Black Butte Baskets owner Lexi Cheula and florist Patc Dawson hope people will “recondition their brains” to shop in Weed for a gift before looking elsewhere.

Black Butte Baskets owner Lexi Cheula and florist Patc Dawson hope people will “recondition their brains” to shop in Weed for a gift before looking elsewhere.

They also hope to “liven Weed up a bit” with the recent opening of Black Butte Baskets and Country Store, located in the old Groppi’s Market/Florista building on Main Street.

Cheula was only 18 and still a senior at Mount Shasta High School when she originally opened the store in a smaller building across the street last year. In December, she began working with Dawson, who moved her established Wreath Barn business into Cheula’s store to provide a full service florist in downtown Weed.

“It’s just something I wanted to do,” shrugged Cheula when asked what possessed her to open her own store while still in high school. She took a few business classes and decided to go for it, she said.

Cheula makes custom gift baskets for any occasion, containing locally made items and gourmet foods and beverages. She’s looking for new local vendors who make things which could be added to her baskets and sold at her store, she said.

“I want to eventually have 100 vendors... I have 20 now,” said Cheula, adding that her new storefront has plenty of room to expand.

“I thought we could do so much here... now we have Patc’s flowers and we want to have coffee.”

When she first moved into the building, Cheula said there was a lot of work to be done. The space had been used for storage purposes for more than a decade.

Today, the store is filled with gifts of all kinds, including balloons, jewelry, framed photos, scarves, plants, candies, jams, jellies, honey, soaps and much more.

Cheula also offers gift wrapping services for any occasion.

From the back half of the store, Dawson’s Wreath Barn pumps out arrangements every day, and Dawson herself is kept busy making wreaths, candles and other works of art for inclusion in Cheula’s gift baskets.

“I’m thankful to Lexi for bringing me into the store and giving me a place where I can be in the public eye,” said Dawson, who has created holiday wreaths for more than 25 years.

She now offers floral arrangements, wreaths for all occasions, boutonnieres, corsages, party favors and any other creation you’d expect from a full service florist. Through Valentine’s Day, Black Butte Baskets is offering free local delivery to say thank you to those in the community who are shopping with them.

Cheula and Dawson work well together; when Cheula has to be in class, Dawson is at the store and when Dawson can’t be there, Cheula is.

Cheula is attending COS full time. She’s also a Pampered Chef consultant and sells Signature HomeStyles and Miche bags “in her spare time.”

“We are really going for that ‘something for everyone’ approach,” said Dawson, inviting the public to come in a take a look at the store before driving to Walmart. “We’re encouraging people to shop locally and support small businesses like ours... We have unique, handcrafted gifts you can’t get anywhere else.”

To place an order or to learn more about becoming a vendor, call 938-8824 or stop by Black Butte Baskets and Country Store at 247 Main Street in Weed.