By Carlee Frank

Fresh –it brings to mind watermelon in the summertime and linen hanging in the breeze. However, it doesn’t just describe fruit and laundry –it can also be defined as new or different, which aptly describes Fresh Floral and Gift Company at 27 East Main Street.

Opened by mother and daughter duo Mary James and Casie Sweeney in 1999, Fresh is an always-evolving company. Originally a boutique called Rhapsody’s on Main, within the last 10 years, they have also become a floral designer, balloon artists and wedding and event decorators.

“People always say, ‘You’re always changing,’ but I say you have to change –you have to stay fresh, and keep it a little bit exciting and a little different,” James said.

A year and a half ago, they became “Fresh” and added the taglines Floral and Gifts, and Wedding and Events. James and Sweeney first became balloon artists because, James said, it was something she always wanted to do. In quick succession, they learned the art of drapery and received advanced floral designation at the Floral Design Institute of Portland, OR.

“We had brides coming in looking for the whole package –they wanted us to do their linen, their draping, their lighting and their floral,” Sweeney said. “So, instead of giving that business away, we decided to incorporate.”

Spurred on by popular demand, James and Sweeney learned the industry and have now decorated hundreds of weddings ranging from local to destination, and non-traditional to 7-day Indian weddings with 600 guests. However, weddings are not their only strong suit. They also decorate baby and bridal showers, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, memorials, birthdays and many other events.

In case of a gift-related emergency on the day of your special event, the Fresh Floral and Gift boutique is full of amazing items, which also appear on the online store. Fresh sells denim, shoes, jewelry, candles, baby gifts, insulated glasses and much more. Sweeney said their style is eclectic and trendy, but sometimes reflects their sense of humor.

“We think laughter is the best medicine, so a lot of the stuff we sell is funny. If you don’t know what to give somebody, give them a laugh,” Sweeney said.

Fresh really does have something for everyone –and this is no accident. James mentioned their main focuses are to stay on trend and to serve their customers well. Many customers request products or simply inspire new items in the boutique.

The boutique also features food from Edible Crush Catering by Erin Horton that customers can order and enjoy. On Mother’s Day, they will be partnering with Horton to bring Springville a high tea celebration in the Springville Event Center. There will be lunch, gifts, music and lots of bonding. Fresh Smart Café and local photographer Elizabeth Pellette will also join in on the celebration.

“Hopefully we’ll get some three generation photos, maybe even four –you never know,” Mary said.

The event will feature beautiful props constructed by Mary’s husband, Craig Bond. He also builds the props for the Fresh Wedding and Event business, such as chuppahs, arches and 8-foot hoops with swings for couples to pose for photos.

There is no design, idea or business venture too challenging for James and Sweeney. Whether it be the booming wedding business or their cozy boutique, they are passionate about their work.

“We are meeting new people all of the time, we learn so much and just make so many new friends,” James said.

Stop by Fresh Floral and Gift Company on Main Street or peruse their website to learn more. You can also stay up to date on events with their Facebook page.

Boutique hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., and by appointment for wedding consultation.