Township Four Brings Unique Floristry & Home Goods to Pittsfield | Connecting Point | June 7, 2018


THE BERKSHIRE COUNTY TOWN OF
BECKETT IS NEAR AND DEAR TO GELLED THOMPSON AND HIS PARTNER
NATHAN HANFORD, AND SO WHEN IT CAME TIME TO NAME THEIR STORE ON
PITTSFIELD’S NORTH STREET, THEY CHOSE TO HONOR THEIR HOME TOWN
BY NAMING IT AFTER THE ORIGINAL NAME FOR BECKETT, TOWNSHIP FOUR. UNIQUELY SPECIALIZING IN LOCAL
FLOWERS AS WELL AS ANTIQUES AND ART, TOWNSHIP FOUR IS MORE THAN
A STORE, IT’S AN EXPERIENCE. BUT AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER TONY
DUNNE SHOWS US, IT’S COMMUNITY THAT LIES AT THE HEART OF JED
AND NATHAN’S CREATION.>>I WANTED THE STORE TO BE MORE
THAN JUST A FLOWER SHOP. I WANTED THE STORE TO BE MORE
THAN JUST AN ANTIQUE SHOP. I WANTED IT TO BE MORE THAN JUST
AN ART GALLERY. I WANTED TO COMBINE ALL THREE SO
THAT YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE WHEN YOU COME IN. WHEN YOU COME TO US, WE DON’T DO
TRADITIONAL FLOWERS. WE TRY TO BIAS MUCH LOCALLY AND
WE TRY TO GROW AS MUCH LOCALLY AS WE CAN AS WELL. IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS WE’VE ALL
EXPERIENCED A RESURGENCE, I’LL SAY A RESURGEONS OF LOCOVORISM. 100 YEARS AGO THAT WASN’T A WORD
BECAUSE YOU BOUGHT EVERYTHING LOBBYING AL OR YOU MADE IT OR
GREW IT YOURSELF. SO HAVING THOSE LOCAL FLOWERS
DOES DRAW PEOPLE IN BECAUSE THEY CAN RELATE TO THESE TOWNS OR
THESE LOCATIONS OR THESE FARMERS THAT GROW THESE FLOWERS, AND
THEY CAN SAY OH YES, I KNOW ANNA, OR I KNOW OF NAUMKEAG, AND
THEY LOVE THE TBACT THAT WE’RE BUYING FROM A NONPROFIT
ORGANIZATION IN THAT CASE, WHICH IS PRESERVING THAT AREA.>>I LOVE TO CREATE. AND AS ANY ARTIST WILL TELL YOU,
SOMETIMES I MAKE WONDERS AND SOMETIMES I REMAKE, THIS IS IS A
CONFESSION RIGHT HERE, SOMETIMES I REMAKE AN ARRANGEMENT THREE OR
FOUR TIMES. BUT I DO HAVE FLOWERS THAT I
LOVE. SO IN TERMS OF WHAT’S BEING
GROWN LOCALLY, THERE ARE SOME REALLY UNIQUE INTERESTING THINGS
THAT DON’T ACTUALLY TRAVEL VERY WELL. CHOCOLATE COSMOS, TINY LITTLE
CHOCOLATE COLORED FLOWERS THAT SMELL LIKE CHOCOLATE, INCREDIT
FRIBL A FLORAL STANDPOINT BECAUSE YOU JUST DON’T SEE THEM
AT THE MARKET OR IF YOU DO, YOU CAN’T GET A LOT OF THEM. SO TO
BRING THOSE UNIQUE FLOWERS COUPLED WITH TRADITIONAL
FLOWERS, IT’S JUST FUN TO DO THAT AND FUN TO PROVIDE THAT IN
TERMS OF FLORISTRY. SO ART IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US,
BOTH MYSELF AND MY PARTNER NAY NAN. HE’S AN ARTIST IN HIS OWN RIGHT. I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE AN
ARTIST IN TERMS OF FLOWERS. AND THE ART THAT WE HAVE
SELECTED IN HERE, I FEEL IT EPITOMIZES BOTH NEW ENGLAND AND
THE BERKSHIRES BECAUSE WE HAVE BOTH BERKSHIRE AND NEW ENGLAND
ARTISTS REPRESENTED. SO WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR IN
ANTIQUES IS SOMETHING THAT’S AUTHENTIC THAT RESONATES WITH
ME. WHEN YOU HOLD SOMETHING THAT HAS
AGE TO IT AND THAT HAS PATINA TO IT THAT YOU CAN’T DUPLICATE,
YOU’LL FEEL IT. AND IT COULD BE SOMETHING AS
SIMPLE AS A HANDLE OF A SCYTHE, TO CUT GRAIN WITH, AND IT’S NOT
BY ITSELF A TERRIBLY VALUABLE ITEM. BUT WHEN YOU MOUNT IT INSIDE A
CABIN OR INSIDE YOUR HOUSE OR YOUR WORKSHOP, IT BECOMES MORE
THAN JUST A HANDLE, IT BECOMES A PIECE OF THAT SPACE. SO WE WANTED TO PROVIDE AN
OPPORTUNITY WHERE PEOPLE COULD ACTUALLY WALK IN AND TAKE A LOOK
AT A VIGNETTE OR A SPACE INSIDE OUR STORE, MAYBE A TABLE LENGTH,
AND YOU COULD SEE OBJECTS ON THERE OR ART ON THE WALL OR A
PLANT IN A POT AND YOU COULD SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, I COULD HAVE
THAT IN MY HOUSE. SO WE WANT TO MERGE AND MELD THE
PLANTS AND THE ART AND THE LOCAL WORK, AND THE OUTDOORS AND THE
INDOORS ALTOGETHER AND KEEP IT AUTHENTIC. THEY SAY IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO
RAISE A KID. IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO SUPPORT
SMALL BUSINESSES. COMMUNITY IS EXTRAORDINARILY
IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY HERE IN THE BERKSHIRES. ACTUALLY IT’S A LARGE AREA
GEOGRAPHICALLY, BUT WITH SUCH A SMALL POPULATION. WHEN YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY HERE,
I’M GOING TO GO TO A LOCAL FARMER AND BUY THOSE FLOWERS
WHEN I CAN. AND THEY’RE GOING TO GO AND
SPEND THAT MONEY LOCALLY IN OTHER BUSINESSES WHO MAY THEN IN
TURN COME BACK TO ME. AND BUY FLOWERS FROM ME.
AND ADMITTEDLY I MAY NOT BE THE CHEAPEST, I CAN’T COMPETE, AND
I’M NOT GOING TO COMPETE WITH BIG BOX STORES. BUT WHEN YOU COME TO ME, YOU’RE
COMING TO ME FOR MY KNOWLEDGE, MY EXPERTISE, AND I FEEL LIKE
YOU CAN GET MORE FROM A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER WHO SPECIALIZES
THAN YOU CAN FROM GOING TO A BIG BOX STORE THAT GENERALIZES.

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