Once upon a time, there was a young woman with a love of flowers, a dream and some extra space in her basement.
When the basement was overwhelmed, there was a bit of room to spare in the kitchen. Or dining room. Then one day, a building became available, walking distance from that little home in the Cheshire Village neighborhood.
Ten years later, Posh Petals is blossoming in its second brick and mortar location.
Elizabeth Schenk and her team of floral designers and event planners have been gracing the West Side for the past two years, working out of a Bridge Street storefront that also serves as the boutique florist’s retail venue. Walk in and discover an assortment of interesting gifts, a cooler filled with bountiful blossoms in an array of colors, a flurry of activity as bouquets and arrangements are prepared, and perhaps a rabbit or two.
Yes. Rabbits. As in bunnies.
At least half of the Posh Petals staff are rabbit owners. “We just love rabbits!” notes Elyse Riemersma, event director and lead planner, adding that bunnies and blooms pair well together. “The bunnies enjoy the flower scraps, although they like certain flowers better than others.”
The rabbits also pair well with the young Posh Petals customers who enjoy the establishment’s yearly spring brunch with the bunnies.
It’s all part of the Posh Petals personality.
While the full-service floral and design company is known for its beautiful, nontraditional arrangements for weddings, events and occasions, roots have also taken hold with daily deliveries, singular designs, a handful of flowers, and on-the-spot creations for any reason or no reason in particular. Everything Posh Petals crafts is custom; everything that leaves the little storefront has style and presence. No matter the color, flower or requested style, there’s a spin on the result that’s all Posh.
“There’s a style people tend to recognize,” Elyse said. “We’re a little funkier—we use more angles, less of the traditional round. We also love changing up our style and doing different things. We’re consistently nontraditional.” There’s a fondness for the contemporary and for using color combinations and flower varieties you don’t always see. Posh Petals likes to work with local growers as much as possible, and what’s available also depends on what’s in season.
“Ranunculus is Elizabeth’s favorite and we use them a lot, across the board—they’re so delicate and beautiful. We also like snapdragons, stock, tropicals ...” The Posh Petals designers are all people who love flowers and wanted to learn. “Elizabeth taught them from the beginning and taught them her style.”
They’re all part of a culture the Posh Petals team is proud of. The all-female staff gets along well, in the shop and at events, working and laughing and creating together, making customers feel welcome at every turn. They enjoy seeing the changes Bridge Street has realized in the past two years and being part of the revitalization of the West Side.
As downtown Grand Rapids and the other side of river expand and grow, so does foot traffic to this relatively walkable neighborhood, a few blocks west of the bustle of bars and restaurants. More and more, people know where Posh Petals is located. And it’s so easy to simply pop is for a bouquet or two.
Or a chat with a rabbit.
Written by Amy L Charles, Editorial Director, West Michigan Woman.
Photos by Jennie King Photography.