November 2017

Branches: A Boutique Floral Design Company

Author: Kitty Bartell

Greenhouses and garden dirt seems like a bit of a distance from the elegant tablescapes and arrangements emerging from the work space at Branches in Village at Wexford. However, for sisters Sarah Perry and Lauren McAvoy, owners and caretakers of the creative floral design boutique started by their mother and aunt in 1994, the distance from a happy childhood growing-up around farms and flowers in Tennessee to their lovely Hilton Head Island shop makes perfect sense.
Specializing in nearly-natural, artificial floral designs, the sisters are keeping their customers happy, combining the shop’s long-standing mission with a collective eye for sourcing charming gifts and goodies. “We’re not changing Mom’s vision,” McAvoy said. “My mom and aunt had a very strong vision that was their niche. And of course, there are invariably fresh cookies waiting under the garden cloche on the counter. “Our mother is known for her homemade baked cookies. If Mom’s passion isn’t florals, it’s baking.”

At Branches, shoppers find carefully-selected floral and plant materials, and whether using the customer’s vessel, or something new, Perry and McAvoy create arrangements to dress up any décor or occasion. “Our objective is not to make the best artificial arrangement,” Perry said. “The objective is to make the best artificial arrangement that looks fresh.”

In addition to their delightful, uncommon section of gifts, Branches is offering a calendar of workshops in their Flower Bar, teaching arrangement, bouquet, and halo-making classes, utilizing both fresh and artificial flowers. And coming into the holidays, Branches Little Black Dress arrangement class has become as go-to as the LBD hanging in your closet. “If you invest in a beautiful bowl and, for example, have some magnolia leaves and greens that are full and lush, then that’s your base arrangement,” McAvoy said. With seasonal additions, the arrangement is the LBD of the floral world and will transform to suit any occasion or holiday.

Honoring the vision, and upholding a greatly anticipated holiday tradition, the Branches team is excited to be working on their annual holiday open house—this year, with a twist. “We’re partnering with Antiques & Garden Collectibles at The Greenery for a progressive open house,” McAvoy said. “There’s something nostalgic about our open house, and we love this idea because it’s collaborating with another family business on the island.” Customers who visit both open houses will be entered to win gifts valued at over $500, including a permanent botanical holiday wreath by Branches and a European planter from The Antique Shop. There will sweets and treats, and light bites, including a chili bar, catered by Branches matriarch. “Mom is our caterer. We would never do an open house without her.”

It’s going to be such a happy holiday season at Branches.

Open House & Open Doors will be November 10, 11, and 12, from noon to 4 p.m. Branches is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway, E6, Village at Wexford, Hilton Head Island. For more information, please call (843) 785-2535 or visit branchesdesigns.com.

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