When she agreed to buy Morrice Florist in Vineyard Haven five years ago, Emily Coulter was 30 and tired of waitressing by night, caring for her two young daughters by day and seldom seeing her husband.

“I was desperately needing some kind of change in my life,” she recalled in an interview last week, surrounded by leafy potted plants and mossy terrariums in the warm Morrice greenhouse.

Ms. Coulter recalled her breaking point — a frigid night in Edgartown, at the end of the 2013 holiday season.

“We had just finished New Year’s dinner and we ended up having to stay until about four in the morning,” she said. “It just kind of broke me. We were carrying stuff and there was frozen ice and snow everywhere. We had to break down the restaurant and put it in the basement, down these outside stairs that were sketchy. It was the worst night ever.”

She remembered thinking, “I just absolutely can’t do this anymore.”

It was the next day that Kim O’Callaghan, whose grandfather James F. Morrice founded the flower shop in 1940, asked “out of nowhere” if she’d be interested in buying the business. With no experience in either retail or flowers, Ms. Coulter instantly accepted the offer.

James F. Morrice founded the flower shop in 1940. Emily Coulter bought the business from his granddaughter Kim O'Callaghan. — Jeanna Shepard

“Yes. No hesitation. One hundred per cent yes,” Ms. Coulter said. “I got the call in January and on April 1 it was a done deal. It completely changed my life, and my family’s life.”

Ms. O’Callaghan stayed on to guide Ms. Coulter for her first three months of ownership, and then the newly-minted florist was on her own. She began by pulling up the decades-old Morrice carpet and then started switching out the inventory.

“I have so much fun curating the store,” she said. “Almost everything is flower or plant related or anything to do with tabletop design.”

Today’s Morrice is part floral shop, part boutique and part greenhouse/workshop, with a long table where Ms. Coulter gives classes in flower arranging and families set up terrariums with the supplies she has on hand.

“We encourage people to make a mess in here,” she said of the greenhouse, where last month she instructed 10 women in the art of Dutch-style flower arranging. As each bouquet was finished, Ms. Coulter photographed it as part of an Old Master-style still life she had set up in the boutique with fruit, bread, books and candles and a black backdrop.

Reflecting Ms. Coulter’s personal aesthetic, the Morrice boutique appeals to the senses with aromatherapy products, scented candles, plant-dyed textiles, fine sleepware, handmade glass and letterpress stationery. Island artisans represented in the boutique include calligraphers, woodworkers and soapmakers.

“I really like nice, beautiful things, but I want them to feel practical and cozy and welcoming,” she said. A lifeling Islander, she has an associate’s degree in interior design from Newbury College in Boston.

Some of the throw pillows and handwoven blankets Ms. Coulter has added to her boutique are costly, but there are lower prices as well.

An Old Masters arrangement — Jeanna Shepard

“We do have some items that are very expensive, and I order some flowers that are very expensive, but I also have plenty of gifts here for $10,” Ms. Coulter said. “We have stems [of flowers] that start at $1.50.”

And Morrice still offers discounted tulips by the bunch on Tulip Tuesday, a beloved tradition originally begun by Ms. O’Callaghan.

“I still carry the same flowers,” Ms. Coulter said. “I’ve just brought in another level, because here on the Island you have to cater to the whole array of people.”

She has also established her business as a wedding florist, at first networking with vendors she’d met as a wedding planner.

“Morrice didn’t really do a lot of weddings, and now we do a lot — it makes up a quarter of our business,” said Ms. Coulter, who employs an assistant and two floral designers at the shop.

Her latest innovations are what she calls a bucket club, for flower-arranging hobbyists who pay in advance for a monthly bucket of high-end blooms, and a plant hotel that provides expert care for privately-owned houseplants.

“Hopefully they’ll leave here happier than when they got here,” Ms. Coulter said.

Five years after buying the business, Ms. Coulter recently purchased the Morrice building as well. Her daughters drop by after classes at Tisbury School — her own alma mater. She’s open year-round, with no winter break.

“We’re a community florist,” she said. “We’ve been so busy, it hasn’t really slowed down for us. I feel like the word has really gotten out that this is a nice place to come to.

“Even if they don’t buy anything, people can come here for their moment of zen. People crave color and creativity in the winter, and you can find those things here.”