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If there’s a purple feather, it’s a Gigi’s

Gigi's Flower's and Gifts 'feather-ature' found in all of the shop's arrangements.
New for Christmas this year.

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to receive flowers from Gigi’s Flowers and Gifts, then you’ve seen the flower shop’s distinctive “feather-ature.”

It’s that unexpected purple feather that’s lovingly tucked into every arrangement that leaves the flower shop at 103 N. Main St. in downtown Chelsea.

That simple, yet elegant, little “signature” serves as a unique calling card – in case the actual card is somehow missing from the gift.

“People see it and know ‘that’s a Gigi’s’,” says Gigi Batsakis, the flower shop owner.

Batsakis, of Lyndon Township, began the business on Jan. 16, 1996. Owning her own flower shop was something she’d long thought about doing and when the opportunity presented itself, she grabbed at it — with family in tow.

Everyone in her close, and her extended family, has had a hand in its 16-year history.

“My dad, uncles, mother-in-law, husband, two daughters, even the grandkids – you name it; they’ve been in the store helping out,” she says, adding, “That’s what’s so nice about owning your own business — grandkids can be here, and family is around all the time.”

Even her dog has spent time in the shop.

“My husband is a saint to put up with all of this,” she says, adding they’ve been married for more than 36 years.

Roses are one of Gigi's most popular flowers.

Batsakis admits when she first opened the business she had a lot to learn, so she headed to MSU and took classes from the Michigan Floral Association.

“People think it’s just about selling flowers, but there is so much to it and there’s lots – and I mean lots – of hard work involved,” she says.

It’s not just prepping the flowers or turning them into beautiful centerpieces or arrangements in cute containers. There’s the business of running the flower business — figuring out how much to order, what to order, how to grow the customer base and stay ahead of the market, and expand the offerings to meet changing customer demands.

Three times a week, she climbs into a truck filled with buckets of fresh flowers and one by one, Batsakis hand picks the individual flowers she’ll offer for sale in her cozy shop.

And although flowers are pretty on their own – there are pricing and picking the freshest greens that are nestled next to the flowers, and the stunning colored ribbon that’s used. And there’s choosing the right container that serves as the base of an arrangement as well as the accent pieces that find homes in her clever arrangements.

Plus, Batsakis offers something that not all florist shops do – lots and lots of colorful flowers in multiple varieties. Single flowers that can be mixed and matched in a cash-and-carry bouquet of one or two or, well, as many different flowers as you’d like. It’s a gift that’s sure to put a smile on the grumpiest face on the grayest winter day in Michigan.

A scene from inside Gigi's Flowers and Gifts.

Gigi’s offers “Flowering Fridays” each week when roses are just $1.50 each. She says the Red Freedom variety are a popular seller. And around Valentine’s Day — she sells about 100 dozen roses.

In addition to orders and walk-in customers, GiGi’s also has corporate accounts both locally and in Ann Arbor, and she offers and designs gourmet fruit, cookie and candy baskets, too.

Plus, she also does holiday decorating of homes and businesses.

“Flowers are like beef,” she says. “You can buy grade A or something else, we only buy Grade A flowers that are delivered daily.”

Her arrangements range from $25-$105 and if properly cared for should last several weeks.

Batsakis also believes in giving back to the community. She’s a past president of the Chelsea Rotary Club and teaches classes in flower arranging at the library and the senior center.

“It’s an honor to be asked and it’s one of my favorite things to do,” she says.

In fact, the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce member has a wall full of awards for all pf her efforts to help make Chelsea a strong and thriving community.

The store is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information click here.

A Christmas Thomas Kinkade centerpiece arrangement.
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