‘Fresh, funky style’

Last modified: 12/31/2015 6:55:35 PM
TURNERS FALLS — There’s a new florist in downtown Turners Falls who’s bringing a “fresh, funky style” to the business.

Melissa Pippin, owner of LaBella Florist, opened up shop on Second Street last week in the space formerly occupied by 2nd Street Baking Co. A master florist who’s worked in the business for more than 30 years, she said she hopes the new shop will help create a “thriving” downtown.

“I got a really good response from the locals around here,” she said. “Everyone loves to see someone in this spot because it’s been empty for two years.”

Pippin, a Pittsburgh native, moved to Greenfield four years ago from Florida, where she used to own a florist shop.

“The bad economy hit us and we had to come back for my husband’s work,” she said.

“I swore I would never (open another shop) but I just saw an opportunity in this community,” she continued. “I think it needs new businesses to make it thrive.”

Pippin’s store also includes used furniture. A second room houses everything from bureaus and lamps to holiday decorations, antique scooters and Life magazines from the early 1970s.

“That kind of fell into my lap, it just happened,” Pippin said, explaining a man she works with runs a moving business and is often able to keep unwanted furniture.

“We just get some strange stuff in here,” she said, pointing out an antique potty seat.”

All furniture is make-an-offer and Pippin said she’s extremely reasonable. She’ll even let customers make a down payment if they can’t afford a piece up front.

“I’m like the fairest person ever,” she said.

During her downtime, Pippin also likes to “upcycle” old furniture, recently reupholstering an ottoman with recycled fabric, along with several stools and a chair.

“It’s an old chair but it’s still good,” she said, gesturing at an oak chair that she estimated would cost about $300 new. “I see everything still has a purpose.”

Pippin also recycles vases and baskets for her flower arrangements and said she’ll exchange a few stems of flowers for any customers bring in.

In terms of flowers, she offers a variety of arrangements for occasions ranging from weddings to funerals and said she’s always willing to create custom pieces.

“I just want to be different,” she said. “I want people to have a choice of something different or the usual.”

Pippin said she’ll often incorporate unexpected components into her arrangements, such as raspberries and strawberries.

“It’s mixing different colors and adding different things to the arrangement that gives it a whole new look,” she said.

She also plans to start a weekly fruit and veggie basket delivery service, buying whatever’s in season from local farms. She said the service would be especially good for older people who might not be able to get to the store.

Pippin added she doesn’t use a service such as Teleflora or 1-800-Flowers, which she said swindle both customers and florists.

“A lot of people think that flower shops need those service to survive and we don’t,” she said. “Everybody should always, always go to their local florist. If you go online, you’ll get ripped off.”

In the coming months, she’s also planning to hold several workshops, including a wreath-making class for adults before Christmas and a flower workshop for children around Valentine’s Day. In the past, she’s also held do-it-yourself bouquet classes for bridal parties.

LaBella Florist delivers locally and Pippin said she can also arrange out-of-town deliveries.

“I have always loved my job. For the love of my job, I keep going,” she said. “It’s the flowers and it’s the creativity I get to express on a daily basis.”

The shop is located at 69 Second St. and is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment only on Sunday. Online, visit labellafloristshop.com.

You can reach Aviva Luttrell at: 
or 413-772-0261, ext. 268. 
On Twitter follow: @AvivaLuttrell


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