Thank you!

I want to take a minute to thank all of you who contributed to Century 21 Commonwealth‘s Thanksgiving food drive!

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The Franklin Food Pantry is such a great organization and they’re doing fantastic work for our community, but they can always use a donation or an extra hand even after the official food drive is over. If you’re in a position to do so, please consider volunteering or donating on a regular basis. Hunger doesn’t discriminate, and it can be present anywhere, so your help in whatever form you can give it means a lot.

I’ll be taking the rest of this week off from blogging to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with my family, so I want to wish all my readers a very happy, peaceful, and grateful Thanksgiving too! When I return, I’ll be focusing the blog for December on opportunities to give back to your community, including a very special #ShopFranklin Spotlight on the Santa Foundation. See you again soon!

Downtown Streetscape Update – November 18, 2015

The most recent update from the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting provides us with a great visual of what the downtown traffic pattern will be once all the work is complete next year. (Unfortunately, nobody knows yet when the traffic will switch from one-way to two-way.) Visit the Town’s website to check it out for yourself!

As always, please feel free to reach out to the DPW Director, Brutus Cantoreggi or Town Engineer, Michael Maglio at 508-553-5500 or Jeffrey Nutting, Town Administrator at 508-520-4949.

 

 

Downtown Streetscape Update – November 16, 2015

From the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, here’s the latest on the downtown construction…

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“The major construction of the downtown is finished for this construction year. They anticipate coming back in the spring (April?) and being finished by the end of July. The construction next year will include finishing up the curbing and paving East Central Street from the RR Bridge to Ruggles Street, redoing the RR Bridge to accommodate two-way traffic and full depth reconstruction on Main Street from the RR Bridge to Emmons Street. The traffic on the bridge will be much smaller once the project is complete.

Over the next few weeks, there will be general clean-up of the area, temporary hot top in areas that are gravel, removal of all the equipment at 150 Emmons Street and elsewhere, temporary striping and crosswalks, and installation of the period lighting, etc.

Please be reminded that there is a two-hour parking limit on East Central Street where the parking meters were removed.

Attention: The crosswalk on West Central Street that is used by Dean College has been relocated closer to the intersection on Emmons and West Central Street. When the new lights are activated next year, there will be a push to walk light but in the meanwhile, there are temporary stop signs at the intersection of Emmons and West Central. Please stop and look to make sure there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk prior to turning right from Emmons to West Central.
If anyone has a question, please feel free to reach out to the DPW Director, Brutus Cantoreggi or Town Engineer, Michael Maglio at 508-553-5500 or Jeffrey Nutting, Town Administrator at 508-520-4949.”

#ShopFranklin Spotlight – Fiori

For this week’s #ShopFranklin Spotlight, I met with Michelle Greenwood of Fiori!

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© Focus Designs & Photos

Although Michelle never intended to make a career out of floral design, it’s clearly her destiny: her maiden name, Fiori, means “flowers” in Italian. It all started in 2012, when a good friend of Michelle’s was planning her wedding on Martha’s Vineyard. The location was important, because Martha’s Vineyard was where she had met her husband, but she ran into trouble with the “crazy” in-season prices. Michelle came to the rescue; she offered to recreate a floral design for her friend based on a picture she loved. “I literally went to every single Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in Boston… sourced all of the hydrangeas and stuff,” Michelle says, and her friend loved the result. In January 2013, Michelle started a new job as an assistant buyer at popular e-commerce site Rue La La, and she soon found that a number of her coworkers were all planning their own weddings around the same time. Word of Michelle’s talents spread quickly. “It kind of spiraled. All of a sudden I had a portfolio!”

For the next year and a half, Michelle continued to work at Rue La La full time and do flowers on weekends, but she soon realized that wouldn’t work forever. “I can’t have a full-time job and do this every weekend!” she remembers thinking. Fortunately, she and her husband were already contemplating a move back to the Medway area to be closer to Michelle’s parents, so the time was right to make the leap and turn floral design into her full-time job. Once settled in Franklin, Michelle worked from her home, but couldn’t stop thinking about having her own space to meet with clients and put floral projects together. Her sister Noelle, an elementary school teacher in Medway with a master’s in fine art, had a side business hosting paint parties, so they decided to find a space they could share. In July of this year, they found the perfect location in downtown Franklin, and Fiori officially opened in August after the whole family pitched in to renovate the space.

