If you haven’t come across this dynamic trio yet or visited their Winter Park stores, you’re missing out on a treat. Meet Meredith Gardner, Amanda Warren and Emily Williams. Amanda and Meredith are owners of The Grove, and Clementine is a partnership between Be On Park and The Grove. Emily owns Be On Park, the luxe jewelry store on Park Avenue.
Meredith simplifies this deliciously tangled and talented web. “Be On Park can sell you an engagement ring, Clementine can get your bride registered, The Grove can do your bridesmaids gifts, and you can go back to Be On Park to get your bands. It’s really three businesses with a lot of commonalities in terms of the customers and the aesthetic. It can get a little confusing, though, because there are a lot of businesses and not a lot of people!”
Their passion? “Integrating beauty into your world without feeling like you need to save it, or that it’s too precious,” Amanda explains. “Sometimes there can be a mental barrier when you think of boutique shopping or a China store. We love beautiful, well-made, high-quality things, but it doesn’t have to be super precious. If you are going to buy beautiful dishes, please use these things in your life. Herend is dishwasher safe,” she explains. “We feel the same way about The Grove. We find really special clothing and accessories, and want you to wear a cocktail ring every day. Feel like it’s a part of your life and not just to be saved for special occasions.”
Meredith concurs. “We buy things that we love and truly believe in, that are well made so they’ll last and make you feel good. If it’s a dress, please don’t just put it away in your closet. If you’re going to Publix or are going to a lunch, wear a great T-shirt — but with a silk skirt. We sell a lot of paper products to just turn every day into something a little bit more fun, easy and colorful.”
If you browse the website you’ll find their motto, “We never say No.” And they don’t! “We get ourselves into all sorts of situations,” Amanda says with a laugh. “Meredith recently went to a customer’s house and set their Thanksgiving table. The customer had come into Clementine and was feeling overwhelmed by having guests in town. She said to Meredith, ‘I know you can do this, can you do it for me?’ And so, yes.” They’ve also had customers who were taking a girl’s trip and wanted to have a fabulous goodie bag in everyone’s room. “They just sort of give us that charge and we made it happen.”
“The Grove is definitely a place where people spend time,” Amanda continues. “We get to know their children or they bring their dogs. We know most of our customers by name. If not, we certainly know them by face. I think that’s one of my favorite things about the Grove and Clementine. It’s not a transactional relationship. We have bonds with the people who shop with us.”
“Whether it’s personal shopping or table setting, we come from a place of ‘Yes,’ and then figure it out,” Meredith explains. “We also love working with other businesses in the community. The Tiny Orchid company does Tiny Orchid Tuesdays here. We also have this partnership with Bash at Clementine. And we carry local designers. That’s important to us. Winter Park is a small town and we’re all moving around in it. We want to continue making it a great place to be.”