Business profile: Shirley McGill, Little Pigeon Florist

ZZ Shirley McGill

Shirley McGill, and Rabi, Little Pigeon Florist

It is not easy to find Little Pigeon Florist. It is near traffic light number 7 in Pigeon Forge, close to the Old Mill and across the river from Jim Gray’s Gallery. Odds are that you will still miss it the first time you look for it, but if you have perseverance it will be worth it. Shirely McGill is the person you are looking for if you have interest or need flowers.

“I was a nurse for 30 years,” Shirley says. “I lived in Florida and it was always 90° and I wanted to see the seasons change. So I retired and moved to Tennessee. One day I came by this flower shop because I needed a funeral arrangement and I fell in love with it. Then about five years ago I drove by again and saw a little cardboard ‘for sale’ sign in the window and just knew I had to have it.”

She may have known it right away, but it took several months for the previous owners to be convinced. “It was a family shop, ” she says. “And they wanted to know that the new owner would love it and care for it as they had. I finally convinced them and we opened Sept 1, 2013.”

Shirley is a florist because she loves it. “It is a passion. I love coming to work every day, even when I have to stay until 11 or 12 at night. This is the #2 area for weddings in the country so I would love more wedding business, but I really love doing unique things. I spend a lot of time creating different arrangements like bridal boquets. I like to add silver and jewels to make the flowers pop. I spend a lot of time making sure they are perfect before sending them out.”

Little Pigeon Florist does flowers for weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries, gift baskets decorations, honeymoon packages and “’just because.’ It is a small place overflowing with flowers, potted green plants, assorted arrangement-making supplies and—watch your feet because her rabbit “Rabi” has full run of the shop. Rabi was a gift from Shirley’s then boyfriend, Jerry. “Someone was going to eat Rabi,” Shirley says, “So Jerry bought him for $20.00 and gave him to me.”

Shirley and Jerry were married on Aug. 30th of this year. “I became a volunteer fire fighter after I moved to Catens Chapel. It was exciting,” she says. “I learned how to run the tanker, which was very interesting. Jerry was the fire chief. We became good friends and eventually started dating.” They enjoy camping especially at Fort Wilderness Disneyworld, Cades Cove and Elkmont during the firefly season.

Contact Shirely McGill at Little Pigeon Florist, 3326 River Road South, Pigeon Forge TN 37863


Leave a Reply