Friends open Bristol flower shop

BRISTOL — Since high school graduation, Starksboro’s Dani Bluteau has dreamed of opening her own flower shop. The idea sparked when she organized flowers for a friend’s wedding.
“I thought, ‘If I could do this for a living … this would be awesome,’” said Bluteau. “Everybody loves (flowers). They make people’s day and there’s a need for them for every occasion.”
Years later, the opportunity finally presented itself. Teaming up with Bristol’s Erin Heffernan, the duo on Sept. 24 opened Scentsations, a craft and flower shop at 10 Main St.  in Bristol.
For both of the owners, the opening of Scentsations is a dream come true.
“I’ve always wanted to own a business … something that I could see flourish,” said Heffernan. “And we work together really well, so it seemed like a good fit.”
Heffernan is an experienced quilter and makes a wide range of other crafts. Bluteau brings her silk and natural flower experience to the table. And the shop will also sell a wide range of crafts from local artists.
“We don’t want to just be a flower shop,” said Heffernan. “We want to fill a different need and reach out to the hearts of people … We really want this to be something that blossoms.”
Initially, the pair met at church and then grew closer while working together at Kimball Office Services in Bristol. When 10 Main St. building owners Greg and Nancy Orvis began looking for a flower shop to fill the space previously occupied by Cheers, a friend tipped Bluteau off.
“A friend forwarded (the ad) to me and said, ‘This totally sounds like you, you should check it out.’ I was employed at the time, but thought, ‘OK, it doesn’t hurt to shoot an e-mail.’ And it just happened really quickly,” said Bluteau.
In August, the two decided to go for it. They gutted the space, put new walls up, rearranged the rooms and repainted everything.
“We wanted space,” said Heffernan, motioning to the shop’s light-filled, open aesthetic.
Not only did Bluteau and Heffernan revamp the entire space, but they did so without taking out any loans.
“It’s an awesome feeling to open a business and be in minimum debt,” said Bluteau. “It takes a little bit of the pressure off.”
The store is open Monday through Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.; closing is 5 p.m. on Monday-Friday, and noon on Saturday.
Aside from crafts and flowers, the two owners said that they’ll also specialize in something else: customer service. They want to really know their customers, they said, and be able to anticipate customers’ needs.
“It’s definitely our desire to build relationships and build customer service on relationships,” said Heffernan.
“I think customer service is a huge thing,” said Bluteau. “You have to be intent on meeting customer’s needs and anticipating what people are going to be looking for and being open to feedback. We want to provide the best possible customer service we can.”
Reporter Andrew Stein is at [email protected].

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