Gina Russo and
Gina Russo and Beth Genovese always joked that they would sit around and drink coffee when they talked about how to grow their business, .
But since they opened their floral shop on Cape Ann 20 years ago in March, the two friends haven’t gotten the chance to sit at all.
“We opened the doors 20 years ago and were wildly successful,” said Russo, co-owner of Sage Floral Studio at 274 Main St. “We never were able to sit down.”
Sage Floral Studio is a European-inspired full-service flower shop offering daily deliveries and specializing in weddings and events. In addition to carrying a wide variety of fresh-cut flowers and house plants, the shop also sells giftware to accompany its arrangements.
When they decided to open their own floral shop in downtown Gloucester, the two women had a breadth of experience in the industry. Russo had been working weddings while Genovese worked in a number floral shops and garden centers.
Their experience and expertise was instantly noticeable as their business blossomed into a must-stop shop for passers-by and wedding planners on the island.
Consistently receiving five-star reviews on theknot.com, an online wedding planning website, the shop is regarded as exceeding expectations in its designs.
Some brides noted how the flowers came out better than they expected while others spoke highly of the team’s creativity and attention to detail.
In addition to weddings, Sage’s flower arrangements have decorated Hammond Castle, Beauport Hotel and Cruiseport Gloucester, and even the fashion runway.
In 2013, the local florists floored the crowd at the runway fashion show of Cape Ann’s Society for the Encouragement of the Arts with two entries made entirely out of organic material — flowers, bark, moss and other materials.
As they help others celebrate momentous occasions with their wide selection of plants, the studio’s staff has only gotten closer with time.
“Over the years it has developed into being like a home and a family here,” Genovese said. “It means more than anything to me, it is my life.”
“We have a really great partnership,” Russo said. “But not only that, I consider (Genovese) one of my close friends.”
As they tag-team floral arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres, the two friends say they are overwhelmed by the support they have had from the community.
“We have a very loyal base of customers,” Genovese said, explaining that even when the shop was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic their customers would support them.
While the pandemic put a strain on all corners of the Cape Ann community, the women’s floral shop saw an uptick in online sales as “people can’t see each other and want to celebrate milestones,” Genovese explained.
What’s in store for these two women and their abundance of flowers on Main Street?
“We just want to keep growing and expand our loyal customer base,” Genovese said. “We are so thankful for our customers who have been so good to us over the years.”
Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.