For our latest Small Business Spotlight, we took a trip to Flora Good Times to meet shop owner, Corinne!
Located in Beacon, NY, you can find this amazing plant store on 197 Main Street and shop for the coolest, quirkiest, most spectacular plants and flowers in town! From houseplants, succulents, pottery, bouquets, and more, this botanical based garden design store has it all. Flora Good Times is a woman-owned business and a portion of all sales supports food justice, human rights initiatives, and local community building. Read more about Corinne below!
Tell us about yourself!
Hi! My name is Corinne Bryson (she/her) and I’m the owner of Flora Good Times in Beacon, NY. I was born and raised in the suburbs outside of Detroit, MI and landed in NY for college. I’ve been in New York State ever since! I’ve always loved being outside, plants, flowers and bugs. I always have dirt under my fingernails and I love to work with my hands. Besides floristry, I have a lot of other hobbies: pottery, gardening, hiking, textile work and renovating my 1970’s home with my husband, Jeff, where we live with our 2 dogs, Debbie and Reuben and our cat, Doc (and our growing aquarium!).
How did you become a florist? What inspires you?
I became a florist by accident. I studied photography in college, which is what I pursued professionally after graduation. I realized, in time, that it wasn’t scratching the itch for me. I love to work and create with my hands, always have.
I took an internship with a floral studio out of total curiosity. I was initially helping them with social media and content creation, but I was offered a design position pretty early on. Everything I learned, I learned by doing. I really had no idea what being a florist entailed, the lingo, the names of flowers. I was, as they say, very “green”.
I have shared a home with houseplants for many years, which was the basis of my green knowledge, but rarely played with flowers. It all changed once I was flowering every day. I discovered quickly that flowers were the medium I had been looking for: something tangible, transformative, ephemeral and beautiful. I love the ever-changing puzzle of flower arranging. There’s always something new, as no two stems I’ve ever worked with are identical.
I’m inspired by my surroundings. By art at an antique mall. By a stranger’s outfit. By the colors of the changing trees on the drive to work. Flowers are innate beautiful and inspiring on their own. I’m very lucky to have them as coworkers.
How did you decide on choosing Beacon for your shop location? (what’s your favorite part about Beacon?)
Beacon kind of chose me! Flora was born from an existing iteration of a floral shop by a previous owner who was retiring. It all happened really cosmically (me thinking: what’s next? *a magical Craigslist ad appears*). Beacon was a town that I’d visited before and, for me, captures so much of that Hudson Valley magic. I mean, you can see Mount Beacon from Main Street! It’s such a vibrant community of artists and makers and people who have such pride in their city. Beacon’s changed a lot lately, even in the two and a half years that Flora’s been open, but it’s maintained the artful heart that is so uniquely Beacon. I am constantly inspired by the changing and growing community that my shop calls home. We love you, Beacon!
What are some of your favorite projects/events that you’ve worked on?
Every project is different, which is what keeps me going! Each event or installation or otherwise is another way to flex another muscle and keep my creative juices flowing. I have particularly enjoyed working with my pal, Aimée, who owns another awesome local shop, Berte. We do biannual window displays and she really lets me run with it. It’s such a joy to bring flowers to a more permanent space that can continue to be enjoyed over many months. Also, reimagining the same space in different ways is a fun challenge that helps me become a better florist.
Any plant tips that you recommend for first time plant owners?
I think the most important piece of advice with caring for plants is patience. Plants take time to react to changing environments, care routines, waterings, light and more! The patient observation of plants is one of my favorite things about keeping them in my home! I also love to remind new plant parents that plants aren’t decor, they’re a relationship. With the new planty resurgence, lots of images featuring plants are filling our feeds every day, but these are just images! Caring for plants long term takes observation, consistency and patience.
Do you have any favorite plants/flowers?
This question always is way too hard for me to answer, for some reason I feel guilty ever leaving any of them out! My favorite flower changes with the seasons, since we see different blooms during different times of the year. For spring, I love daffodils and muscari and fritillaria and sweet pea (the list goes on), summer I’m all about celosia and echinacea and poppies and allium, fall it’s zinnia time! I really just love certain stems the most every day. The wiggly weirdos have a special place in my heart.
I really don’t have a favorite plant! I have over 200 of my own houseplants at home and I love them all for different reasons! I love a cool leaf, a kooky flower, a strange growth habit. It’s all fascinating!
Any fun facts about yourself?
I’m a lefty! Which I think is fun ;)
You can visit Flora Good Times at:
197 Main St, Beacon, NY 12508