If you’re yearning to unleash your creative passions and ignite your imagination, then look no further than historic Centralia. With the addition of three new businesses — Fern Ridge Floral and Design, The Victorian Showcase and Steampunk Emporium, and Book, Bone, and Stone — creativity is brimming from all corners of the downtown in Historic Centralia.
Fern Ridge Floral and Design Bring Blooms to Centralia
Whether you’re looking to hone your floral design skills or perhaps pick up a gift for a loved one, Fern Ridge Floral and Design is the place to be. The new storefront at 604 West Main Street in Centralia offers hand-designed and ready-made floral arrangements and includes a “Bloom Bar” where customers can create their own designs. In addition to flowers, the shop also provides handmade gifts, including soaps, jewelry, and children’s toys, in case you need to pick up a gift or want to pamper yourself.
“You feel like you’ve spoiled yourself with something fancy without spending a lot of money,” says owner Becca Williams.
Stemming from a side business of over 20 years, former educator Williams desired to take her passions to the next level and open a storefront. With a physical space, the creative soul combines her passions for teaching and floral design by hosting classes on different floral arrangements, such as wreath making and centerpieces.
However, this dream hasn’t been all roses for Williams. Along with the typical struggles of owning a new business — balancing long hours, sacrificing personal time, and order complications — the floral industry is also unpredictable. Whether it’s rescheduled weddings, multiple trips into the chilly freezer, or handling slimy flower residue and potential bugs, Williams emphasizes the art of flexibility and pivoting. “Never underestimate the power of Plan B,” she says.
Although the new business owner feels she still has lots of room for growth, she is proud she trusted her intuition and is reaping the benefits. Williams has received nothing but positivity from her community and even sources her flowers and gifts from local vendors. “They have all been super excited for me and super encouraging,” says Williams.
Find Comfort at Centralia’s Victorian Showcase and Steampunk Emporium
While you’re out on the town shopping for loved ones, why not pair those beautiful flowers you’ve just purchased with some delightful, fragrant tea or perhaps a handmade piece of art?
At the Victorian Showcase and Steampunk Emporium, creativity bubbles and pours over the magical space downtown at 529 North Tower Avenue. Starting in the Victorian-inspired tearoom, guests can browse the vast and intricate selection of teacups and loose-leaf teas, immersing their imaginations and finding comfort in a time gone by.
“It’s about the imagination,” says owner Christy Lakin. “It’s about encouraging and enjoying it.”
As you step into the Steampunk Emporium, prepare for a creative, magical, and sensory-filled experience. Filled with vivid fantasy art, handmade costumes, sensory toys, and endless opportunities for hobby enthusiasts, the space serves as a hub for local artists to sell their work and network and build community.
The shop is home to local Dungeons and Dragons meetings and plans to host costuming workshops for cosplayers as Comic-Con approaches. Like the imagination, the possibilities for connection are endless.
“It’s a voice. It’s a voice for those who never thought their stuff was valuable, “says Lakin. “It’s a comfort. When people come here, they feel comfortable. So much of our lives can be chaotic, messy, and in transition. But if you come into a place with some of the old, some of the new, pretty things, and soft colors — it starts feeling very comfortable. That’s what I wanted.”
Book, Bone and Stone Offers Magic and More to Historic Centralia
If you’re teeming with curiosity and yearning to feed your mind, or simply looking to visit an entirely new world, then explore the shelves of Book, Bone, and Stone to find your next adventure.
Owner Danielle Cook cannot emphasize the power of possibility that books hold, especially in small communities. “I feel like I am filling a need for some affordable escape,” says Cook.
Cook has lived in the area since 2006 and, prior to that, spent her childhood in the small town of Boring, Oregon. According to Cook, the town name summed up her restless feelings well, and she spent most of her time immersed in books. Once the storefront in the Stahl building at 123 North Tower Avenue came up for sale, she fulfilled her long-time dream of owning a bookstore.
“My main passion is providing the community with affordable books,” says Cook. The selection of books at Book, Bone, and Stone is vast, with every topic from spirituality to mysteries, and is the only used bookstore in the Twin Cities with a children’s section.
In addition to books, Cook also sells a well-curated collection of vibrant stones and authentically sources animal bones. “Re-articulating bones is like a puzzle to me. Some people do puzzles, and some do LEGOS, but I put animal bones back together,” she says.
Hailing from Native American origins and growing up in a hunting and fishing family, Cook believes in using all parts of the animal. All bones in the shop are purchased from local collections, hikers, or taxidermists. The bones are then repurposed and given a new life.
After going to school for metaphysics, Cook wanted to provide a stone collection to offer the healing powers of stones to her customers. From vibrant display pieces to raw, fresh out-of-the-Earth stones, her stunning collection is not to be missed.
Having recently opened her storefront, the new business owner is overwhelmed by the incredible support from her community and the Downtown Association. Comparing the town to a “Hallmark town,” she is constantly blown away by the friendliness she encounters daily.
“To surround myself with other people who feel it is important as well is pure joy,” says Cook. “We must all have something in our lives that makes us happy. Being here makes me happy. Being part of the downtown community makes me happy.”
With a plethora of options for gifting and creating, you simply cannot overlook the artistic forces in Downtown Centralia for your next shopping adventure.