Making memories at Presley Grace Floral Preservation & Boutique

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By Don Steen ~ Staff Writer • reporter@psci.net

Those looking to preserve treasured memories, or make some new ones, are welcome to pay a visit to Presley Grace Floral Preservation & Boutique. Located right in the former Journal-Democrat office on Main Street, the store is primarily open on Saturdays, but often hosts workshops and classes throughout the week. 

Owner Donna Lashley hopes to extend the operating hours to full time over the next few years. For now, however, she is currently spread thin serving on the city council, working for Congressman Larry Bucshon, volunteering across the community and being a mom to four and grandmother to seven. Indeed, it has already been a remarkable journey for both Lashley and the newspaper office.

It all started with a hobby. Like many others, Lashley needed something to occupy her mind during the pandemic. She took an interest in preserving flowers, and began experimenting with her own household plants and any wild flowers she happened to collect. 

Lashley ultimately settled on a method using a wooden press and paper, to meticulously dry the flowers without causing them to wilt. Sun and heat are to be avoided for that reason, but the exact art at work is a trade secret.

Even the tools are unique, with Lashley commissioning her first wooden press from her husband. Her collection of hand-made wooden presses now stands at six. 

After a while she received a request to preserve and frame a wedding bouquet for a friend, turning the hobby into the beginnings of a business. In early 2023 Lashley attended a wedding show at the Owensboro Convention Center and it was off to the races from there. 

The office space at 541 Main Street had recently been purchased by Blake Bunner, and he was willing to lease the space for Lashley’s new enterprise. Bunner had done a lot of work to the building’s floor, restroom, and insulation. However, the space needed a lot of work if it were to sport a suitable atmosphere for a boutique. 

One of Lashley’s first initiatives was to open up a window that had long been covered over, leaving the building with very little natural light. At one time, the rear of the building hosted a dark room for the newspaper, and it continued to be pretty somber long after the age of digital cameras. 

The new window is certainly doing its job, to the point where chocolates and candles need to be kept well away from it lest the sun play havoc with them. Lashley also added a chandelier and other light sources to keep the place bright and stylish. 

Read more on this story in this week’s issue of the Spencer County Leader!

Featured Image: The exterior of the new Presley Grace boutique in Rockport

The interior of Presley Grace Floral Preservation and Boutique

Additional pics of the interior of Presley Grace Floral Preservation and Boutique

Various items for sale at Presley Grace