The Winters Collective is a bouquet of small businesses that adds to the town’s charm. The Local Floret, an original founding vendor, has a home-grown genesis and is looking to sprout more of an online presence.
Amanda Vice is a Winters native who followed her career path to the Bay Area where she spent years in the fashion industry. When she had kids, however, Vice decided she wanted her children to experience growing up in a small town as well. That’s when she packed up the family and moved back home.
“When I moved back, I left the world of fashion behind and didn’t have much on the horizon. But, I knew I wanted to do something that I loved: being creative and working with the community,” Vice said explaining how The Local Floret came to be. “I wanted to showcase all this region has to offer, and I’m also an outdoor garden enthusiast. So, I started thinking about what Winters can use that combines all of these things.”
In June of 2019, Vice opened up shop in the Winters Collective. The antithesis of massive corporations that outsource everything possible, Vice prides herself in local collaborations. From local farmers providing beautiful flowers for her floral creations to the artists that make unique, Winters-esque items, The Local Floret is as locally-sourced as a business can get.
“I knew there were some great growers in the region showcasing their products everywhere like in farmers markets. I wanted to have that feeling but in a boutique setting, so I reached out to local farmers and they were interested,” said Vice. “I was thinking of other gift type items that would bring joy to people’s lives. So I partnered with other makers and artists in this, like my friend who’s a ceramic artist in Maui. She used to live in the area, and I wanted to showcase her skill with unique items in the shop.”
Like with any business venture, challenges pop up like weeds. For Vice, however, the challenges were more like opportunities to learn and grow the business.
“We initially had a fresh flower bar. It was an amazing offering but hard because there was so much loss involved and we didn’t have a refrigeration area to keep them fresh. That’s when we shifted to pre-made bouquets people can grab and go,” Vice went on to talk about the common pandemic challenge. “We’re a small business that had to survive COVID. That’s why recently I made the decision to downsize my area and go to a smaller space in the Collective and focus on building my website. It lessens the overhead and frees up time for me to do custom orders for people. It also frees time to do workshops and classes for people.”
Unchained from time restraints, Vice is ready to bolster her business and creativity at thelocalfloret.com. Stay up-to-date on Instagram by searching @thelocalfloret. She gives thanks to the Winters Collective and her initial business partner Shary Duncan for her business’ success. With the continued support of Vice’s hometown, The Local Floret will continue to thrive.