Crimson and Clover

Welcome back! As part of my monthly neighborhood series, I will be featuring a local business from the area to give you an inside look at who they are and their services offered.

This month, I was lucky to be able to spend some time in the Crimson & Clover shop and studio to get an inside look at what goes into creating those stunning floral arrangements they are known for.

Amy McManus, Founder & Owner

When you step inside of the shop, you quickly realize this is not just a flower shop. There are carefully curated items like beautiful jewelry, handcrafted small-batch soaps, hand & body washes, and quirky cards amongst other gift items. It’s the perfect one-stop shop if you need a gift for a friend, a hostess gift, or a gorgeous floral arrangement.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to create a beautiful arrangement, Crimson & Clover offers virtual classes. The class includes all of the supplies you need to create a whimsical, themed arrangement from the comfort of your own home. Classes can be purchased on their website.

Found and Owner, Amy McManus was generous to share some insight into her business, how they’ve had to adjust during COVID times, and even shared some of the florals she’s been crushing on the most this time of year.

Tell us a little about your vision for Crimson & Clover  

My vision for C&C is to employ and empower a talented team with a company culture that promotes creativity and growth. Our collective love for flowers, desire to create memorable moments, and commitment to establishing meaningful connections with our customers are what will help us to remain one of Baltimore’s most coveted florists. 

What first sparked your interest in the floral industry and how did you get your start? 

Having an artistic background, working with flowers always seemed like a dream job since the age of 16. After exploring different career paths in the arts, interior design, and teaching, I found myself employed at a neighborhood flower shop in Baltimore. I loved everything about it, soaked it all up like a sponge and less than 3 years later Crimson & Clover was born. 

I love your location and think it is the perfect spot for a florist. What made you choose Roland Park as the home of Crimson & Clover? 

Crimson & Clover’s first 7 years were spent on Boston St. down in Canton. It was a funky little neighborhood shop, but as we outgrew the space and matured as a business, I began to look at neighborhoods and communities that matched our culture. 

What are some floral trends you are seeing for this year? 

We are LOVING the re-vamped look of the dried and preserved flower trend. Not only are they beautiful on their own, but we are obsessed with adding touches of dried flowers to fresh arrangements. 

I know you have a lot of wedding business, what is your process when working with brides? Do you like them to come in with a specific vision or do you prefer they give a few details and let you run with your creativity? 

Couples come to us at all different levels of the process. We find that we do our best work when we are given creative freedom. It is great to work with a couple who has a few specific ideas/vision but we are given enough freedom that we get to wow them when it comes to their day. 

With events coming to a halt last year, how was your business able to adapt during such a difficult time? Are you now seeing your events business picking up? 

We drastically downsized our staff last year and while most of the events from 2020 have been postponed to this year, we still have not seen it pick back up into full swing. We are preparing to slowly get back into more weddings and events, but do not anticipate it to be as busy as previous years until late summer or possibly fall. 

When visiting Crimson & Clover we see that you are more than just flowers and plants, you also sell small gifts like jewelry, soaps, cards. Do you have any plans on expanding to more? 

Since Covid, we have been lucky to see a lot more non-floral sales. While we are still aware of the financial burden that this past year has brought, we are cautiously bringing in new items. We’re always looking for new fun items to bring in!

What is something you’ve learned in your years of business that you wish you had known when you were starting out? 

When I first started out, nothing was online and I had to figure things out with a lot of trial and error. I wish I could have had an easier way to connect with other Baltimore business owners. Now it is so simple to network and I have a deeper connection with the business community. 

What is a piece of advice you would give an aspiring entrepreneur? 

I would say that it is really important to figure out what makes you different. Don’t get lost in what everyone else is doing, stay focused on what makes you different and stand out.  

My favorite flowers are the Juliet Rose and white Hydrangea, what is yours? 

It is way too hard to pick just one favorite, I fall in love with different flowers weekly. There are always new varieties coming out or even blooms that I only get to see once a year. Currently, I have a little love affair with boronia, poppies, and the double frilled tulips from our local farms. 

Christina Giffin