urban orchid adds flowershop to ohio city's artisan economy

With the recent opening of the Urban Orchid, a new flower and gift shop located at 2704 Bridge Avenue, an empty storefront has been filled and a new business has been added to Ohio City's artisan economy.

Owner Brandon Sitler describes the Urban Orchid as "a small gift boutique and full-service flower shop that offers custom arrangements and delivers flowers throughout Cuyahoga County -- and anywhere in the world, really." The cozy, 400-square-foot space boasts an open floor plan that allows customers to watch the floral designer at work.

Sitler worked at Flowerville in University Heights for eight years before striking out on his own. His new store offers handmade gift items such as greeting cards adorned with Ohio City scenes by artist David Horneck, head bands by designer Lindsey Bower of Black Bow Designs, and bags made from recycled materials.

The entrepreneur was inspired to open the store after he won an international design competition from a wholesale organization and garnered grant funding from Ohio City Inc. and Charter One Bank last year. The confidence boost and cold, hard cash allowed him to make the proverbial leap from idea to actuality.

"Having that support helped me to get into this space, fix it up and make my dream a reality," says Sitler, an Ohio City resident who decided the time was right to launch a flower shop because there are no others on the near-west side.

Sitler hopes to continue creating custom arrangements for weddings and other events while also serving walk-in customers at his shop, which is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Urban Orchid also specializes in green and sustainable gifts. Sitler buys work from local artists that is handmade or made from recycled materials. "Flowers make you think of what you're leaving behind, your footprint," he says. "So the idea of my flower shop was to keep it green and give back."

Source: Brandon Sitler
Writer: Lee Chilcote