What started off in a flowery VW van, is now a full fledge flower boutique studio in Allentown. Samantha Reidy, owner of Petal Pusher, has pulled off a major victory for Allen Street, by creating a sensational new business that incorporates flower bouquets, a beer-wine-cider bar, and an inspirational family-friendly setting that is the perfect place to relax, socialize, and ponder the vibrant world of flower décor.
I stopped into the shop for a soft opening ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday, and was completely taken with the voluminous space (see backstory). The shop features a grab ‘n’ go cooler with pre-assembled bouquets, racks of vases, an arrangement workshop counter, a kid-friendly lounge area, and an impressive bar. It’s the perfect place to unwind with friends, in a flowery setting.
I asked Samantha how she got her start in the flower business, and what she had to say did not surprise me one bit. Like so many other fledgling entrepreneurs that I have interviewed, Samantha found herself working the daily grind in a bigger city – she lived in NYC in her early 20’s. She knew that her best shot of escaping that grind was to move back to Buffalo, which she did. But instead of doing anything corporate, she signed up to work at a local florist.
“I wanted to try something fun first,” she told me. “Then I saw a flower truck on Pinterest, and started searching online for a truck. I found exactly what I was looking for – a rust bucket VW van in Kentucky. That’s how the mobile flower business began in 2019.
“But it was seasonal, so I worked another job off-season. Then covid hit, and I began to dream of where I could take my love of flowers. Last summer I was let go from a job for the first time – they said that my heart wasn’t in it, and they were right. It was the best thing that ever happened. That’s when I decided to focus on a storefront. I have put everything that I have into this space. And I could only do this in Buffalo – everyone wanted to help… people want businesses to thrive here. I’ve met so many other small business owners who all help to promote each other. That’s what I love about Buffalo – I could never have done this in NYC.”
When I asked Samantha how she was faring, with her new storefront opening, she said, “I’m feeling confident, but a little scared. I wanted to create a very positive space, and flowers are like therapy. Everyone loves flowers. They were here before us, and they will be here after us. I don’t consider flowers to be a luxury item. They are a necessity. In the shop, they are available at various price points. People can pre-order a bouquet online, grab a bouquet on the fly, assemble a bouquet at the shop, or even attend a workshop (like a mommy & me, or flower crown class). The shop is available for private parties on the weekends, such as bridal parties, where we have charcuterie boxes (all the time). There’s plenty of seating, and there’s even a patio made with flower boxes, where people can sip a summer beer or wine (or cider/Prosecco).”
Samantha has been pretty much running the show solo, with her mobile flower van, up until this point. Now she’s teaching her employees the business.
“It takes a while to find your groove,” she said. “People say that I have a style and an eye for this. I can do whimsical, classic, or tropical arrangements. The color red is not allowed in the store [laughing]. This is not a traditional store – the flower van is the perfect example of what I want to do. I can’t wait to plant the flower beds out on the sidewalk. I want the storefront to be another calling card for Petal Pusher, along with the van. We’re going to have great curb appeal.”
Now, it’s all about sipping drinks, hanging with friends, and making flower arrangements – designer’s choice, customer’s selection, simple or sophisticated, in a base container or wrapped in paper… the options are endless… as long as it’s not red.
Petal Pusher officially opens on June 1, 2022.
Biweekly Bouquet Subscription (Starting June 2022)
Monthly Bouquet Subscription (Starting June 2022)