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Front Yard Florist

05/03/2014 02:27PM ● By Gary VanDeWalker
By Gary Vandewalker
Photo by Taryn Burkleo

Petals is More than a Flower Shop

Every spring, approaching Mother’s Day, Jamie Wright’s neighbors found that flowers would begin missing from their front yards. With only one or two being taken from each, it remained a mystery they didn’t fret about solving. Wright’s mother could come home to find a loving, handmade display of color on her front door, reminding her of the place she had in her daughter’s heart. Now, Wright comes by her flowers more honestly. However, the passion behind her creations remains the same.

Petals is more than a flower shop.  What brings the plants, containers, gifts and cards together is an attitude of caring and an embrace of community.  Located in what is becoming a new downtown area for Mount Shasta, Petals is a store where Wright’s character and loves are translated through flowers into the emotions and lives of the customer.

Moving from her family home in Whittier, the budding floral artist settled in Santa Barbara.   Wright worked with various florists and flower stand businesses, learning bits and pieces of her craft.  She longed for seasons, hungering for winters, which turned to springs, while summer blazed into the colors of fall.  

Her desires brought her to Mount Shasta, where she took a job in a florist shop, only to discover she didn’t fit in the box.  “I’m unique,” Wright says. “I wanted to do things my way.”  For the next six years she worked outside the craft, until her nature took hold of her and she opened her own outdoor flower stand.

“It was a challenge,” Wright says.  “Those seasons brought the elements: the wind, the heat, and cars.”  Her grandfather gave her the financial seed to begin, and she carefully raised and nurtured it.  Her aim was to create a business reflecting her heart.

Over the next 18 years, she began traveling to San Francisco to pick out flowers.  She moved the stand into a small house, then the house next door, caring for the shop as it grew and blossomed.  She did a wedding, then after awhile she had done hundreds of weddings.  Customers were given handcrafted unique arrangements or, if needed, a single rose.

In the fall of 2012, Wright’s vision opened wide when a main street location became available and everything around her had grown to maturity.  Her creativity exploded into a store she describes as “industrial shabby chic.”  Wright says, “I created everything from the ground up.  I wanted to give a special touch to this place and my community.  I’ve found a place where I could continue to grow.”

Bright green shoots of bamboo growing in water shadow her worktable.  Nearby, on shelving, the sharp angles of clear glass vases wait to be filled.  Moss-covered birdhouses give the sense that living occupants will emerge as the sun is deflected through a bead curtain and past Chinese paper lanterns.  Windows panes are filled with mirrors, while distressed furniture gives the gifts a comfortable home.  Below a shelf where a clay sun beams, a black gray cat stretches out across the floor with a gentle yawn, observing a birdcage guarding a plant.

Underneath the chrome lamps, Wright continues to grow as an artist.  Her business includes large and small event planning and catering, interior decorating and floral design.  From servicing events for the Hearst Corporation to intimate family gatherings, everything she creates is one of a kind.  Nothing from Petals is a copy of another order or event.  “I want to bring joy and a smile,” Wright says. “Flowers are the one thing I use to extend myself to other people.”

Underneath a table is a suitcase, resting from years of travel, finally finding its place.  Wright’s 8-year old daughter Ella Sophia Coleman is already taking her mother’s flowers and bringing her own special touch to them.  “This is my dream,” Wright says.  “This is more than a shop. This is me.”

Petals Flowers
315 South Mount Shasta Blvd., Mount Shasta
(530) 926-4474

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