Owner of Snaffle and Mane, Gillian Taylor, recently opened the doors to her first physical store for the business on Maple Avenue in Haliburton. /VIVIAN COLLINGS Staff

Plant and flower shop blossoms downtown

By Vivian Collings
Two weeks in to opening her doors in Haliburton, Gillian Taylor said she’s overwhelmed with the amount of support she’s received and the love shown for her business, Snaffle and Mane.
The horse and plant lover moved her six-year-old business to its very first storefront in Unit 5 of 83 Maple Avenue following the move of Mixtape Vintage to Highland Street just before Valentine’s Day.
“I didn’t realize how many people were so excited for a store like this. It’s been so good chatting with people. Sharing the love of plants has been really amazing,” Taylor said to the Echo after spending time chatting with customers.
The downstairs storefront with plenty of natural light is already blooming with emerald succulents in unique pots, beautiful fresh cut flowers, and dried greenery.
Taylor explained that she wanted the name for the store to be as playful as her own personality and to allow room for the business to grow in the future.
The long-time equestrian said, “The name came from a stamp my friend brought me back from New York, and it was super cool, and when I was looking for a logo, it just seemed like a no-brainer. I based the name of the company off that. I knew it had to be something horsey. It just came together.”
A snaffle is the bit of a horse’s bridal.
“I don’t think it necessarily has to be ‘plant and flower shop’ words. I’d rather be playful,” Taylor said. “Then, If the company expands down the road, I don’t have to worry about only doing plant and flower stuff because that’s what the name dictates. It’s kind of a nice way to branch out and leave it open-ended.”
Snaffle and Mane was born around the same time Taylor made the move north from her condo in downtown Toronto six years ago.
“I had a condo in the city that I started renting out, and I just starting living full-time up here. I built a greenhouse and just started growing as much as I could,” she said.
Moving her life from downtown Toronto up to a property in Maynooth was a huge change in lifestyle.
Taylor now lives with her mother in Haliburton and said, “COVID hit, and I just ended up staying there with her. It’s been the perfect situation because we’re both horse people.”
She grows her succulents in the basement in the winter and expands her operation to the lakeshore in the warmer months.
“It’s a lot of work, but I’ve now figured out my routine.”
With plants and flowers, she enjoys perfectly crafting orders to cater to individual aesthetics while also offering “grab and go” options.
“I’m a collector, so if someone is looking for something specific, I’ll try and find it for them,” Taylor said.
Like her business name, she doesn’t want Snaffle and Mane to be restricted in any way, and said there is room for growth in the future.
“I really like it here. The light’s amazing, the visibility’s great, but if I need to also expand to a warehouse five or ten years into the future, I will do that,” Taylor said.
When asked how her first Valentine’s Day operating a flower shop went, she replied, “It was bananas! Not a lot of people knew I was here yet, so I was really fortunate. I opened the weekend before.”
She’s still working on details like signage and putting aspects of the store together, but is excited to try new things.
“Weddings, events, working with cool people in the community to give people what they want in terms of bringing in some greenery or flowers is the goal. There are other options, I’m just different. And people seem to be really excited about that which I’m so grateful for,” Taylor said.
You can find Snaffle and Mane on Facebook, Instagram @snaffleandmane, and online at snaffleandmane.com. They can be reached at 416-301-3421.
The store is open Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.