Sustainability shows that it can serve as the centerpiece for many aspects of urban life, enticing Philadelphians to stop and smell the roses.
Falls Flowers, located at 3421 Conrad Street in East Falls, has been providing the local community and beyond with flowers and floral arrangements, as well as other gift items that include cards, chocolates and jewelry that are all from Philadelphia-based artists.
Founded in 2009 by owner Peicha Chang, Falls Flowers bills itself as the only sustainable floral boutique in Philadelphia. The shop strives to make things a little bit greener both indoors and out, showcasing the power of the flower.
“I really believe strongly in living and working in the same place,” said Chang, explaining her business values. “The sustainability aspect of it kind of just grew from there. It’s already my own personal style.”
Rachel Berkowitz, an employee at Falls Flowers since September, also appreciates the eco-conscious aspects and how this makes the shop unique.
“It’s nice to see people care about both sides,” said Berkowitz, referring to the products and the sustainable way in which they are rendered. “I think the fact that she engages with other local businesses is really important.”
In regards to sustainability, the shop recycles items such as packaging supplies, composts its wastes and has even utilized reclaimed materials from barns to furnish the store. Falls Flower is also a certified B Corporation, meaning it is recognized for its commitment to sustainability, overall welfare of its workers and its impact on the community and environment.
“What I wanted to show people is that you can still be a very sustainable business, but you don’t necessarily have to go to extremes,” said Chang. “We carry as much local and organic and sustainable flower products as we can, but at the same time, I want to give people a taste of all the other beautiful things that are out there that they may not get at any other flower shop.”
Mackenzie Day, owner of Mack Stylist, likes the arrangements she finds at Falls Flowers, using them to decorate her own salon that is located directly across the street.
“Our style is more about texture and she adds a little bit more of a unique look,” explained Day, as she expressed how she has had her eye on an asymmetrical plant in the shop’s front window.
Day also refers her clients to Falls Flowers because she believes in the quality and the personality of Chang’s shop.
“Everybody from the neighborhood has nothing but positive things to say and we love her work,” said Day.
Pat Adams, a resident of East Falls for more than 30 years, explains how most people in the neighborhood know Chang and like going to her shop.
“I think everybody says that it’s their first choice for flowers,” said Adams, who goes to the shop usually around Christmastime to purchase gifts. “She has a very high level of standards for how she does things [and] she makes it a point to have nothing but the best.”
Chang sees the importance of having a personal connection to the community and the value of getting to know those who walk in the door.
“The reason I have a retail store is because I really love the people,” said Chang. “It’s a way to meet your neighbors.”
Falls Flowers participated in PAFA in Bloom, a recent event by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts that showcased the collaboration between floral design and works of art.
As for the future of Falls Flowers, Chang hopes to keep the business blooming, expressing wishes for a potential greenhouse to complement many residents’ love for gardening.
“ I see for us to just continue growing and to continue expanding our efforts in terms of furthering our sustainability efforts [and] trying to enforce more local products in every way that we can,” Chang said. “[Falls Flowers hopes] to give the neighborhood something beautiful they can be proud of.”
– All text and images by Caitlin Cowan and Joanne Caruso