Tell us about your connection to Hyde Park: How long have you lived and worked here and what do you like about the community?
In 1996, my family and I were looking for a home. We found a beautiful old house in Hyde Park, that we renovated and moved in to. We chose Hyde Park for our home because of the neighborhood – friendly people, quiet environment, clean streets, and the look and feel of an old-fashioned family neighborhood. I really love the mix of urban and suburban elements, and the fact that it is so convenient for commuting – you can get anywhere from here! We love Hyde Park!
What in your background prepared you to own your own flower shop?
I absolutely love our flower shop and what I do, but the truth is this was not my initial choice of a profession. I got into floral design as part of a journey in discovering my talents and gifts. I grew up in Puerto Rico around beautiful plants and flowers, my grandmother had beautiful gardens. However, when I got to college I began to study Forensic Science. I soon learned that Forensics was not for me, so I enrolled in Wentworth Institute of Technology and earned two degrees in Architectural Engineering. I have always loved colors, shaping concepts, creating and designing. Architecture is all about that: design concepts, working with the elements of color and shape. It was and is a great foundation for floral design work.
As an internship I worked for the City of Boston’s construction unit on Court Street. Realizing my family needed more of my time I decided to pursue my dream which was also shared by my husband – to design with flowers! It wasn’t long after we began the search for a space which we found right here. Everything clicked: space, permitting, suppliers and all business elements came together easily. We took this as a sign from God! Floral Design was my calling. We are so committed to the call that even though we had a slight hitch with financing where banks denied us a loan because they felt we had no business experience, we were able to overcome it by using our own funds to finance our dream. We cashed in our Money Market account and secured our first location. Pure Joy Flowers (PJf) was born!
I’m so happy that I can live out my creative calling. My passion is flowers and my gifts are to look at things with a creative eye and use my skills to make floral visions come to life! God has given me a gift to use flowers to bring beauty, instill joy and express creativity!
Pure Joy is a floral design shop! We design, create and use flowers to express the sentiment behind each piece. We are an event driven floral design business – specifically wedding floral design. For this reason, we aren’t often physically in the shop (mainly during ‘Wedding Season’), however, we are working and we are always reachable through our email. We do support many local events: proms, new babies, holidays, funerals, anniversaries…you name it! PJf’s concept is to support Hyde Parkers. We are here because of you!
In all of our efforts we are focused on representing Hyde Park and promoting it as a great place to live. This is especially true when we do events in Rhode Island or in towns far away such as the Cape and Bourne. We prioritize helping Hyde Park residents first and even make a special effort to give Hyde Parkers the best prices.
Describe the work you do on the planters in the business district and how you choose the plants and flowers to use.
We are so grateful that we can continue our service in this way! PJf will always remain loyal to our people! When Hyde Park Main Streets (HPMS) approached me about helping out with the planters I eagerly said yes to the request because I saw it as a way of giving back. To stay in budget and most importantly, support our local businesses, we purchased soil and flowers locally.
I wanted planters that were high quality, would withstand the weather patterns and hold water. To purchase the manufacturer’s recommended soil, we reached out to True Value Hardware on River Street. Diane, the manager, was very gracious and gave us a huge discount. After the soil was delivered to my house we rented a truck and my husband and son got the soil into the planters. This took a lot of time and we spread the work out over several weekends.
Continuing with our “Keep it Local” motto, we reached out to Beatrice Ferrara of Ferrara’s Greenhouse in Hyde Park, and she gave us a discount on the plants.
Maintaining the planters is a team effort. The first summer with the planters was hard for me because I have Systemic Lupus and the sun doesn’t agree with me. Therefore, my family supported me through, along with Thien Simpson and Diane Cylik. Diane and Thien still help and are consistent supporters, plus now we have lots of other volunteers who have been helping with the planting and maintenance. We have also adopted out the planters and have strategically placed planters in front of businesses that we knew would take care of them. Many of the business owners with a planter by their business will clean out the planters. Thien Simpson of HPMS and others water the plants at certain intervals, but now we have a contract with a vendor who uses their water tanks to periodically water the plants. I go around and also take care of the plants, as well.
How can the community help care for the planters?
My wish is for residents to understand the value-add of the planters: flowers and plants add to the beautification of the area, adding texture and color to the landscape, which gives people a sense of care and pride in our neighborhood. This in turn encourages others to want to visit the area or live here, which enhances our community, and in the long term, increases the property values. There is so much research that tells us that landscaping and beautification communicates that an area is secure and prosperous, increasing property values 12-20% (The Appraisal Institute and Global Garden Friends). Every act of care for the planters is an investment in your community.
Three practical things you can do:
Quiana first came to Boston as a college student, graduating from Wellesley College in 2002 and returned in 2016 to live in Hyde Park with her husband and two children.