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New Park Place Florist Owner Planting Fresh Roots in Blowing Rock; Looking Forward to a Busy Wedding and Prom Season

By Kris Testori

Park Place Florist, at 133 Morris Street, Suite 3, in downtown Blowing Rock, is taking on a new life, with a new owner. Holly Newsome bought Park Place Florist from long-time Blowing Rock business owner Carol Aldridge in December. “I am thrilled to be here in Blowing Rock. I love this area more than any other place on earth,” Newsome said. “I grew up traveling and living abroad with a military father. Then, while in college, I was fortunate to travel to the far east, and to Europe. I have been to many countries, but I have always, always looked forward to returning home to my mountains,” she shared. “I am so very proud to live here and to be a Blowing Rock small business owner.”

Newsome said since buying the shop she has been meeting many of the shop’s regular customers and getting to know their flower needs. “I am very excited to be making flowers for all the celebrations happening in the spring,” she said. “Prom and wedding season are already in full force, not to mention Mother’s Day is coming up,” Newsome said. “One benefit of going to a local florist is we can ensure buying fresh, beautiful flowers for any occasion is a great experience. When buying flowers from Park Place Florist I will always be there, behind the scenes, helping you choose the flowers and create the design.  And, you will have easy access to me if you have questions or just want to check on the progress.”

“This morning I ordered the most amazing flowers for prom including spray roses, aster, orchids, wax flowers, and daisies for prom corsages and boutonnieres,” Newsome said. “I can custom create a variety of corsages and boutonnieres. Newsome noted that prom flowers are often the first time young adults choose and purchase flowers.  “I try to make the process easy for prom goers. “They can come by the store and bring in a picture of what they like, or text it to me, and I’ll do my best to recreate that look,” she said. 

The flower shop has been an integral part of the community since the 1970s when it was owned by Ruth Townsend. Carol Aldridge, a Blowing Rock native, bought the shop in 1997, moving it to its current location a year later. Aldridge prides herself on the attention to detail she put into her flower arrangements. “I always loved plants and flowers and cultivating relationships with customers,” she said. “My arrangements are not cookie cutter; my reputation is always on the line. It’s been a wonderful job, and it’s been good to me,” she added. “I sure have made wonderful memories and have met a lot of wonderful people.”  

Aldridge is assisting in the flower shop as Newsome transitions. “Carol has made sure I have a good grasp on the ins and outs of running a successful floral business and is staying on to help with anything I may need help with,” Newsome said. For now, continuing with her predecessor’s tradition of creating gorgeous custom-designed flower arrangements and personalized service is Newsome’s goal. “I also hope to grow the business by creating a new website and offering specials to the loyal local clientele,” she said. “I have always loved flowers and being surrounded by things of beauty. Now every day, I get to play with flowers and deliver flowers with a smile, to help brighten people’s days.”

Newsome originally moved to the area to attend Appalachian State, graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. “I had plans to be a writer. Instead, I pursued a career in law enforcement and retired as a Special Agent from state law enforcement in 2022,” she said. “I wasn’t ready to retire completely and was looking for something that would interest me, and that I would find to be fun and exciting, but that would be a complete 180-degree reversal from what I had been doing. It was then I discovered Park Place Florist, a Blowing Rock staple since the 1970s, was for sale. I met Carol Aldridge, who had owned the business for the past 26 years, and my heart told me that buying the flower shop was one hundred percent the right thing to do.” 

“The town of Blowing Rock is one of a kind, and I cannot wait to meet all of my neighbors,” Newsome said. “Please call or come by the flower shop. It is tiny but very welcoming. We can do any size order, from one boutonniere or corsage for prom to the largest of orders for resorts, country clubs, special events, and, of course, weddings.”

Park Place Forest is located at 133 Morris Street, Suite 3, in downtown Blowing Rock. While Newsome prepares to launch the website, orders can be placed in person or by calling (828) 295-3626.