Some of the wooden signs available hang on a wall in a corner of the newly opened "Consider the Lilies Vintage Floral Co." in Houston.

The owners of a retail store that opened this week at the southern end of Houston say it’s designed to allow customers to decorate with a high-end vintage look at an affordable price.

Located in the McCloud Center on U.S. 63, “Consider the Lilies Vintage Floral Co.” offers floral arrangements, “shabby chic” antiques, wooden signs and more. Owners Ryan and Stephanie McKinney, of Success, opened the store for business Wednesday (Oct. 1).

Stephanie is a former art teacher in the Houston School District who now conducts educational programs for the Missouri Department of Conservation, covering a nine-county area out of the West Plains office.

“I’m the snake and bug lady,” she said. “But I love things to look kind of ‘old world,’ so most of what we do and offer will have that look. Being a former art teacher, I’m glad to be able to do something creative, and Ryan is very good with woodworking, so we’ll sort of tag-team and really enjoy this.”

Stephanie said the store’s name comes from passages in the Bible (in the books of Matthew and Luke) in which Jesus – speaking to his disciples – utters the words “consider the lilies” and talks about how beautiful they are despite not toiling, but simply relying on God to provide.

“When we decided to open the store, that scripture kept coming to mind,” she said. “I thought, ‘that’s a good name for a flower shop.’ And every step of the way, God has proven faithful.”

Consider the Lilies will do custom work of all applicable kinds, including making floral arrangements and signs. Decorating for weddings, funerals and other events is available, and the McKinneys will even work with furniture brought in by customers.

“We love repurposing and refurbishing things, and if someone has something they want to have that distressed look, we can do that,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie plans to also host Pinterest parties once a month at the store.

“I’ll show people things like a particular chalk paint technique,” she said. “They’ll be able to go home and work on their own things, or if they bring something in I’ll help them work with it.”

To more than a small extent, Consider the Lilies is the result of the McKinney’s own experience.

“We want to make this affordable,” Stephanie said. “There are times when we want the look of a high-end boutique, but can’t afford to shop there. This all started kind of out of necessity; when we first got married, I liked a more expensive look but couldn’t afford it. I started tinkering with it, got flowers at a good price and found old containers to put them in. I love the stories an old teacup or chalice can tell.”

Consider the Lilies’ hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The store’s phone number is 417-967-LILY (5459).

“We’ve really only been working on this seriously for a couple of months, but God is making everything come together really well,” Stephanie said. “We feel like everything is a seed, and we want to give back to the community.”

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