Since opening downtown, Fiori has taken on a life of its own. Michelle’s customers started asking her if she could carry cards, candles, jewelry, and other items, and “all of a sudden it turned into a gift shop too.” Michelle has noticed that “trends trickle down from fashion to everything,” so she keeps a close eye on what her clients are asking for and what’s being featured at other stores. “I go and I get inspiration from other places,” she says. “What catches my eye? I try to translate that into this shop.” From metallics, woods, and greenery to neutrals with pops of color, you can bet that Fiori will have a solid take on the latest design trends.

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© Focus Designs & Photos

While Fiori’s main focus is still flowers, Michelle can help with the other aspects of planning a wedding or big event too. She specializes in “the girl who wants the do-it-yourself wedding” but can’t pull it off herself for some reason. “When you’re in the middle of planning something big… you think you’re going to have time to do everything yourself and then the week before you’re like ‘What am I doing?!’” When you hit that point, Michelle is there to help you take care of things. If it’s something she can’t do herself, she almost certainly knows someone who can, with her connections to custom dress and accessory makers, day-of event coordinators, hair salons, photographers, bakeries, and more. For clients who aren’t quite sure what they want, Michelle works with them to help narrow down their options by creating idea boards online. “God knows what people did without Pinterest!” laughs Michelle. And if planning gets too stressful, the shop dog, Chloe, is there to help.

With so much going on at Fiori, the shop is unified by Michelle’s endless creativity and her commitment to handmade and local goods. “I am a startup,” Michelle says. “[Almost] everything in here I’ve either found on the side of the road or bought at a flea market and redid myself.” Her flowers are sourced locally for as much of the season as possible, and many of them are grown right here in Franklin at the Painted Lady Flower Farm. Check the chalkboard on the “Bloom Bar” next time you go in, and you’ll find out exactly where that day’s flowers came from. As for other merchandise, that’s local or handmade too. For the things that Michelle doesn’t hand-craft herself, she tries to stick to items from New England vendors. She says everything in the shop would be made in Massachusetts if it weren’t for some soaps, lip balm, and candles she gets from Maine and some mason jar candles from a husband-and-wife team in Tennessee.

Michelle has been impressed by the support she’s received from the rest of the Franklin community, particularly from other business owners. “Everybody in this downtown area has been so welcoming and nice, and I mean that in the least cheesiest way possible!” she says. Joining Facebook groups like #shopFranklin has also helped Michelle get in touch with the community to spread the word about Fiori and share the positive experiences she’s had with other local businesses. Michelle is especially looking forward to reaching out to the other talented artists, craftspeople, and designers here in town; “I love to collaborate with anyone who’s creative because I feel like we spark things in each other.”

Fiori is currently located at 10 Main Street, but will be moving into the old optical shop at 16 Main Street this week. Check out Fiori’s website or Facebook page for more info, and for more beautiful photos of the shop, visit Focus Designs & Photos’ #ShopFranklin Photo Spotlight on Fiori!

Open Space and Recreation Public Meeting – November 14

If you’re not busy tomorrow morning, grab a coffee at Elizabeth’s or the Cake Bar and head to the Franklin Public Library (118 Main Street) at 9:30 AM. The Department of Planning and Community Development will be holding a public meeting “to facilitate dialogue and gauge public support for various open space and recreation priorities” for our town. At the meeting, the DPCD will be collecting comments from the community about future goals and suggested projects, and will also be presenting a progress report from the Open Space and Recreation Plan created in 2008.

Last week’s election was your chance to have a voice in the government of our town, but community participation doesn’t stop there. By attending meetings like this and providing your input, you have a chance to affect the physical landscape of our community as well, so please consider stopping by!

Thanksgiving Food Drive!

It’s that time of year where everything seems to revolve around food. If you have more than you need, the Franklin Food Pantry could use your help!

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Century 21 Commonwealth Franklin is hosting a Thanksgiving food drive for the Franklin Food Pantry, so please consider making a donation if you can. Non-perishable food items such as canned goods and boxed meals are always welcome, but the Pantry is currently in need of cleaning and personal hygiene products (particularly laundry detergent and shampoo) as well. You can drop off donations any time before November 23 at the Pantry directly at 43 West Central Street, or at my office at 9 Main Street. Thank you for helping to support our community!

Downtown Streetscape Update – November 7, 2015

From the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, here’s the latest on the downtown construction… 

  
“MassDOT was unable to pave Thursday night. Their plan is to finish West Central Street and Summer Street on Monday during the day. 

They will keep one lane of traffic open on West Central Street so they will not need to detour traffic. 

If anyone has a question, please feel free to reach out to the DPW Director, Brutus Cantoreggi or Town Engineer, Michael Maglio at 508-553-5500 or Jeffrey Nutting, Town Administrator at 508-520-4949.”