Hops Petunia is a stunning flower shop in Kingston, New York founded in 2014 by Kelli Galloway. Owning her own flower shop had been a life-long dream of Kelli, a former graphic designer and design director, who had spent her high-school and college years working in flower shops. She fell in love with the space in Kingston, with a shop at the front and a rear court yard and mews-like workroom and studio space accessed via a lane way behind imposing barn doors to the side of Hops Petunia. Kelli shares her story, inspirations and insider tips with The Shopkeepers.
Why did you chose the name Hops Petunia? Originally we wanted to open a floral shop that switched over to a bar at night. I loved the idea of happy hour including flowers and cocktails, so the name just came to me, weirdly enough. Although the bar portion never came to fruition, I just loved the name and people seemed to really like saying it so we kept it.
Who designed the shop? I did, the front was inspired by a bar in Japan, it had the most lovely panels of wallpaper and I just knew that was how I wanted my shop to look. The back shop I wanted to feel like a 1960/1970 hotel lobby, I wanted it to feel welcoming and warm, and not like a traditional floral shop.
What are you best known for? Flowers of course! Our style is natural and wild, and of the season so it really fits into the Catskills vibe. So they’re great to pick up on your way upstate for the weekend to enjoy. We also sell a lot of candles and perfumes. Our store is such a experience for the senses, especially smell so its nice to take that home with you.
Where are your products sourced? Mostly the US, we have a few products from Japan and Copenhagen. I’ve really tried to curate items that I love, from places I’ve been or lived. As well as just represent small makers that I think are inspiring.
What makes your shop unique? I think we use this word too much but its cozy, it has a warmth and calming feeling. People always walk in and take a big deep breath, you can tell they’re just taking it all in. As I said before there is a lot of sensory overload in both shops, visual, and through scent, so that experience I think is what makes us unique.
Who are your customers? We have lots of Kingston locals shop with us regularly as well as people coming up on the weekends to their cabins or Airbnbs.
How has the internet impacted your business? I would say it’s been helpful, to have our work represented online or on Instagram, especially for weddings and brides to see our work when their shopping for a florist.
Kelli Galloway, Shopkeeper at Hops Petunia, Kingston NY
Who inspires you? I would say my parents, they definitely inspired me from childhood to work hard and pay attention to details, they are patient and willing to put in the work and that is really valuable.
What inspires you? As apparent as this might be its nature and my surroundings for sure. Mother Earth does it right everytime, I love seeing the colors of the Catskills change through the year, so much inspiration to pull from. As well as the juxtaposition of the city and all its weird and wonderful colors. Color for me is a huge part of why I’m in this business, I thrive on color, exciting, weird, interesting, complicated color, and nature does it best for sure.
Before I was a shopkeeper, I….was an Art Director and graphic designer, before that I worked for Hallmark Cards as a package designer.
The hardest lesson learned starting a business? There are so many hats to wear and details to attend to. You sort of get pulled away from the root of the reason you started it. I design much less now then I did 2-3 years ago.
What task do you like to delegate? Organization of our events. I have the most wonderful gals that work for me, and they have taken that role and made it so much better than I ever could. I love them dearly.
The best lesson you have learned opening a shop? Stick to your gut. I’ve played the how to compromise or change my vision for clients, or how to I become what they want game, and honestly, when I stick to what I believe in, and do the work I’m proud of, it always has the best results and everyone is happy. I’m a people pleaser so I can get a little caught up in that but I’ve learned to be better at guiding my clients and working with them to create something we both love.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Make sure you absolutely love what you do because its a lot of work.
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop? Oh good question. Well, there are two answers. I mean let’s be real, Beyonce for sure. But also Paul Klee, I’d love to see what his mind would do with flowers.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be… In another life, I’d want to be a dancer. Like flowers, I think there is such an incredible complexity to dance and I’m so drawn to it.
Do you have a favorite neighborhood coffee shop or restaurant? I’m having a love affair with Village Coffee in Kingston at the moment, but also I end up at Brunette Bar down the street a lot for their delicious Ramen and wine. I’m fairly spoiled because the coffee at Clove & Creek, right next to me is pretty stellar too.
I wish I could… Live in Japan
On the Future of Retail
“I think that it’s going to be tough for us, that online shopping has become so overbaring, but I also think people are still seeking out small businesses for inspiration and to just experience design/aesthetics, etc. So we’ll have to work harder to keep that interest but with my location being in an area that feels so special anyway, I think that I’m just part of a larger community that’s worth seeking out. So when people were once driven to shop at a mall they’re now looking for fun neighborhoods/towns filled with interesting things to do.”
Photography by Harrison Lubin @heflpop
73B Broadway, Kingston NY