March 23, 2017 – West Bend, WI – It didn’t take long for the building at 136 S. Main Street in West Bend to acquire a new tenant. The triangular two-story on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main, formerly home to Hemauer Paint and then Century Farmhouse Soap will now host a florist.
“I feel really, really blessed to have such a fantastic location in downtown West Bend,” said Amanda Strassburg, owner of Consider the Lilies.
For over six years Strassburg has operated her business of her home and her historic barn in Barton. She said she was drawn to the shop on S. Main and its brilliant interior.
“The gorgeous lime green tin ceiling is my favorite thing,” Strassburg said. “I love the color lime green and it’s appropriate this year because the Pantone Color Institute, based in the United States, projects color trends of the year for home interiors, floral and clothing design. This year the color for 2017 happens to be greenery. Plus I’ve used green a lot in my marketing and branding and when I saw the ceiling I instantly knew.”
Strassburg gravitated to downtown West Bend because of the variety of shops, restaurants and locally-owned establishments. “People from outside the community seem to really want to come and explore the downtown,” she said.
Originally from Menomonee Falls, Strassburg got her start working in a private studio on weddings and events. “I did not go to school for floral design,” she said. “I got a lot of my education through the industry, working different seminars and conventions and traveling around the country.”
The style of Consider the Lilies is described best by Strassburg as “modern floral art.”
“I like to take the flowers and materials people are used to seeing and design them in a different way; something you haven’t seen before,” she said.
An example would be using garden mesh in a floral arrangement. “I want people to look at it and say, ‘I know what that is but I’ve never seen it in a floral arrangement before,’” Strassburg said. “I love getting that response.”
Planning the move from a larger space to a triangle interior is more inviting than intimidating for Strassburg. She gushes about the windows and the well lit front room.
“The beautiful natural light. Flowers look best in natural light. They will really pop with the white background and the green ceiling,” she said.
And the storefront windows, according to Strassburg, are like a built in stage. “People really enjoy seeing artists of all type and I’m excited to put my workbench right in the window and create,” she said. “If people want to stand on the sidewalk and watch that would be great, if they want to come in and ask questions I welcome that as well.”
During a walkthrough of the empty building, Strassburg quickly laid out the back area as her primarily work area to process flowers and get arrangements for events. The storefront will be for displays and customer consultations; modern floral books will be available so customers can sit and learn.
The space is also inviting for classes. “It’s one part of my career as a floral designer that I absolutely love,” she said. “I love teaching design and holiday decorating and being able to host classes and parties.”
Another form of education Strassburg will feature involves introducing a unique flower a week. “Then I’ll focus my displays on that flower along with some different containers and plants so when people walk in they’re not bombarded with too much going on but they really get excited with the things on display,” she said.
Consider the Lilies is expected to open by the end of April. “I’ll have limited hours to start but I’ll be fully open in May,” Strassburg said. “I’m very excited we have lots of plans for different things the shop will offer and to get involved in the community.”
On a side note: The name of the store Consider the Lilies is faith based. “A friend of mine suggested it to me long before I even started my business,” said Strassburg. “It comes out of scripture but I love the thought of considering the lilies; remembering the flowers. Every occasion in life is a great opportunity to celebrate with flowers and I have to remind people of that.”