New flower shop blooms in Minden
By Sue Tiffin
Walking into Anne Campbell’s downtown Minden floral shop is rejuvenating.
Unique Floral Designs is filled with comfort, inviting the eye to handmade creations while the air is filled with the scent of candles and green plants and a cooler full of fresh flowers offer a touch of nature.
Anne knows the importance of detail, making things look just so, and what she’s doing – she’s been in the business since she was eight.
“My mom and dad started a flower shop when I was eight years of age,” said Anne. “My mother had a flower shop before I did.”
Pat, Anne’s mom, pursued her interest in gardening quite a few decades ago, starting a business with a picnic table.
“She thought she wanted a hobby with four kids at home,” Anne laughed. “She planted all her own plants, then my father started a greenhouse for her. Then she decided that she’d like a flower shop, so then we went into the flower shop, and so then we had a flower shop and a garden centre. She just started out by selling plants on a picnic table.”
As a result, Anne’s own interest in gardening began early.
“I did chores in the greenhouses and filled boxes with dirt,” said Anne. “We were expected to have jobs ... so we had the jobs of filling the pots and doing the work behind the scenes.”
When Anne finished high school, she began working for her mom and dad at their shop, located where Canadian Tire is now, at the age of 19. After her dad died, she took over the flower shop with Pat working alongside her until her mom retired a few years later. Anne then bought the heritage house on Booth Street, restoring it and turning it into the new location of Campbell’s Flower Shop for about 15 or so years.
Deciding it was time for a change, she closed the store and operated a floral shop in Bobcaygeon for about four years, making a daily commute out of town. Until this past June, after the Minden Florist location closed.
“I felt there was an opportunity for a flower shop on main street again,” she said. “It was time to move home.”
She renamed her venture Unique Floral Designs and soon after opening provided more than a dozen corsages for public school graduates.
“I could have named it Campbell’s Flower Shop again but instead I renamed it and put my name underneath it,” she said. “I just wanted something to start fresh.”
Though the family name is not on her sign, the building itself is connected to her family’s history.
“It was a lawyer’s office and an insurance building, it was a hairdresser’s and it was a doctor’s office. I don’t know how old it is but it goes back quite a ways. My mom, her doctor was here when she was born. She was born next door. The doctor lived in one part and his office was in the other.”
And still after years of being away and a shop location and name change, familiar faces are stopping by to reconnect with Anne.
“I’m enjoying seeing the people coming in, the people that were my customers for years and years,” she said. “It’s nice to see them come back. I hardly saw anybody for four years because I left at 8 a.m. and didn’t return home until 6 p.m. so I didn’t see those people. But it’s very nice to be home.”
Anne specializes in green plants and garden baskets, and offers floral services for weddings and celebrations of life.
“I like creating,” she said. “I just like creating different things for people. When they want a challenge, when someone comes in and wants me to create something different, I love to do those kinds of things.”
Anne is also working on creating ornaments, Christmas wreaths and centrepieces for Christmas right now, offering handmade one-of-a-kind treasures. In November and December, she’ll be offering classes so that others can create their own festive decor.
“I’m just very happy to be home,” she said. “Very happy to be home and to service my community again.”
Unique Floral Designs is located at 105 Bobcaygeon Road in Minden. For more information, call Anne Campbell at 705-457-7996 or visit Unique Floral Designs on Facebook or Instagram.