CHAMBERSBURG – “Right now, I am putting the finishing touches on our parade float for the Christmas parade tonight,” says Kelly Perry, owner of Cheerful Flowers and Gifts (85 N. Main St.).
The float is being constructed in the back room of Perry’s newly launched seasonal venture Cheerful Home and Holiday (81 N. Main St.), which is conveniently located next door to Cheerful Flowers and Gifts.
“Peace and goodwill is the theme of our float,” she says adjusting a sprig of baby’s breath to look more like snow.
She corrects herself: “Peace, goodwill and flowers.”
It is late afternoon on Saturday, November 19, and Perry is in the middle of an already very busy day. A few hours earlier, a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for Cheerful Home and Holiday. A few hours later, the float that she is constructing will make its debut in Chambersburg’s 52nd annual Christmas Parade.
Meanwhile, Home and Holiday’s sales floor is bustling with customers eager to immerse themselves in the sights, scents and flavors of the holiday season.
But Home and Holiday is more than just a seasonal pop-up. When the Christmas season eventually gives way to, say, wedding season, the store will still be here with a different theme.
And it will continue building on the success of her original vision.
Cheerful Flowers and Gifts – “the red shop on the corner” – opened around the time of IceFest 2021. For Valentine’s Day, she had filled the space with flowers for their custom and pre-made arrangements, and then, over the course of the next year, she ramped up her selection of gift items to include candles, cups, wall hangings, books and diffusers (to name just a few). The shop quickly became the place on Main Street for husbands to pick out something special for their wives or for friends to find something meaningful for each other.
However, the shop also became very full. Perry soon discovered that she no longer had the space she needed to set up dedicated displays for specific holidays. After all, in a room that is already filled with gifts, it’s hard to give proper attention specifically to the Christmas gifts; in a room full of flowers, it’s hard to showcase the Mother’s Day flowers.
Cheerful Home and Holiday gives those perennial gift-giving occasions an entire retail space of their own. As an added bonus, the expansion gives Perry enough space to hold events and group activities.
“It is going to be a place where the overflow happens and where we will be able to host some really special things,” says Perry.
For example, someone might want to do their own wedding flowers, but ordering them online can be risky. There is also a hard deadline and lots and lots of mess.
“It’s a lot to be able to do your own flowers,” she says.
She adds: “This is a space that is very well-suited to host those types of occasions for our community. We can have all of the flowers here. We can have them set up and ready to go, and you can bring all of your family and friends and have a super-fun time – and leave the mess here.”
For Perry, successful gifting is all about the meaning that is attached to that gift. Accordingly, she gives a lot of attention to the smaller, hyper-specific occasions that she calls “B” moments.
Christmas and anniversaries are considered “A” moments because everyone expects to either give or receive gifts at these times. “B” moments, on the other hand, can be any event or milestone that has meaning for a specific recipient. The list of examples is infinite, but includes things like getting a new job, buying a house, making progress on a creative project, etc.
“To show up with a gift in those moments is a really big deal,” says Perry.
The same can be said for the hard times, too. It might be common etiquette to send flowers when people are sick, but Perry suggests sending gifts to their caretakers as well.
“It’s a very intense process, and so showing up for our friends and family in moments like those with a gift, I think is really, really impactful,” she says.
When customers enter either Cheerful Flowers and Gifts or Cheerful Home and Holiday in need of a gift, Perry starts by asking questions about the recipient and the upcoming occasion. She uses this information to “help the person find the right words or connection between what it is that they’re feeling and the gift that they’re giving.”
In both Flowers and Gifts and Home and Holiday, the thought and the gift are equally important if they are both present in equal measure. A gift presented with the right words and the right meaning can never fail, and a gift without thought can never succeed.
Fortunately, Kelly Perry is here to help facilitate that connection.
“People always say, ‘It’s the thought that counts,’ and they kind of use that as a write-off to be like, ‘Well, I thought of you, so here is some object or whatever,’” she says. “Until you really connect the object to the feeling, it’s just an object.”