Flourish Market: Old, New, Restored Decor, Delightfully Priced
By Lisa Green
“You shouldn’t have to mortgage your house to buy fun things,” says Jennifer Knopf, who opened Flourish Market in West Stockbridge, Mass. in December of 2015. The store, which offers a mixture of vintage, antique and new furniture and décor, is one of those shops where you don’t know where to look first. It takes a few moments to calm the flitting of your eyes from walls to shelves to floor until you can properly concentrate on the treasure in front of you. But you wouldn’t want to rush it, anyway.
It’s a curious mix, but that’s part of the fun. You can’t be exactly sure what’s vintage, what’s been reworked, repainted or rewired by Knopf and her team, or what’s a reproduction. Tea towels with spritely designs (new) lay on an old farmhouse table (repainted); a child’s diminutive sewing machine (old, and works) sits in front of a bas relief frame (your guess is as good as mine). Upcycled bookmarks from clip-on earrings (old and new). Figurines, paintings, lamps — who knows? If you’re looking for bona fide antiques, the kind that’ll cost you, you won’t find them here.
“I keep prices low, because if I can’t sell the merchandise, I can’t buy more,” Knopf says. “I like to mix a little old, a little new, things that remind me of growing up in Texas, stuff that’s rustic, not slick.”
Knopf has hung onto her Texas roots despite a move to Los Angeles, where she wasn’t making much use of her art major. Working at Jaeger Sportswear had its perks, however — her manager introduced Knopf to her now-husband. In 2000, he was courted by Berkshire Life Insurance (now Guardian); the video included in the employment package sold them on the Berkshires. They now live in Stockbridge.
“I’m a Martha Stewart wannabe,” Knopf admits (and indeed, she does bear a slight resemblance to the Maven of All Things). “And I thought, well, the Berkshires are close to Connecticut, so…”
A stay-at-home mom when her kids were small, she was involved in event planning for the PTA, which led to a job running fundraising events for the Lenox Library.
“But I realized that event planning really is sitting in front of the computer most of the time. The show is just two hours and then it’s done. I wanted to create an environment that’s not wrapped up in two hours.”
Now, she puts on a show for her customers, one that changes all the time. Influenced by stores such as Anthropologie and Z Gallerie (“places that you won’t find in the Berkshires”), she combs estate sales for merchandise, attends trade shows every now and then, and takes items that customers bring in. Whether it’s a rug, a faux succulent (an extremely popular item) or a necklace from found items, it’s all very cheerful, and who can’t use that?
The store sits in a low-slung building along Route 41 that’s been everything from a stovepipe shop and a glassblowing studio, to an ice cream parlor and bakery, but feels as though it was created just for Flourish, with its sunny picture windows and wide-board floors. Not far off I-90, it’s an easy spot for shoppers from Springfield and Albany, as well as locals.
“West Stockbridge is really coming alive,” Knopf says, mentioning Six Depot Roastery and the town’s newest attraction, Turn Park, as beacons to visitors. Flourish is a part of that rejuvenation — a sweet embellishment on an already engaging town.
2 Albany Rd., West Stockbridge, MA
Wednesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Noon – 4 p.m.
Closed Monday & Tuesday
Labor Day Sale: 1st Annual Flourish Flea Market Tent Sale
Sat., Sept. 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 3, Noon – 4 p.m.
Everything 25-50 percent off.