Donna Grillot peeks through a Christmas display set up in the original part of the store in Webster.
Donna Grillot peeks through a Christmas display set up in the original part of the store in Webster.

Little Lilacs – Florist Blossoming in Webster

Donna Grillot took the advice of husband Alvin when she opened up her own flower shop in this hamlet which is located between Versailles and Bradford at 9194 State Route 185 in May 2018.

An estimated 60 people make their homes in this small village and the Grillots are the only business owners at the present time; she with the floral shop, known as Little Lilacs, and he with Chalmer’s Garage.

Webster, which also has a Methodist Church, and the Stillwater Valley Golf course nearby, used to also be home for the Wayne Grange which was built in 1894 and now houses the flower shop’s merchandise….artificial flowers, wreaths,  grapevine trees, candles, and other rustic and Christian decor.

When they wed four years ago on Sept. 2, the couple held their reception in the building, which is owned by Alvin.

“I was doing craft shows on my own then and he suggested I get a vendor’s license,” Donna said.

She opened up her shop.

Just recently, they unveiled the west wing after much renovation by her husband with another whole room of items now featured as well as a storage area. Her husband, she said, is very supportive.

Grillot started out with one room of floral arrangements. And, with the addition, it has multiplied immensely. She also offers candles, bereavement items, cemetery saddles and noted that the grapevine trees are the most popular.”

“It’s a big change from three years ago,” she said. “I am adding horse decor and pallet signs. I do change the shop each season. Christmas is the biggest season. I am trying to incorporate more local products and Christian decor,”

She will be hosting a Christmas Holiday Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6.

The location of her shop hasn’t seemed to deter business.

“I am hanging on and able to pay bills,” she said. “Passersby stop and I have regular customers from Versailles and Russia, Ohio. I think I have a wide range of customers now.”

A proud U.S. Air Force veteran, she said her floral work started after her military days.

She served for five years, after she graduated in 1988, during Desert Storm and spent time at Rhein-Main Base in Germany and the Naval Police Base in Naples, Italy.

“My twin sons, Alessio and Davide Aiola, have taken over the floral business now in Fiumicino, Italy,” she said. “I miss them so much.”

Grilliot, who became a grandmother for the first time when granddaughter Diletta was born in June, said she loves the location of her shop.

“It’s a nice environment,” she added. “People come in and make themselves at home. I had a lady come in here at the shop from Centerville. She spoke Italian and I ended up doing it too.”

As a Christian woman and a proud patriotic veteran, she plans on offering a discount on her products on Veteran’s Day.

“We have had no problems with getting products…just a few back orders here and there,” she said. “The shop is really well stocked. I am seeking more local companies. I do a lot of work online, and the Mennonites in Indiana supply the wood signs.”

Donna herself makes all of the cemetery pieces and a lot of wreaths.

“Every time I make something, I put it on my inventory, she said, pointing to some arrangements that were enhanced by her placing a deer, angels or scarecrows and such among the floral pieces.

She said will be providing the decor for an upcoming wedding, complete with all artificial flowers.

What does she like about the floral business?

“I like talking with people and I love to work on flowers too….being my own self,” she responded.

She said even though she wanted to do something like this, she never thought she’d actually do it.

But, now she has and even has a companion there if she needs someone…her pet rabbit, Fluffy, which she got from Rural King and who will be 2 in March.

He’s another happy aspect to her life.

This sign greets passersby at the Little Lilacs floral shop in the heart of Webster.
This sign greets passersby at the Little Lilacs floral shop in the heart of Webster.
These wooden items are among the vast merchandise available at Littleo Lilacs.
These wooden items are among the vast merchandise available at Littleo Lilacs.
Fluffy, Donna Grillot's pet rabbit, is not for sale at her shop in Webster but he's a companion to her and enjoyed by shoppers in the store.
Fluffy, Donna Grillot's pet rabbit, is not for sale at her shop in Webster but he's a companion to her and enjoyed by shoppers in the store.
Donna Grillot peeks through a Christmas display set up in the original part of the store in Webster.
Donna Grillot peeks through a Christmas display set up in the original part of the store in Webster.
Darke County Now Staff - Linda Moody - Staff Writer

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ lmoody@darkecountynow.com or 937-337-1955.

Previous Lady Wave win in straight sets on Senior Night

Get Daily Updates

[mc4wp_form id="228"]
The Darke County Now Logo with White Font

News, Media and Information for Darke County, Ohio.

News, Media, and Information for Darke County, Ohio.

Service Request

Useful Links

More Info