Howell County News/ Amanda MendezHowell County News/ Amanda MendezHowell County News/ Amanda Mendez

Vintage Floral Celebrates Ten Years in Business

The first week of September marks the tenth anniversary of the day Vintage Floral first opened its doors. What is now a fixture of the downtown business community began as a flower shop operating out of the original location of Bailey Chevrolet. In its original form, Vintage Floral was a florist that carried home decor. Sisters Christy Graves and Sherry Hollis opened their doors for the first time on September 6, 2011. Sherry’s daughter, Shelby Gray, has been a part of the venture from the beginning. 
In the very first year of business, they began diversifying their merchandise. The first new product they added was tuxedo rental. This diversification has been key to their longevity and continued success, Hollis said. 
“Any one of the businesses alone would not have survived. It’s really like we have five businesses in one,” Graves said. 
Today, Vintage Floral still carries fresh flowers and home decor, but they also offer tuxedo rental, formal wear, casual fashion and jeans, accessories, and shoes. Their clothing inventory started with a single rack of t-shirts in their original location. Hollis said those shirts flew out the door, so they added a second rack. From the beginning, Hollis has cultivated the well-defined brand identity that Vintage Floral offers in clothing.
“It is a culmination of what was in style and trending and personality-wise what we buy,” she said. “We focused on the market trends in town and tried to steer clear of higher-end clothing to offer everyday affordable fashion.”
The family moved their business down the street to its current location at 114 E. Main St. in 2017. They purchased two side-by-side downtown buildings which allowed them to expand their formal wear enterprise. 
“That just shows the growth in ten years,” Gray pointed out, “we needed to expand.”
The move downtown makes Vintage Floral a success story that proves businesses can thrive in downtown Willow Springs, Graves said. Graves is on the board of Main Street Willow Springs. 
“That was a fear,” Gray agreed, “but it has been beneficial.”
“We would love other businesses to come to downtown Willow...My heart for downtown is for the future generations,” Graves said.
“We don’t want to see our town dry up and blow away,” Hollis added. 
When the pandemic forced them to close their doors in 2020, the business’s well-developed web and social media presence helped them to stay afloat. Today, their storefront is open, but customers still love to use their website and pick up their orders curbside. 
“We saw people wanting to stay in small towns to shop,” Graves added. 
Both sisters and Gray are from Willow Springs and attended Willow Springs High School. 
“We have loyal customers. We are from here. Our families are from here. We know the economy, and we know the town. We’re personal to people here, and we’re committed to this community” Hollis said.
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