My husband and I were up super early after a dawn trip to the airport. We decided to stop in Nelson for a walk down the main street before the shops opened. We saw a flower sign peaking around the corner at the end of the main drag, and climbed up to a very cool alley. Amidst the restaurants and other shops was a little flower shop: Bellaflora Floral Design Studio.
Even from the exterior, Bellaflora Nelson looked amazing. It wasn’t open yet, but I noticed the exterior container arrangement (mostly because it contained adorable cherry tomatoes).
We kept walking while we waited for Bellaflora to open, stopping to enjoy a delicious Nelson-approved local kombucha at John Ward Fine Coffee. The vibe in Nelson is relaxed small-town cool. Bellaflora totally fits into the scene, adding a sophisticated note to the modern hippie vibe.
I could hardly wait for Bellaflora to open. Bless my husband for taking me there as soon as they opened. A few steps down into the fresh space, and we were surrounded with terrariums, air plants, cacti, tropicals, and gorgeous local flowers. The high ceilings make the store seem airy and open. You really don’t feel like you’re in an alley…you feel like you’re in a modern secret garden.
One of the first things I noticed were the gorgeous air plants. I had been looking for a nice Tillandsia Xerographica for months, possibly years. Tillandsia Xerographica are the big, soft-looking air plants where the large flat leaves almost curl at the end (see pic below). I’ve seen them in modern homes and in high-end bridal bouquets, but not often for sale in our neck of the woods.
They are SO gorgeous. Anyways, Bellaflora Nelson had them, and they were beautiful. They weren’t at all damaged, like some of the ones I’ve seen at other stores. These ones were lovely. Perfect and lovely. I am so pleased with my purchase.
The ladies in the shop were incredibly kind. They inquired about our trip, talked about the area and about our hometown, and gave me great instructions for care of the plants I bought. I honestly left the shop wishing I had a job like that, where I got to hang out and talk plants all day. Obviously the grass is always greener (and all the other plants, lol), but it did seem pretty awesome. I like being an engineer, but I do wish I had a place to hang out and talk plants with nice people on a regular basis.
In addition to plants, Bellaflora Nelson carries select home accessories. You can really tell that the owner of the shop, Kyla Jean Jakovickas, has a sharp eye that extends past flowers and into interior design.
The shop itself is beautiful. The clean white walls allow customers to focus on the plants and arrangements, while larger home accessory pieces add interest. One of the most beautiful displays in the shop was a table showcasing products from Vancouver candle producer Woodlot. A stark arrangement of white sticks above the display added vertical interest, tying it in with the shelving on the back wall.
Maybe my favourite area of the shop wasn’t actually a plant display, but was a utility bench. There was a beautiful black wall with a great piece of chalkboard art. Checking out Kyla’s Instagram, it was neat to see how the black wall complements the floral photos she posts.
Finding wonderful independent shops is one of my favourite parts of traveling. The small towns in Western Canada have a surprising number and variety of small local shops to discover on road trips.
What are your favourite shop discoveries on your road trips? What makes a great shop? Share your stories in the comments below!