Freshcut Downtown


Melanie Bernadsky could worry that sharing too many trade secrets with customers would kill potential floral sales – but that’s just not the way she’s wired.

“My mantra is that I’m coming from a place of abundance and not scarcity,” explains Bernadsky, co-owner of Freshcut Downtown. “I don’t want to live from a place of ‘this is taking away from that.’”

Her mantra has paid off. Since she started running build-your-own terrarium, floral arrangement and holiday wreath events in pop-up locations in 2016, she’s been able to welcome over 500 participants to her sessions – with 300 more set to get crafty this holiday season.

“Some businesses do 50 to 75% events and weddings… That’s kind of become workshops for me.

“There’s just no way I would’ve sold 500 terrariums from people walking in,” she says.

With a successful floral shop in Portage Place, Melanie sees only the benefit to the relationships, exposure – and social opportunities – that come out of her workshops.

“Anytime there’s some place new that I like… I can tailor it to what works for me and the restaurant. It populates my social life a bit as well,” laughs Bernadsky, noting an upcoming wreath workshop over at downtown newcomer Grey Owl Coffee & Pub.

Not only do the events connect her to new businesses in the area and potential repeat customers – but Bernadsky feels she was meant to share her craft with other people – and really delights in the relationships created over a DIY.

“It’s really a dream come true. We do a little toast at the beginning and say we’re not going to take ourselves too seriously.

“There is something about my workshop participants that I feel particularly bonded to.”

Whether it’s engaging over drinks that loosens things up – or the collective focus on the task at hand – Bernadsky feels like there’s an unbreakable bond created over the course of the night.

And, she never really has to worry about walk-in sales, since most people leave happy with their creations, while perhaps a bit more appreciative of the effort behind an elaborate floral arrangement.

“People come to (workshops) and think ‘that actually wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be,’” says Bernadsky.

“As much as they like to do their own thing and make their own thing, pretty much all of my students require a little bit of hands-on. There is inevitably at least a handful that I’m like standing over… Taking something out, putting something back in for them.

“There’s just nothing like that when you’re crafting on your own.”

For more information on upcoming workshops with Freshcut Downtown, visit