Sorely missed but not forgotten, Sarasota’s silk flower store Chasen Reed has morphed into Stylish Living by Chasen Reed, a dreamy little shop at downtown’s Whole Foods Market Centre. Fans will be relieved to know that the place is still dripping with hand-painted silk flowers and trees, and exquisite custom arrangements. But a quick look reveals much more to love.
“Times have changed,” says owner Toulouse Kellam. “People still want beautiful, fun things for their home, but they’re more careful with their money.” She’s rounded out the silk botanical mix with preserved trees and bonsais crafted with startling realism. Browsers also ogle gifts, art glass and Kellam’s own original abstract representational fine art.
“We shop for things that are artistic,” she explains. “Our style is relaxed and elegant. People tell us they love hanging out in this store; it gives them a sense of peace and tranquility.”
Inside the Look
What greenery do you live with at home? “I love flowers; I have everything in the whole wide world—a lot of silk, preserved and natural. My home is like being in the store.”
What inspires your art? “It could be something I see. Or I might think of something that I would like to put on canvas. Sometimes I have no idea what it will look like: that’s the scariest thing. I just do it.”
Tell us about your vintage pieces. “Originally, they were supposed to be wonderful display fixtures. Our customers wanted us to offer them for sale, so we do. But not at stupid prices; they’re vintage pieces and we replace them as often as we can.”