New Haven florist’s dream blooms in new downtown Chapel Street shop

New Haven florist’s dream blooms in new downtown Chapel Street shop

NEW HAVEN — What began as a fun activity of picking flowers and arranging them for her sister’s wedding about 28 years ago has become a fully-fun business for Carrien Davis, one that aims to fill the flora needs of the city.


After nearly three decades of doing so, longtime city florist Davis opened up a shop downtown, something “that’s been my dream.”


Davis, owner of Any Occasion Creation, said it has been a long journey with “ups and downs,” but, since she describes herself as “not easily discouraged,” she knew this day would come.


“I just knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and I kept going for it,” Davis said. “There were some dips and my family had my back. My family is really the one behind me.”


Any Occasion Creation used to be on Whalley Avenue in the Westville section of the city before it moved to Howe Street, and now 1090 Chapel St. Davis said she always wanted to be downtown because “location is everything” — and that was one of the most challenging things about her business.


“I was on the outskirts of downtown, it’s a lot better here,” Davis said, noting that the current space across from Yale University Art Gallery has a lot of foot traffic. “It’s not only my online sales, but getting people to come through the door, it’s always a challenge.”


Originally from Dominica, Davis recalled being a young girl picking flowers to arrange them in vases on her table. She said she didn’t know what she was doing, but knew she loved flowers.


She got to show her skills at her sister’s wedding in 1995 with silk flowers. That was when she decided to take arranging flowers more seriously.

“I dream it, I breathe it, I speak it, I love it,” Davis said. “It’s everything I love. That’s my passion.”


Davis said her craft was self-taught, and recalled walking to craft stores to buy scissors and look at how florists there put the flowers together. When she moved to New Haven, Davis said she knew she wanted to own a floral business. She began by making small silk arrangements, such as Christmas wreaths, and would take pictures and put them in an album to show to her coworkers.


“They would order it,” she said. “I started doing that and I just gained strength from there. … I decided to stay away from silk and just do fresh flowers.”


Now, Any Occasion Creation makes flowers like its name implies — for any occasion, from weddings to graduations and any kind of celebration.


Chris Davis, Davis’ husband who has been with her for 15 years, told his wife at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week: “I’m very proud of you.” He said seeing her wife going through ups and downs with the business gave him a perspective of how difficult it is to own and run a business.


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