Lifelong friends open new flower shop in Kingston

Business takes place of Thistle Floral & Home

A new floral business, The Flower Box, recently opened in downtown Kingston, taking the place of Thistle Floral & Home owned by Shannon Castillo, who died in a car accident earlier this year.

The new flower shop is owned and operated by three friends who have known each other since they were in daycare as young children – Taylor Rychener, Jordan Hamilton and Ash Aske. They are all from North Kitsap, with Aske graduating from NK High School, and Rychener and Hamilton graduating from Kingston High School.

“We have been dreaming of something like this since we were little,” Rychener said.

The trio is not new to the flower business as they all operate a wedding planning company, Bixby + Pine, which started in 2014. Its studio is in Kingston but most of their weddings are outside of Kitsap County. They started out with wedding planning but soon realized that having flowers matching the feel and theme of the ceremony was very important.

“We had done a few weddings where we felt the flowers just didn’t quite match the vision we had for the event,” Rychener said. “We started doing flowers in 2017 offering them to our wedding clients and at our other events.”

Following Castillo’s death, her husband Wilo wanted to find a group to start a flower shop in the same space.

“(Wilo) kind of took over when she passed and was looking for someone to fill similar shoes that she did but also make it their own,” Rychener said. “We sent an email and got a couple interviews in the book, and it really felt like a natural fit for us to take over. It seemed like a really seamless transition in such a hard time.”

Rychener said she knew Castillo as they had worked on a few weddings together. “Going through this process with Wilo, he’s actually shared a lot about her. I feel like I know her more now than I ever did. She seemed like someone who was full of joy, love and laughter.

“We have big shoes to fill and while we are never going to fill those exactly the way she did, Wilo kind of gave us the blessing and freedom to run with her legacy but also turn it into our own,” she said.

Rychener said The Flower Box will offer more wedding florals. The new owners also made some changes to the building, such as painting the inside white.

The Flower Box opened July 1 and has already been included in the Kingston Sunset Market, a monthly event. Rychener said she wants the business to be involved in many community events such school sports/band boosters. “We all have young children. It’s nice to have a home base and be a part of our local community,” Rychener said.

Blooms available at The Flower Box include roses, ranunculus, stocks, chrysanthemums, carnations, anemones and more. Some are grown in Washington while others come from California and South America. “Our main offerings are bouquets in a few different sizes,” Rychener said. “We also have arrangements, something you might put on a coffee or dinner table.”

The business offers gift boxes that include things like chocolates, bath bombs, hairclips, etc. Purchases for all products can be made in-person or online at

“We just kind of pull from what we have in-shop and put it together in a curated box,” Rychener said.

The Flower Box is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 25960 Central Ave NE.

Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group
The Flower Box took over the space of the former Thistle Floral & Home.

Tyler Shuey/Kitsap News Group The Flower Box took over the space of the former Thistle Floral & Home.