EASTON — Shawna Pashalopoulos ran barefoot in beautiful meadows, laid down in lush grass and picked wild dahlias as a young girl.
Her love for nature blossomed into something more — The Wild Dahlia, a high-end floral arrangement and unique gift shop.
The shop, located at 56 Main St., is housed in one of the oldest homes in Easton.
The charming 200-year-old house is now a retail flower shop for self-taught flower artists which started as a simple hobby 15 years ago and grew into a thriving business.
So far, Pashalopoulos’s work has graced the covers of Vogue, Martha Stewart’s “Weddings” magazine, Style Me Pretty, The Knot and Mongolia Rouge.
Pashalopoulos grew up going to Saquish, a beach community in Plymouth her family has lived in for generations.
As a kid, she ran on the beach with toes deep in the light sand, watching the tall beach grass sway in the wind and picking wildflowers that grew on the edge of the boardwalk.
The connection between nature and floral artistry started at a young age for Pashalopoulos, and she loved to immerse herself in the outdoors.
The beauty of nature was her first muse, from the rich colors of flowers growing freely in fields to the perfect vines growing with no end.
Pashalopoulos, who is from Bridgewater, knew exploring the wild and creating her art from the objects nature grows always has been her niche.
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It all started 15 years ago when all her friends began getting married. Pashalopoulos loved the creative freedom her friends gave her to design floral arrangements. At the time, Pashalopoulos was working a full-time job after graduating from Bridgewater State University in 2006.
The floral arrangement business was a side business that expanded through word of mouth and advertising on craigslist as a more affordable option for clients.
“I put myself out there and learned how to make arrangements on my own before YouTube, and the DIYs on the internet were a thing,” Pashalopoulos said.
One day, Pashalopoulos decided to go full throttle and quit her full-time job to pursue her passion entirely and hasn’t looked back since.
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It was a scary experience for Pashalopoulos for the simple fact that starting a business could lead to a failed business, but she didn’t let that risk cloud her goals.
“It’s finally paying off. When you think of floral artistry, you never think of making a living out of it, but it’s something tangible. I can show my kids that your mom was cool at one point,” Pashalopoulos said.
To Pashalopoulos, opening up a retail store is a way to become more selective with weddings and do fewer.
Instead, Pashalopoulos wants to focus on her retail store and spend more time with her family.
Working in this business, you sacrifice a lot of your time with your family on weekends, and sometimes you miss important events, Pashalopoulos said.
The retail store gives clients a way to book with no minimum and walk in and leave with whatever their heart desires when it comes to floral arrangements.
The Wild Dahlia gets its unique name from the unruly flower that’s difficult to work with, Pashalopoulos said.
The stems are dense and strong, while the head is fragile, delicate and may fall off with a simple touch.
“Dahlia’s season is short-lived, and it’s a rather unruly bloom. I was never one to fit in. Even the out-of-the-box creative types saw me as a bit unruly, a wild one, I suppose,” Pashalopoulos said.
The end goal for the floral artist is to create a place that is connected to the community with beautiful landscapes and good energy. In addition, Pashalopoulos hopes to bring music, food trucks and laughter to Easton, all while making beautiful floral arrangements.
Enterprise staff reporter Alisha Saint-Ciel can be reached by email at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter at @alishaspeakss and Instagram at Alishaatv. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.
This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: Easton Wild Dahlia: Florist Shawna Pashalopoulos has worked for Vogue