Foxtail Cottage Florist Opens

Libbey Kelso and Karen Thorsey
Libbey Kelso and Karen Thorsey

Karen Thorsey, joined by a financial partner, Jeff Haas, has opened a new florist shop in Crozet in a 1920s-era cottage on Rt. 250 near Western Albemarle High School. Foxtail Cottage Floral will focus on flowers for weddings, parties and other events as well as home installations. The shop offers a full, online flower boutique and delivery service.

Thorsey installed a mid-sized cooler at the cottage to store flowers and a modernized work area. The cottage was extensively renovated with an office and consultation room, and a deck was added on the back. Thorsey said the cottage is available for rent for small events.

Thorsey was a cofounder of Touterelle, a florist shop opened not long ago in Charlottesville, and said she wanted to go out on her own. Raised in Ivy, she had started with flowers when she worked at Ivy Corner Store, where she also met her  current coworker at Foxtail, Libbey Kelso. Staci Young, a freelance designer who is known in Middleburg and Gordonsville, is also affiliated with the shop.

Thorsey went on to design school in Boston; she describes herself as a “visual stylist” and creative director. She spent five years at Hedge Fine Blooms, a Charlottesville florist, where she specialized in floral arrangements for weddings. In all, she has 20 years in the floral business and 12 concentrated on weddings.

“I’ve learned some things not to do about getting into business,” she said. “I had wanted to be in Crozet.”

She said she chose the name because of an affection for foxes and because it plays on types of lilies, ferns and grasses.

“We consider this a design studio. Now we’re focused on weddings and that’s where we are on Saturdays. Our long-range plan is to get deeper into weddings,” said Thorsey, meaning beyond just the flowers.

She described her former style as “Marie Antoinette meets industrialism” and said that at Foxtail the look will be “Post World War II meets the south of France.” She described the style as “lush but not pretentious” and one that goes well with wine country.

She will be using locally grown flowers as much as possible, she said.

Thorsey said she recently provided flowers for an event at Monticello’s Montalto in which a requirement for the arrangements was that the flowers could have come from Jefferson’s garden. “Each basket had 33 elements in it,” she said with pleasure.

“Ninety percent of what we do is flower arrangements,” said Kelso. “We don’t have a gift shop. As much as we can, we are trying to trade with other local businesses.”

For more information, call the shop at 823-7272.