Florist brings bloom back downtown
Outside 96 Merrimack Street, the sky is gray and dreary. But walk into Joanna Hall’s shop and the heady fragrance of fresh-cut flowers transports the senses to brighter days.
Ecuadorian roses, exotic orchids, cheerful daisies, spring daffodils and much more burst with color in this clean and modern space.
It’s been a while since we could enter a downtown store and be surrounded by fresh flowers. Thanks to Hall, the bloom is back. The Flower Mill opened just before Valentine’s Day and business is already booming.
Hall’s personal style is as easy and breezy as the store’s laid-back atmosphere. Clad in jeans, a purple scarf and flip-flops, the 27-year-old entrepreneur dashes back and forth, helping a flurry of customers.
One couple needs an arrangement to travel. They walk out with snap dragons, roses and lush blue hydrangea.
Another woman happily claims a fish-bowl size glass apple housing a miniature garden oasis.
A third customer purchases a small potted plant.
Video by Caroline Gallagher
“I love spring,” Hall says. “It means renewal and it’s the perfect time of year to bring the beauty of everything blooming outside into the house to help perk up your mood.”
The full-service shop offers delivery service ranging from custom bouquets and floral arrangements to lavish centerpieces and spreads for weddings, parties, funerals and special events.
Whether you want to say “happy birthday, happy anniversary, I’m sorry or just because,” the Flower Mill has something for every budget and any occasion.
Hall’s custom creations are the most popular.
An art major in college, she got her start in the flower business working at the former Laughton’s Garden Center in Chelmsford. The head florist happened to quit during the Christmas holiday season – one of the busiest times of year for party arrangements. Hall’s artistic training made her the immediate choice to take over the role.
“It all came together,” she says. “Everything I loved about art just clicked when making the arrangements. There was freedom to be as creative as I wanted to be and with flowers, you’re always making people happy.”
On a recent gloomy Sunday, Hall delivered a bouquet to a librarian at Middlesex Community College. The woman heard her name and saw Hall standing there with a little burst of spring.
“The look on her face was priceless,” Hall says. “Flowers make people smile. What better job is there than that?”
The Flower Mill is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sundays are reserved for funeral deliveries and appointments only. For more information call 978-667-6894 or visit lowellflowermill.com