Joycelyn Wright plans to make the most of her space at the former Booth House of Flowers building in Stratford.
“We understand the importance of showing you care,” says Wright, who, after four years in online retail, opened Gone Friendly Gifts & Flowers in February.
Right now Gone Friendly is a full-service florist that also offers gift baskets, singing teddy bears, some jewelry and other gift items.
But Wright has bigger ambitions down the road – that is to say, upstairs, where she plans to expand in 2014. The space is currently an apartment.
“Eventually I’ll have the whole building and (I’ll be able to) do all these great things I plan to do,” she says.
Wright, 46, says one of her main goals for Gone Friendly is to make it the go-to place for personalized gifts. Soon she hopes to offer customized items such as picture frames, mugs and even DVDs where a child’s face and name guide the story.
“We want to be the place you come to when you want to make a lasting impression on those moments that matter,” she says. “We’ll help you achieve the thought.”
Further down the line Wright hopes to set up an in-house wedding planning center and a natural juice and smoothie stand.
Wright grew up in Jamaica – where her family ran a flower shop up until recently – and moved to Stratford in 2002. Before launching an online business that specialized in gift baskets and singing teddy bears in 2009, Wright spent about three years in real estate.
“I enjoyed helping people in those moments,” she says of her realtor days. “It was always a good feeling.”