Funky Little Shop - Funky Petals


Add a touch of luck, a pinch of supportive staff that’s like family and a dash of eager to learn junior designer and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a beautiful and unique flower shop like Funky Petals!


Funky Petals owner, Chelsa Longbotham just opened up shop a few months back and we were able to steal a few minutes of her time to answer some questions about her unique shop that celebrates the intrinsic grace of flowers that accentuates the beauty in the unconventional.


1)    Tell me who is all involved in your funky little shop, Funky Petals.

As of right now, Funky Petals Lethbridge is a party of two. There is myself, the owner and senior designer (Chelsa Longbotham), and Karla, who is our junior designer. Karla joined us shortly after we opened, and she has been doing extremely well, learning the elements of design. However, I do have to acknowledge my "support staff". When starting up the business, everything became a serious family matter! Everybody pitched in, and continues to pitch in. I am a very lucky woman!


2) Tell me about what makes Funky Petals different from other flower shops in Lethbridge and why people should come and check out what you have to offer.


Our first priority is to offer people something unique. I think there are many great shops in town, but we will always strive to go above and beyond something just "acceptable". Flowers are beautiful in their own right, and what we try to do is do them justice! To do so, we source out the most beautiful flowers we can find, and we also try to offer a selection that gets people excited. I've always noticed how many pictures of flowers you see -- and not the ones offered up by the flower shops, but the ones featured on the most popular websites, and in the lavish magazines. Many of those photos contain flowers very rarely seen in floral shops on a regular basis. We'd like to be the shop that can offer it on a regular basis. Flowers are soul food, and like any good chef, our goal is to provide our customers with a feast of the senses!


3) What are all the services and products you have to offer the people of Lethbridge?


First and foremost we will always focus on the flowers. Everything else we have accentuates those. We carry select lines of giftware -- most of it handmade by independent artisans. And when possible, that is how we will keep it! We are actually hoping to connect with some local Lethbridge artisans who specialize in things like pottery, glass blowing, handmade chocolates, etc. We would love to support the community wherever possible.


When it comes to flowers, we pretty much can do it all! We just finished our first experience of the Lethbridge Unveiled Bridal Show and had lots of fun meeting wonderful couples and people. Our booth was PACKED, and I still felt like we could have filled 5 more booths with all of the things you can do for JUST weddings!


4) Why did you choose downtown Lethbridge to open up shop?

I've worked in a couple of shops here in Lethbridge, and have been designing and caring for flowers for 8+ years, now. I've worked in a shop on the north side, then on the south side, and then on the west side. Downtown just seemed like the right fit for what we do here at Funky Petals. We keep up with the trends and are constantly looking for new ways to work with flowers. That's what keeps it exciting for us and for our customers! I just knew, from previous experience, and perhaps a little from a gut feeling, that downtown was the right place for us. We want to be a part of the downtown culture, and we want to reflect that in our store and in our designs.


5) Any reason you chose this particular building to open Funky Petals?


Actually, I didn't even know that this building was available for the type of space we were seeking! I had been considering a couple of other places that turned out to be let downs. I had actually contacted Jillian Chaffee from Avison Young about another place when she told me about the old ATB Financial Building up for lease. From the get go I felt that 6th street, or in close proximity of 6th street, was the place to be. I just didn't think it would happen!


6) What did you do before opening Funky Petals?


As I mentioned before, I've been in the flower business for a while now. I've worked with some really amazing people! And one great thing about the floral industry is that we all learn from one another. Creativity feeds creativity. However, I kept feeling like I would hit these walls -- a metaphorical box if you will! Now that we have Funky Petals, everything feels limitless.


7) What was the motivation to open up Funky Petals?


I've been working towards opening my own shop for years now. Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to work with flowers -- but it's a really hard industry to get into when you have no experience, and are 14! Finally, once I was in, I knew that my craving for it was completely justified. It's a passion, plain and simple. I don't think I'd know what to do with myself if I couldn't work with flowers every day! Yet, even though I knew it was going to happen one day, Funky Petals was sudden and a little unexpected. It literally just happened one day... King of like a 'BAM', there it is. I had to think about it for a long while before I took the final plunge, but now I don't look back. I'm excited for this new adventure, and whatever comes from it -- thankful, too.


8) How can people find you online?

We have a great website that people can access to order flowers online: www.funkypetals.comLikewise, we have whole-heartedly jumped on the Facebook bandwagon (really, how can you NOT participate in social media these days?!), and are loving it. Social media is a great way to connect with people these days, and to keep them updated on what's going on, or upcoming events. It always gives us a little thrill to have one more person like us on Facebook, especially because you know that they didn't have to! We are hoping to expand into twitter, pinterest and instagram in the upcoming months, also.


9) What is your favourite flower/plant to work with?


I think that is the ultimate question for florists, isn't it?! Each flower has its own charm and enchantment; a draw or pull unique to that flower. No matter how long I work with them they still amaze me on a daily basis! I could say with full certainty that I'm infatuated with every single flower out there! I think if you asked me a month from now, my answer would probably be different, but my biggest infatuation right now are King Protea's.


10) What’s your favourite part of your job?


I have to choose!? Oh wow. I think that’s even harder than your last question! There are so many great things about it -- I get to stop and smell the flowers, literally, every day. If I have to choose, then I would say the biggest thing is the difference we get to make in peoples lives, daily. Sure, we're a business and what we do, in turn, fuels the business. But it's much more gratifying to know that there is meaning, and purpose behind your product. I think I mentioned before that flowers were soul food, and I really believe that. We get to remind people of the things that we can sometimes take for granted... the fact that someone cares, that they are loved, that someone was thinking about them, or that there is more to life than our typical hustle+bustle+go,go,go! In hard times, flowers can become a gesture of support and tenderness. We get to work with kind, beautiful intentions daily -- the fact that we can help make those possible is my absolute favorite part of my job!





Posted on:
Thursday, April 02, 2015