Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From Bud to Blossom: McConnelsville flower shop owner Ginny Bond focuses on community

by Megan Krause

Hidden in a store among Raggedy Ann dolls, angels and American flags is a sign that reads, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps.” Ginny Bond, owner of Ginny’s Flower Shoppe in McConnelsville, received it as a gift, but it is a clear reflection of her personal philosophy. This flower and gift shop runs on relationships and creativity, but it’s a sense of humor that keeps it going.

Ginny started working at Reed’s Flower Shoppe in 1960 after graduating from high school with no plans of one day owning the business. In 1983, the owner retired and sold the shop to Ginny and a friend. At this point, Ginny had already built a strong relationship with the store through working there. “I just loved the business,” she says. “I loved it completely. I still do.”

Two years later, the partnership ended and Ginny became the sole owner. She took the opportunity to expand the company, but made sure to keep the same friendly service that Reed’s provided. In a small town, good service defines a business, Ginny says.

A variety of gifts can be found at Ginny’s Flower Shoppe, but one of their specialties is Raggedy Ann Dolls. This year marks the dolls 95th anniversary, and Ginny has been making her own Raggedy Anne-style dolls for 46 years. Her hobby began at a rummage sale where she found a doll dress and a woman in town suggested she make a doll to fit it.

Since 1964, Ginny has made dolls for her daughter and many others. Many of the dolls stay with the families for generations, Ginny says.

Between her creations and dolls that friends have given Ginny over the years, her collection has grown to over 400 dolls. Some are for sale at the store, but the core group of dolls is on display in Ginny’s office.

The eclectic nature of the store reflects on Ginny herself. She does everything from taking orders to making deliveries. Her daughter, Holly Bryan, buys for the store. “I’m not a real woman,” Ginny says. “I don’t like to shop.”

When Ginny is not at the shop, she spends time organizing a yearly tribute to war veterans at the county fair, and she plans a 300 to 400-child Easter egg hunt. She also enjoys photography.

Ginny serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and has been a member for nearly 30 years. She also helped to create the Downtown Business Association.

Over the years, the shop has become more than a store. Ginny sells tickets to local events, and considers her store a gathering place for the community. “We’re kind of like the local bar,” Ginny says. “Everyone stops, gossips and moves on.”

No comments: