Periwinkle Flowers – Jessica McEwen

Business Name & Address

Periwinkle Flowers- 661 Mt. Pleasant Rd.

Brief description of your business 

Periwinkle Flowers is a sweet mix of flowers and gifts, with a seasonal and local focus.  Inside the bright and sunny shop, you’ll find us working away at floral bouquets and designs for all sorts of special occasions.  Grab a bouquet for yourself or a friend or order something to be delivered anywhere in the GTA. We also make flowers for occasions such as weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. In our shop, you can browse our cute gifts that are curated with a focus on happy unique pieces that are Canadian made.  Screen printed tea towels, deliciously scented soaps and fun terrariums in jars are just some of the things you’ll find.

When did you open in Mount Pleasant Village?

We opened on Mount Pleasant in June of 2014, after 13 years on Avenue Road.

Why did you pick Mount Pleasant Village?

This was actually always the neighbourhood I was looking to open in, but when I began 13 years go there wasn’t a workable space for lease so I ended up at Avenue road and Wilson.  When my lease there ended in 2014 I saw a perfect space here and the time was right!  I love Mount Pleasant Village- it has that wonderful main street feel that is so rare these days.  There is a perfect mix of retailers, all of whom have such varied products and services to offer.  The street is pretty to walk down and has a good level of busy but not hectic that makes it a great place to spend time.

What specialty sets your business apart from competitors?

From a floral point of view, what sets Periwinkle apart is our lighthearted approach to design. You’ll likely not find all white roses and orchids in a cube vase design in the shop because that’s not what we love, but you will find beautiful orange garden roses mixed with spring parrot tulips and purple clematis! We design flowers in a loose and whimsical way that lets the beauty of nature take center stage. 

What were you doing before you opened your business?

Before opening Periwinkle in 2001 I worked for various Toronto florists and floral studios as a designer.  I’ve been working with flowers all my adult life, it is truly my passion.

What do you enjoy most about your business?

I have discovered that I absolutely LOVE being a shop-keep!  The little day to day conversations with customers keeps me smiling.  I seriously have to shake myself sometimes because I can’t believe I get to do this every day.

What has changed since you first opened your business?

The first six months of being open here were definitely learning on the job for me- this area is very different from where I was before in terms of aesthetic and purchasing decisions, but I feel it’s a much closer match to the things that I love to do.  I’ve spent my time listening closely and learning from the people I’ve met in the shop and feel really happy with the mix of flowers, plants, and gifts that I offer now.  I think I’ve hit the right level of whimsy.

What’s a fun fact about your business?

In 2006 Periwinkle was runner-up in the RBC and Dell Small Business Excellence Awards!

What is the most meaningful comment you’ve received since you’ve opened?

Hearing people say that the shop feels like it has everything they love is pretty awesome.