Name: Jess McEwen
Occupation: Florist & shop owner at Periwinkle Flowers
Lifestyle: Casual, creative, fun, filled with colour and flowers
What’s a typical day like for you?
As the owner of a bricks and mortar flower shop, my days are all over the place. Some are spent at the shop working on the computer: marketing, bookkeeping, planning, making quotes for special client events, etc.
On others, I’m busy talking to clients, making flower designs for upcoming orders, and displaying our many fun giftware pieces. Otherwise, I’m probably out at the flower market picking up bucket loads of blooms to fill the shop with, or else delivering and setting up our event work at various venues across the city.
What in your life is really important to you?
Family & friendship, colour, and flowers.
What would you like to be remembered for?
For being kind and helping make the lives of those around me happier.
What role does fashion play in your life?
I recently read that each day, we should “dress for the JOY you want,” and it really resonated with me.
I’m not super fashionable, I’m not really interested in dressing to impress, and I don’t follow trends, but I love wearing clothes that feel good, have colour and pattern, and fashions that make me smile.
What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective?
Supporting local makers and designers is an important part of running Periwinke Flowers, so I love that Fresh Collective shares that same ethos of supporting our own homegrown talent.
I also really appreciate that Fresh Collective has bricks and mortar shops, as well as online shopping options for those who need them.
Because I’m one of those people that likes to see and touch things in person, shopping online doesn’t really work for me, but Fresh Collective gathers unique, wearable clothes from really great designers, all into one place, with a really great eye for what pieces work well together to build a wardrobe. That’s very unique, in my opinion.
What do you have that you want to promote?
If you’re in the city of Toronto or know someone who is, I definitely want you to know about my flower shop, Periwinkle Flowers!
We’re located in midtown at Mt Pleasant Rd and Eglinton, and we deliver across the city. Our style of work is joyful, colourful, and just a little wild, with a heavy dose of whimsy.
We love weddings and events, of course, but our main day-to-day work is serving our wonderful clients that stop by for a few stems to treat themselves or a friend to every week, or for those sending flowers to mark a special moment in life. Flowers are one of those lovely little pleasures in life that make people happy!
As a new Fresh Collective Affiliate, what got you interested in joining our Affiliate Program? How does it tie in with the work you already do?
I’m delighted to be a Fresh Collective Affiliate because it means I can help promote another bricks and mortar small business in the city, sharing the same business ethos I do: that well-made and locally-designed is not only possible, but beautiful as well.
What first inspired you to become a florist and open up your own business? What’s one of your favourite aspects of running Periwinkle Flowers?
While I actually got into flowers almost accidentally, by taking a floral course to “fill some time” after dropping out of a journalism program in university, when I examine things in retrospect I realize that flowers have always been a part of my life.
As a child, I had a small patch of garden to tend to on my own. I love owning a physical shop most of all and being part of our local community.
Plus, having an impact on our clients lives is just the best feeling in the world. And of course, working with beautiful flowers every day doesn’t hurt, either.
Besides wedding arrangements, what popular floral services does Periwinkle offer? Do you sell potted plants as well?
We do sell lots of indoor plants (including, of course, the currently-trending succulents and cacti!), as well as many handmade/locally made pieces such as candles, soaps, cute handmade pots, and more.
The majority of our business is actually fresh flower bouquets and arrangements for regular orders, which our clients can request to have delivered or come by the shop to pick up in-person.
We also have a very popular “Weekender Bouquet Series,” which lets our clients choose from a sweet and simple posy arrangement, or a mini vase of our favourite blooms of the week. These are ready to grab-and-go at a nice, easy price point of $25. And if you sign up for our Weekender Club, every 10th Weekender purchase is free!
How does Periwinkle stand apart from other floral boutiques in Toronto?
We’re definitely not the typical florist that many people think of!
If you’re looking for mounded balls of all-white hydrangea and roses, we’re probably not the right shop for you. But if you love colour and energy in your flowers, we’re definitely your jam.
We don’t make the flowers “try” too hard. They’re pretty much perfect as they are, so what we do is concentrate more on showing them off with the best presentation.
Because most of what we carry is local, you’re going to see many blooms that are a little more off the beaten path, and the mix will change as we move from season to season.
Where can people find you on social media?
The best way to see what we’re up to is via Instagram: @periwinkleflowers
You can also check out my personal Instagram page: @jess.kate.mcewen
Or go straight to the source by visiting our website: www.periwinkleflowers.com
And of course, come by our shop at 661 Mt. Pleasant Road. We’d love to see you!