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Scorched, but not soured, florist has budding business

Chappell

BLUE RIVER – One can almost smell the roses pushing up through the charred remains of the McKenzie forest, thanks to Megan Chappell. 

The 34-year-old lifelong Springfield resident and entrepreneur is readjusting and rebounding from the devastating wildfires that consumed over 170,000 acres last fall, including the location where she planned to open a floral shop. 

Last year, Chappell’s plans for opening her first storefront location on the McKenzie River were seriously derailed, and not by anything pandemic-related. 

After connecting with Janicé and Art Myers, Chappell said she planned to become the house florist for wedding celebrations on the Myers’ Iron Forest Cabin and Den property.  

Chappell had set out to refurbish a 1914 homestead on the land. However, along with the Iron Forest Airbnb cabin and wedding venue, it is no longer there.  

EMMA ROUTLEY/ THE CHRONICLE

The wildfires in Blue River hasn’t stopped owner Megan Chappell from pursuing her new store.

The new plan is to build a little 320-square-foot flower shop from the ground up.

“I’m hoping this will fill up the town more and bring people back,” Chappell said. “It’s a really dark time, I just want to make it happy and bring light to it again.”

Chappell attended a two-year floral design program at Lane Community College almost 15 years ago, and has been operating Pretty Petals Floral Design out of her garage in Springfield ever since. A one-woman show, she picks her flowers from two local farms, designs and creates the bouquet, and delivers the finished arrangement herself.

EMMA ROUTLEY/ THE CHRONICLE

Mounds of hope: Pretty Petals began laying down gravel to establish an entrance from the road to the storefront in Blue River. Off camera, owner Megan Chappell was getting her hands dirty, helping the development where she could.

Pretty Petals went from gathering customers by word-of-mouth to thriving with business during the pandemic, Chappell said. To make her point, she cites a busy schedule: six weddings booked this year, and also maintaining business through other special events like birthday parties, funerals, and baby showers.

“I’ve flourished. It takes a lot of energy and effort, but when you’re done the appreciation you get afterwards is so worth it.”

The Myers plan to open a brewery on the cabin’s remaining foundation, and still intend to host small-scale weddings. Blue River’s new flower shop hopes to open before Christmas, Chappell said.  

EMMA ROUTLEY/ THE CHRONICLE

Remnants of the Iron Forest Cabin and Den lay scattered across the property. The original foundation of the cabin is salvageable, and plans are for a brewery to be built on top.

Chappell continues to work out of her garage and attend events such as at the Vida Market parking lot, Feb. 12-14, selling Valentine’s Day bouquets.