Franklin’s Main Street District established an initiative to welcome new businesses to the area. The Red Carpet Event is designed to promote new businesses while aiding business owners in spreading the word about their shops.
Franklin native, April Chastain of April’s Flowers on Main, located on Stewart Street next to the Rathskeller, was the first business owner to experience the red carpet treatment during an Oct. 4 ceremony. Members of town government, downtown business owners, board members of the Main Street Program, and family and friends who attended the grand opening of Chastain’s flower shop were pleased with the turn out.
“We had a wonderful turnout,” said Chastain. She is excited to own a business in the town that helped raise her. “I am so very blessed and happy to have the opportunity to use my creativity in the community where I have grown up and continue to love,” she said.
“This is a new initiative to assist business owners in spreading the word about this endeavor,” said Linda Schlott, Executive Director of the Franklin Main Street Program. “This was our first Red Carpet Event and was well attended. We are already scheduling our second event for the program district.” The next Red Carpet event is reportedly scheduled for Appalachian Harvest which will be opening on Iotla Street at the former site of Main Street Florist.
In addition to literally rolling out the red carpet, businesses are treated to special welcome signage for a week as well, tooled as a marketing incentive. Business owners are presented with $50 to help get their business started. Refreshments, which are provided by locally owned businesses within the district, are also served at the red carpet event for those in attendance.
Chastain was honored to be the first business owner to receive the red carpet treatment. “Oh my goodness. I loved it!” Who would have thought this Burningtown girl would ever walk on a red carpet!,” said Chastain. “It’s great and something truly unique for the Franklin Main Street Program District.” She believes that being a native of Macon County has benefited her during the process of becoming a business owner. “I am blessed to know so many people here in Franklin,” she said.
Chastain is no stranger to the floral industry. She has spent the last 15 years as a floral designer. “My shop features designs for all of life's events,” said Chastain. “There are times of celebrating along with times of sorrow and we look forward to serving the community with exceptional service and design.” Chastain noted that it took around five to six weeks to get the store opened and also noted that while preparing for the opening, it was important for her to keep her financial investments local. “We kept most of our dollars here in Franklin to help out our community,” said Chastain.
April’s Flowers is a full service florist geared toward meeting all of the community's needs. “We do fresh flowers, weddings, funerals, silks, plants , balloons, fruit baskets,” explained Chastain. “We are creating arrangement in old collectable containers, like purses and tins. To name a few ... We do natural arrangements with mosses, twigs and burlap. We do traditional, high style, modern, in style, vintage, shabby chic arrangement. And anything you can dream we will create for you ...We create arrangements using old and new together in a mix to bring the best of both.”