Hops Petunia: A Budding New Floral Shop in Kingston, NY
73B Broadway | Kingston, NY
Two years ago, Kelli Galloway found herself in Seattle attending a four day intensive class with renowned florists Amy Merrick and Floret Flowers. On the first day, she opened her brand new notebook and wrote at the very top of the page: “This is the weekend that will change my life.”
Within three years, it had.
Today, Kelli is the proud owner of Hops Petunia, a budding floral business that has recently opened a brick-and-mortar space in downtown Kingston. The shop, which she designed in partnership with Jack Decker of Vernacular Design, is reminiscent of a french cottage, with exposed brick walls and white wood paneled moulding. “The vibe of the shop itself is like a hug…very cozy and welcoming,” says Kelli, who has been a long time weekender in nearby Rosendale. “I wanted it to feel like when you walked in, you were in someone’s home.” Fresh flowers from local growers like Tiny Hearts Farm in Copake are gathered in antique porcelain vases or arranged into bouquets of colorful wildflowers ready to be gifted. Vintage gardening wares, books about flowers, desk accessories and handmade items further accentuate the boutique’s warm, quaint farmhouse feel.
Kelli’s path to floral design started early, at age 16, when she worked at Ray Hunter Florist in Michigan doing anything and everything from unpacking product to designing bouquets. Post-graduation, she made a name as a graphic designer, a package designer for Hallmark, and an art director for big names in fashion. “The intrigue of making things with my hands again felt really important because I was sitting at a desk for hours and hours on end and my eyes were bleeding,” she recalls, thinking back to what prompted her to quit her office job in 2013.
The name Hops Petunia refers to a dream that her and her husband, Brad, had to open a floral shop that would turn into a bar at night. Years later, when Kelli started to book floral jobs on her own, the name stuck.
During a recent trip to Japan, Kelli and her husband Brad stumbled upon Yamatoya, a delightful coffee shop/whisky jazz bar in Kyoto. “They had beautiful panelled walls with this ancient wallpaper on it and we were sitting there and I was like ‘this has to be the store, this is the store.’ We knew we were going to do panels on the wall,” she says. “Now, people will come in, not even to look at the store, they just want to stare at my wallpaper.”
“There’s always been some sort of hint to Japan,” says Kelli, referring to the products she carries in the shop. Many of the desk accessories are from Midori, a Japanese based company that makes beautiful brass pens, rulers and pen cases. Within the next couple of months, she will carry super soft and faded aprons, table place mats and towels from a company called Basshu, which is a technique of weaving specific to the area of Japan called Hyogo.
“It didn’t occur to me that it could be more of an art form and less of an after school job,” says Kelli of the floral world today. “Girls without any place to do anything are working out of their kitchens, their basements, their garages and they’re just being artists, which I think is so much more exciting.”
Jack Decker from Vernacular Design did the molding, panel work and the storage area. He also constructed the cash wrap bar, which has wheels for easy maneuverability to accommodate events in the space. “We gave him a direction, but he took it upon himself to add touches that were really perfect.”
For Kelli, being a florist is deeply personal and fulfilling. “You’re pulling nature inside and you can make anything you want out of it, which is also kind of wild. To have a few hours a day to make something beautiful has just been really nice…it’s exactly where I wanted to be.”