Flowers and Vintage is one of the loveliest shops in Ottawa. As the name suggests, it combines two of my favourite things: men’s and women’s vintage apparel and floral arrangements. The store opened last September at 502 Somerset at Lyon with a tasteful and wonderfully curated collection of items for sale.
Flowers and Vintage is the result of a collaboration between Vanessa Madely of Sparrow Floral Design and Jaime McLeod of Housewife Vintage. Jaime sold her previous store – Aunt Olive’s on Gilmour – a couple of years ago and was happy selling her finds on Etsy and at Raw Sugar Café, but soon “got the itch again.” Vanessa, who was working out of her house, had been talking about opening up a floral shop. They agreed that flowers and vintage clothing would really go well together.
“We were kind of talking about it, and then found this space and thought it was cute. There’s nothing really like it in Centretown… we just thought it would be a good addition to the neighbourhood,” said Jaime. “This is a unique shopping experience for people in Ottawa with its cozy atmosphere,” added Vanessa.
Jaime was obsessed with vintage clothing way before she opened the store: “I like the nostalgia. I’m also really into recycling. I like the idea that I’m saving something from a landfill or from complete desertion.”
Her sources for the men’s and women’s clothing are diverse. She goes to thrift stores around town and visits good places in New York and Los Angeles when she’s there. She also sources clothing from estate agents, small towns in Ontario and antiquing. Jaime has a great eye for beautiful pieces and you can come see part of her collection at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing show this Sunday.
The flowers from Vanessa’s beautiful floral arrangements come from many different suppliers, including from Roots and Shoots certified organic farm in Manotick. Prior to owning her own business, she trained and worked at Bloomfield’s for several years where she realized that floral arrangement was her calling.
The store has been getting positive feedback from customers. “They have come in and are happy for a new place to go. They say, this is awesome, thank you for doing it in my neighbourhood,” said Jaime. Vanessa added, “Ottawa has a pretty good support system… I like how loyal people are in this city.”