The Lovelier Things in Life.
Janeil Mackay has always had an appreciation for pretty things. Wanting to share her passion for the lovelier things in life with her community, she recently opened a full service florist and gift store in Steveston.
Janeil’s diverse career has centred on retail and she has held some impressive positions in retail management with Helly Hansen and Nygard. Most recently she spent eight years as the Canucks Sports & Entertainment retail director.
She laughs when she mentions, “I wanted to move away from jerseys and hoodies and was inspired to open Pretty Things.”
Pretty Things opened in 2015 at Oakridge Centre. When the shop’s short-term lease ended she chose to move the business to Steveston, where she lives with her husband and two children.
She discovered the gorgeous new retail space waiting to be leased on the corner of Bayview Street and Third Avenue (situated across from scenic Steveston Harbour) and knew it was the perfect home for Pretty Things. Bleached white flooring, large windows facing east, west and south flood the store with light, a 12 foot high ceiling that creates an airy feeling, three oversized white pendant lights (that resemble allium flowers) and a white brick wall all add to the charm.
An additional perk is the shop’s south facing patio. During the warmer months customers can sit in the sun and appreciate the waterfront backdrop while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea from the shop’s full service coffee bar.
“Retail is becoming all about the experience.” Janeil Mackay
Chai tea, lavender latte and red tea latte are some of the signature drinks on the menu. Customers enjoy this unique service, which enables them to either shop with a drink in hand, or simply sit down in the pretty atmosphere and relax with a coffee (there is also indoor seating). Janeil has noticed that a Sunday coffee crowd is developing.
A consultation room is set up at the back of shop to meet with brides and grooms to plan wedding flowers. In the short time the new location has been open (October 2016) she has already seen an increase in wedding consultations. In addition to wedding flowers, Pretty Things also offers floral installation services to an impressive list of corporate clients, realtors and developers who use the shop’s floral service to stage homes and send to clients as thank you gifts.
“It’s a beautiful space and the plants are thriving in the natural light.” Janeil Mackay
Pretty Things is known for its quality pre-made bouquets and arrangements. Customers also have the option of creating a custom bouquet by selecting flowers directly from the large cooler at the back of the shop.
Plants ranging from small succulents (perfect for offices or kitchen counters and bathrooms) to mid-sized houseplants and gorgeous orchids all have a home at Pretty Things. Janeil says indoor plants are seeing a surge in popularity not only for their aesthetics but also because they act as natural air purifiers.
Would you or someone you know love to receive fresh flowers on a regular basis? Pretty Things’ Flower Club may be just what you are looking for. Every week you can arrange for a bouquet of seasonal flowers to be delivered – you can also create your own schedule and budget. Send flowers to a sick friend or to a relative in a care home. Husbands and boyfriends, this is a wonderful way to woo your partner with floral displays of love.
Janeil says, “Customers love it. We help make their life simpler. We take care of all the details and they don’t have to think about it.”
If you are looking to hone your flower arranging skills, Pretty Things offers workshops throughout the year. Next up is a holiday wreath-making workshop on December 5. With the guidance of a florist participants will learn how to design a holiday floral wreath or door swag, which you will get to take home. To add to the merriment, hot toddies will be served.
Look no further than Pretty Things this holiday season for table arrangements, bouquets and Christmas centerpieces. Some of the seasonal flowers making an appearance include winter peonies, garden roses, holly, and seasonal elements such as frosted tips, which make an arrangement cry out “Happy Holidays!”
Janeil believes flowers and gifts are a natural pairing. Year round gifts and décor can be found at Pretty Things, however, with Christmas on the horizon, ideas for presents and stocking stuffers are at the top of everyone’s list.
Some of the designer brands carried include Kate Spade frames, notebooks, candles, Panier de Sens soaps, hand cream, body lotion and body wash, Linnea Lights candles and diffusers and Ted Baker travel bags and notebooks.
Other great gift items include The Cottage Greenhouse body soap, creams and sprays (this line made Oprah’s favourite things list for 2016), and for the bride to be, Wedgewood bridal books and notepads. Don’t forget yourself on the shopping list – buy a travel mug and Pretty Things will fill it with a free coffee.
As a new member of Steveston’s merchant community Janeil recently became a Steveston Merchants Association board member. She has enjoyed assisting with Christmas in Steveston Village and has taken an active role in seeking sponsors. She believes in investing in Steveston and says, “If other merchants are successful, my business will also be successful. It’s important merchants work together.”
After operating a shop in the mall and abiding by strict hours of operation, Janeil is happy to have the freedom to pick her own hours (the store is open 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. excluding Mondays when it is closed). She says her customers are supportive and lovely and she is thrilled to be operating a business in a small community where people introduce themselves and become loyal clients.
This holiday season make a point of adding Pretty Things to your list of local businesses to visit and discover for yourself how this pretty shop earned its name.
Pretty Things Florist & Designer Gifts
110-3531 Bayview Street
Richmond, BC V7E 5W3