Help this B Corp-certified florist grow her local impact in East Falls - Generocity Philly

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Mar. 8, 2017 11:58 am

Help this B Corp-certified florist grow her local impact in East Falls

Vault + Vine is the reinventing of Falls Flowers, a flower shop founded and owned by Peicha Chang, who wants to help her East Falls community flourish.

Peicha Chang.

You may not think twice about a florist’s environmental impact — they’re just arranging plants for horticulture enthusiasts and those last-minute gift shoppers, right?

But it turns out that the industry behind cut flowers is potentially damaging to the planet we live on — and it’s not just about sourcing locally or buying organic flowers, according to Peicha Chang, the owner and founder of Falls Flowers, a flower shop located in the East Falls neighborhood.

As the world’s first florist to be licensed as a B Corp, Falls Flowers knows a thing or two about sustainability and it’s something Chang tries to be transparent as possible about when talking with her customers and clients. For her, being a B Corp has been about things like building relationships with local flower farmers, paying her employees well and perhaps most importantly, supporting the local East Falls community.

Vault + Vine will feature a cafe with local High Point coffee. (Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy image)

Being a part of the community was something Chang thought about even before starting Falls Flowers back in 2008. These days, 18 percent of the business’ profits go back to community groups including East Falls Community Council, East Falls Development Corporation, Friends of Falls Library and more.

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“The primary reason that I was looking for a neighborhood to settle down in was because it meant for me that that was going to be where I was going to start my business,” said Chang, who lives with her husband.

Now, Chang is hoping to expand her business to hopefully become an even more central part to the East Falls neighborhood with Vault + Vine, a reinventing of her flower shop that’s planning to have its grand opening on May 5. With a bigger space on 3507 Midvale Ave. (4,600 square feet) and plans for a café and greenhouse, it’s been a hectic — and costly — two years for Chang and team as they have made preparations.

That’s where Chang is hoping the neighborhood she’s done business in for the past six years can help. An Indiegogo campaign for Vault + Vine just started this month and is looking to raise a flexible goal of $50,000 by the end of the month for to help out with equipment purchases and completing the interior fit.

As of this writing, $4,115 has been raised so far. Check out the Indiegogo campaign here.

While the bigger space will undoubtedly help Chang in expanding retail business efforts — with events and weddings making up — most of Falls Flowers’ revenue, a primary reason for this growth goes back to community.

Chang heard from a number of people in East Falls who wanted a space where they could gather, so she built out Vault + Vine in hopes it can become that area. Not to mention, she wants to become a bigger part of the effort in putting East Falls on the map, both in terms of recognition and retail potential.

In Chang’s experience, “East Falls has always been a little sister to Manayunk” or Chestnut Hill, and she hopes that will change as the East Falls community rallies behind something like Vault + Vine. The reason she went with an online crowdfunding campaign was because she sees this as a “community project” where anyone can become a part of it.

Granted, as it’s stated in the campaign, Vault + Vine will still be completed even without the completion of the campaign — to Chang, it’s not necessarily about the money.

“I know deep down that it’s worth it, and that’s why I’m doing it all,” she said, “but it does help to hear it from others.”

Mock-up model for the upcoming Vault + Vine. (Courtesy photo)

Mock-up model for the upcoming Vault + Vine. (Courtesy photo)

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Albert Hong

Albert Hong is Generocity's contributing reporter. He started hanging around the Technically Media office as a summer intern for Technical.ly and eventually made his way to freelancing for both news sites. While technology and video games are two of his main interests, he's grown to love Philadelphia as a city and is always excited to hear someone else's story.

  • Neshawn

    Gorgeous flowers, still I don’t understand a few things: Why give away 18 percent if you cannot afford your basic expenses? Why ask for donations for a private business that is not even located in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood? Why purchase a brand new building and invest in that level of construction instead of renting space? Again, gorgeous flowers.

    • Peicha Chang

      Hi Neshawn! Thank you so much for your comment; I really appreciate your thoughtful response and questions not only here, but on other articles. I’d love to meet and respond to your questions in person, as I enjoy getting to know and understand other perspectives. If this is something you’d be interested in and have time, please email me: peicha@vaultandvine.co. I hope to hear from you!

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