloom school, where I took a week long Wedding Intensive course.
The course was amazing!!!! I got super sick that week, but I conquered through it. Becky, the instructor had the loveliest selection of blooms for us and greeted us with tea every morning. It was great to learn more about the world of wedding floral design. I finally had the chance to create beautiful lush arrangements like the ones I‘d been seeing on Instagram for years. We talked about everything from the basics to how to construct floral installations. Brittany was the onsite photographer for the week. Her business is called BKH Photography, she took the most stunning photographs of our work. With these images, I was able to create a website that reflects the style of Eastern Hemlock Florals.
Looking for the perfect real estate for the shop, we saw two properties on highway 93. One that I wasn't too sure of at first and another that was a huge project to take on. The huge project house had acres of land and the cutest historic house on the property. It also had a shop connected to the house which had been neglected and gone through a severe amount of water damage. I dreamt at night about the possibilities of the shop at this place, land to farm flowers and possibly even starting a wedding venue. We bid too late and the property had an accepted offer. Looking back now, it was an enormous project and it wasn't meant to be (but what I dreamt of was spectacular.) We ended up buying our second choice and while I didn't like it at first, it’s now home and I think this is exactly where we are supposed to be.
This was two days after we moved in and the giant two trees in the front yard had already been taken down by the arborist.
In the picture above you can see how giant the tree was!! Once the two trees were down you could start to see our house emerging from the bushes. We got possession of our house at the end of May and our wedding was in June so the next month was spent preparing /planning.
The week of our wedding it rained ...and rained and then rained a little more. We got incredibly lucky and it cleared up the day of. Our families were so amazing and somehow managed to get the property up just in time for us to walk down the aisle (this included mulching under the tent so the tables didn't sink into the ground! ;P ).
The sun was shining and somehow everyone came together and turned my In laws backyard into a tropical oasis. I Honestly couldn't have wished for a more perfect day.
We even got surprised by a Mariachi Band on the water!! I mean what!?!?
Of course being a florist, I was really excited about the flowers. As the bride and doing my own flowers, I soon realized that I would have to delegate. I made my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets and then my lovely friends Nicole , Amanda and Seamus from Floral Occasions came and finished the flowers for me <3. It was really fun shopping for flowers for my own wedding. I knew that I wanted berry tones that would complement the blue accents but other than that I pretty much just grabbed everything I liked ( how often does that happen!).
The next few months after the wedding, I really started cleaning up the yard. The gardens had a lot of pretty flowers but were extremely overgrown. I was also working a landscaping job in Collingwood so I spent most of my days covered in dirt.
I pulled out soo soo soo many weeds, and pruned. I dug out all the plants I wanted to keep and redesigned almost all the gardens. I am still battling with grass and weeds that are determined
to grow in the gardens, this I imagine will take some time.
The Hostas are HUGE!
Here, I had gotten everything out and was just about to put the plants back in. There is still a lot of work to be done in the yard but now we can see the house from the road!
I restructured all the gardens around the house and garage and added free mulch from the local dump. If you look back at the first picture of the house I posted, the yews, lilac and other bushes had grown out of control. The roots were all very close to the foundation of the house so unfortunately they couldn't just be pruned :(.
Our next big project was converting our garage into a shop that looks friendly and inviting.
Drywall complete and ready for primer.
My friend Bill helped me make these awesome shop counters. All the rough pine is from Richies Lumber in Elmvale.
New door installed!! This was a super exciting day, it really transformed the garage and started looking like a shop.
Flower cooler in progress; we got our display window from Restore at 50% off as well as our cooler door which was a huge bonus. Anyone who has done building projects can probably relate to the amount of Home Depot trips we've made this year ..... good thing its only 5 minutes away! My husband Dave did such a good job building the flower cooler, it was one of the biggest projects in the shop.
I sanded down the counters and stained them all with early american stain. Then, on the front counter I used white pickling wash and grey stain to give it a barn board effect. To do this effectively, let your first coat of dark stain dry completely before adding the white and grey stain. I applied the white and grey onto the boards with a brush in a random pattern along the wood grain. Then after about 1 min, wipe white and grey with a cloth.
I didn't sand the rough cut pine smooth so the white wash / grey makes the saw blade marks stand out giving it a more rustic barn board look.
Painted the flower cooler window and door black to match the new glass garage door an also installed trim on the cooler.
Barn board shop sign up and display table built.
We are open!! It was such a journey getting to this point, but I am excited to be open and for the adventures of building this business to continue. Ive got big plans in the spring, I will be starting up a micro flower farm on the property. This will allow me to supply blooms that are grown right here in Midland for the spring /summer & fall months.
Here's a peak inside the shop.
If you've made it all the way to the end of this post, thanks for reading! We are now open for business, our official first day was Wed Jan 31st. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to check out and support the shop thus far :). Our regular hours are :
Special Valentines Week Hours:
Sat Feb 10th 11-6
Sun Feb 11th Closed
Monday Feb 12th 10-6
Tuesday Feb 13th 10-6
Wed Feb 14th V-Day 9am-8pm