Local business spotlight: Pierce & Petal  

Left to right: Madi Claire Johnson, Heather Gudger and Cassie Riley smile among styled wreaths and a festive Christmas tree in Pierce & Petal’s studio. (contributed)

Ever a familiar face when stopping into Southern Accents and Architectural Antiques, Heather Gudger is a woman with an eye for detail. When the opportunity to expand into the florist shop next door presented itself, she couldn’t just say no. 

“In order to buy the building and everything, the business (the former Fairview Florist) had to come with it. We took over about two years ago, and we still have a lot of the same employees,” she beamed, gesturing to her team. 

When asked what prompted the name change, Gudger mentioned that it was a multipart move: Pierce was chosen to pay homage to her parents, who are co-owners. To bring give the longtime florist shop a trendier name, they chose the second part: Petal. Laughed Gudger, “Well, people kept thinking we were in Fairview!”  

Gudger said Pierce & Petal has brought a fresh look to the historic floral shop, focusing on one-off arrangements in punchy and modern styles that are far from cookie-cutter, while still honoring those long-standing clients and their floral styles. Gudger noted that it wasn’t just the style of the arrangements that changed, it was the source, too. 

“We don’t like to use just any type of flowers; we focus on locally grown flowers. Then, we can supplement with higher-end florals,” she explained. “That was my goal rather than going to a wholesaler for everything.”  

Yet, even with a modern look, Gudger said, Pierce & Petal is committed to delivering the floral experience that the clientele of the previous Fairview Florist came to love and count on. “We’ve got a really great clientele. Besides our everyday families or customers, we also keep a lot of business accounts,” she said. 

As Pierce & Petal gears up for Christmas, Gudger spilled the beans on what’s trending this year for holiday decor as cottage elements become more and more popular: natural elements like pinecones, touches of silk and velvet ribbon in deep blue and green tones and golden jingle bells. 

For those interested in bespoke home decorating services from Pierce & Petal for the upcoming season, Gudger said she prefers clients book early to really get the full benefit of a beautifully curated home for the holidays. 

“I always tell people for home decorating, the sooner the better. We can do it closer to Christmas, of course, but we want people to have time to enjoy it,” she said. 

However, for fresh pieces like vase arrangements or centerpieces, it’s best to wait until closer to Christmas dinner, to ensure pieces will be vibrant. 

“When it comes to fresh flowers, like table decorations for family dinners, it’s best to wait closer to the actual event,” Gudger nodded. 

Gudger advised not to feel pressure to stick to what’s trending. Be you and embrace your design style, boldly, whether that’s with vibrant poinsettias and holly with festive plaid ribbon or a sleeker approach with classic calla lilies and twinkling lights, she said. 

“People like what they like, you know?” she smiled. 


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