Lights On in Lower Manhattan
The Downtown Alliance's Kelly Rush fills us in on what's opening and closing in the southernmost tip of Manhattan Sometimes I have a big group of new store openings, sometimes I have one exquisite standout. This week's column features the lovely and distinct florist, home furnishings and accessories brand Bloom. New Yorkers may recognize the name because Bloom has another outpost in Midtown. The new store is in a large, light space adjacent to the Conrad New York Hotel in North Battery Park City and is a smart, inviting addition to the new retailers in this community. As usual, if you see any new retailers or spot changes to a long-time friend, please email me at email@example.com and I'll check them out. Openings Bloom, 255 Murray St. (at West Street),646-414-6269, www.bloomflowers.com Harvard Professor Elaine Scarry, in her book On Beauty and Being Just, proposed that beauty is an aid to justice. The idea is that the beautiful object stops us, pulls us out of our self-absorption and focuses our attention on the wider world, thus prompting a concern for others. A trip to Bloom won't necessarily make customers more ethical, but it will infuse their homes with vibrant beauty and perhaps start them on a new path that begins in their living rooms toward seeing the world in a brighter way. Bloom offers the standard floral services, including arrangements for the home and special events such as weddings or corporate gatherings; it also offers landscaping design for everything from a backyard patio to a rooftop garden. Customers will find unique home furnishings and accessories in the store, such as an oblong-shaped glass terrarium with a Venus Flytrap among amethyst crystal rocks inside, but that's just the beginning of what owner Kimberly Perrone offers. She can design a whole room around just one flower, a unique vase, a pillow or a natural object such as a plant that can live outside of soil. In fact, finding such exotic pieces is one of her specialties. Perrone calls Bloom a lifestyle environment and says florals and botanicals are key to the brand. Her style could be described as architectural and minimal but still elegant and luxurious in feeling. She pays special attention to color and shape, favoring monotones and hot brights and generally avoiding pastels. She uses organics when appropriate, such as petrified driftwood or a seashell made of ground shells. Perrone had worked in the fashion industry, but decided she wanted to own her own business and began looking for something that felt right. She discovered Bloom, what she called a "sexy luxury brand in flowers," and decided to purchase it. "I thought it was a great opportunity. The market hadn't been approached the way it could have been. There was no real floral brand of this type." She began expanding her services and hasn't looked back. Bloom also has a thriving e-commerce business, with many items available for purchase online, including flowers (seasonal and a signature collection), gift baskets and candles. But if a customer has a specific idea about the perfect container for a particular flower, Perrone will find it. She thrives on bringing beauty into a space; it doesn't just change the environment, it changes the way one views the environment, she said. Everyone could use a little something beautiful in their life-and, for that matter, justice, fairness and impeccable style. Closings Blockheads, Courtyard,250 Vesey St., 4 World Financial Center Diamond's Hallmark, 7 Hanover Square The Country Kebab,76 Fulton St.
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