SCUGOG: At her store in Port Perry, The Dutch Girl Floral Co. owner Nikki Van Vugt has blended a big city atmosphere with a local feel.

Ms. Van Vugt describes the store as a “boutique flower and plant shop”, featuring “lots of interesting indoor plants [and] fresh flowers.” She added she also specializes in “doing florals for weddings and events.”

The Dutch Girl Floral Co. opened in April at 261 Queen Street. Ms. Van Vugt said it was just perfect timing for her to open this store in Port Perry.

“I was managing a shop in Peterborough, which is my hometown, and my boyfriend is a farmer in the area, so that’s what brought me up this way. We were walking down the street one day and saw this space up for rent, and it just looked perfect and we just jumped on it, the vibe just felt right and the timing was right,” she explained.

Ms. Van Vugt spoke about how she first got interested in doing work for weddings.

“Graphic design was my career path, then I was working for a magazine in Toronto, Wedding Bells, and just being on set for photo shoots and seeing all the weddings come in for [a] print made me fall in love with flowers, and I decided I didn’t want to be sitting at a computer anymore. I wanted to be out working with my hands, and flowers was the creative outlet that was going to take me there. So, I took a course at Seneca College, and things sort of fell into place from there,” she said.

The new business owner explained a bit about her inventory.

“I try to focus a lot on locally sourced items, especially for my gift selection. The candles are from a small company in Oshawa, honey is local, my soaps are from Peterborough,” she explained. “As far as my plants go, I try to keep a wide selection, especially very low maintenance things, because that seems to be a popular request from new plant owners.”

Ms. Van Vugt said she has talked to artists about having their works on the walls of her business, and is looking to host workshops in the coming weeks, which she said has been “widely requested from the public.”

She also said the local community has been very supportive since she opened the store.

“[It’s been] very positive from the public, as well as other business owners in the area. I’ve made a lot of connections and have gotten a lot of great feedback. They’ve been very welcoming,” she said.

For more information on The Dutch Girl Floral Co., go online to www.thedutchgirlfloralco.ca.