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Jackie Phillips: 'Making things pretty' as The Flowergirl
Jackie Phillips is shown in the doorway of the shop, which is decorated for Valentine's Day. Phillips is known for the looks she creates for the front of her shop, and says she loves the challenge of making them. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff


Macon native Jackie Phillips is a lot of things. She’s a wife, a mother and a business owner. But for most folks in the Boro, she is The Flowergirl.

Phillips has been in business as The Flowergirl for 14 years. She moved to Statesboro when her ex-husband got a job here, and they transferred to Bulloch County from Hilton Head. 

“I fell in love with the town,” she said of Statesboro. She adds that her son was starting school that August, and she didn’t want her family to move around. “I like the town. It’s very community oriented. I feel safe here. It’s just friendly, and it’s small enough, but you’re close to everything. 

Once she and her family — she also has a daughter — was settled, Phillips began to look for a job. She had gotten her real estate license, and says she just wanted something to do part-time. She went to Longhorn for lunch one day, where her ex-husband worked, and she met the previous owners of Four Season. 

As they talked, the couple told her they owned a flower shop, and she said she told them she thought that was cool.

“You’re making pretty things, you’re dealing with pretty things, and they kind of laughed at me,” she said, smiling. 

The couple was looking for someone part-time, and they offered her an interview, saying they’d “see what you’ve got,” and then put her where they needed her. Phillips recalled that when she went in for an interview, they handed her some flowers and a vase and told her to see what she could do. She then was told to pick flowers out of the cooler and make a bridal bouquet. She passed both tests with flying colors.

“I didn’t know about flowers. I knew about plants,” she said, adding that she didn’t know a thing at the time about design. 

Phillips started the job that next Tuesday, and found her first task was 50 centerpieces needed for the upcoming weekend. 

“I just said, OK,” she said, laughing. Phillips worked at Four Seasons Florist for seven years, and says she learned much of what she knows there.

After the owner of the shop passed away, Phillips went to work at Southern Creations, where she worked for about a year and a half. The shop primarily did funeral arrangements, while Four Seasons had mostly done weddings and events. Phillips said she learned a lot there, but her greatest lesson was discovering that she preferred to do weddings. 

It was then she decided she needed to open her own business, and she bartended for more than a year to save up the money to open her shop. 

The first spot she opened was a large space that allowed for her to include a photographer and a bakery, and the plan was, she said, to be a one-stop shop for all things weddings and events. She was there for a couple of years, but it didn’t work out there, so she went in with a partner at the old Colonial House of Flowers building. Her partner had an antique shop in part of the space, while her flower shop occupied the rest. That didn’t work out either. So nine years ago, Phillips moved to her current location: The Flowergirl is located at 25 South Main Street.

Jackie Phillips is shown working in her shop, The Flowergirl. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Phillips says she can do anything, but weddings and events are her bread and butter. She currently does about 75 to 100 of them a year. She handles most of the workload herself, but she does have a couple of helping hands that come in on the weekend to help out. 

“It’s what I like to do. I feel like it’s just my thing,” she said. “I can do funerals, I can do the daily stuff, but I don’t get a lot of calls for that. It’s mostly weddings and events.”

Phillips’ shop isn’t part of any wire service, and she likes it that way. She does get some traffic for flower deliveries here and there, but her strong suit, for sure, is weddings. She says the part she loves the most is doing the bridal bouquets.

“Handing that bouquet to that bride on her wedding day is just…seeing the look. I am the final accessory to her day and I love that,” she said. 

During the set-up for a wedding, Phillips spends a lot of time on the arbors used for the ceremony. She enjoys doing those as well, and takes it very seriously, knowing that they will be what everyone sees during the ceremony and in the pictures, along with the bouquets. 

“Those will be what the memories are made of, not so much the centerpieces. How many weddings do you go and remember what’s on the tables?” she said. 

For the arbors she creates, Phillips says she likes to make the pieces detachable so that they can be reused elsewhere. She loves to reuse things, and says her style is somewhat organic and boho chic. She loves to use greenery and other natural items in addition to the flowers.

“I want something with some greenery that looks like you went in a meadow and picked it up,” she said. 

But she doesn’t make her bouquets too huge or overdone.

“I like to think of what I do as sprinkles on a cupcake. They add the little finishing touches, the pretty stuff. So I think of it that way. I don’t want to make a bouquet that is bigger than the bride, because that’s all that you see when she’s walking down the aisle. I want you to focus on her,” she said. 

Phillips puts a lot of time and effort into each bridal bouquet, saving the creation of them until the last moment, and says she often adds eucalyptus and pampas grass, giving them a “hippie vibe.”

“It makes it look so much more bougie,” she said, laughing. 

Phillips also loves working with brides and their mothers, and says that a typical appointment often includes Pinterest photos and boards. She says it used to take longer, and they would spend a lot of time pouring over magazines and idea books. Now, they bring in their ideas on Pinterest, and it gives her a great starting point. 

Making happy the bride, who just wants her dreams to come to life, and the mother of the bride, who just wants the bottom line to not be huge, has been a challenge, Phillips says. But it’s one she loves to tackle, and she says it’s all worth it in the end. 

Phillips’ shop has become known downtown for more than just the flowers. She decorates the front of her business based on the season, holiday or current trends. It started just as a way to get the shop noticed, since there’s so much traffic that goes by it each day.

Then people started doing photo shoots in front of the shop, and Phillips says it’s “kind of what people do.” She loves it, and just asks that people tag her on social media, saying it’s a great marketing tool for her. 

Phillips and her husband, Travis “The Painted Chef” Phillips, own Hames Hall in Claxton, a 35-acre estate featuring a gorgeous southern mansion. When a bride books Hames for her wedding, she not only gets The Flowergirl, she also gets her husband as caterer.

“We try to do an all-inclusive thing,” she said. “We try to make the day as stress-free as possible. It’s a lot of work for us both, but we enjoy what we do.”

As for the venue, Phillips says Hames is “everything you would picture a southern mansion would be.” The venue features bridal and groom suites, as well as 6,600 square feet of space in the home. There is a spacious outside deck and a library.

Outside, the grounds include gardens modeled after the gardens in Versailles, and there is a swimming pool and fountain, and plenty of places that are picture-perfect for a ceremony and/or photos. 

Last year on Valentine’s Day, Phillips set up a flower bar outside the shop. She’s planning on doing it again this year, selling from a vintage camper she’s had restored. She’ll be available with flowers that people can pick out and then take home to create their own bouquets, or they can purchase ready-made bouquets and roses for the holiday. There will also be a mobile bar selling cupcakes and treats, and The Painted Chef will be on hand with charcuterie boxes. Everything begins that day at 9 a.m., and Phillips says they’ll go until they’re sold out. 

She’s planning on using the camper to set up flower bars in other places as well.

You can contact Phillips on Facebook and Instagram, or email her at You can also call her at 912-489-5511. For more information on Hames Hall, go online at

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