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Wednesday August 15, 2018
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From Gigi's to Maureen's

A Saline florist expands to Chelsea

by Shelley Daily

From the March, 2018 issue

A couple of days after Valentine's Day, Maureen White-Goeman was still recovering from the rush at her new floral shop, Maureen's Designs, which replaced Gigi's Flowers & Gifts on Main. "It was our litmus test for the first two weeks of May," she says, referencing the industry's traditionally busiest time. Meantime, Gigi Batsakis, who'd closed her shop at the end of last year, celebrated her retirement in a Facebook post: "First V-Day in 23 years that I can relax and do NOTHING." In a Facebook message, she says that she and her husband, Chris, "want to travel and enjoy our five grandchildren."

White-Goeman knows the occasional twenty-hour workday comes with the territory. She's owned Maureen's Designs in Saline for almost twelve years with her husband, Jack Goeman ("he's the bean counter, and I'm the flower poker," she says), and they also rely on her longtime counterpart and protege, Joey Coffey, to keep both shops running. She says she and Jack knew they wanted to be in Chelsea the moment a vendor told them that Batsakis was thinking of selling. "It's a vibrant, energetic, friendly community," says White-Goeman.

Her roots in the floral industry run deep. She grew up in Bay City, where her parents owned a flower shop. In her twenties, she received advanced floral training from European designers and worked as an apprentice at the Keukenhof in the Netherlands, known as the "Garden of Europe." But back in Michigan, she fell in love, married, and in quick succession had four sons, who are now in their twenties. After spending eighteen years raising her kids, she's come full circle back to flowers. "I've always had the floral industry in my back pocket," she says.

Maureen's Designs, 103 N. Main, Chelsea. 475-3040, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed Sun.    (end of article)

[Originally published in March, 2018.]


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