Shannon and Robin

Shannon Castillo & her mom/business partner, Robbin Anderson.

Portrait by Robb Simmons Photography

Each year the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce selects Kingston’s “Person of the Year”.  Our mission as a chamber is to encourage and promote the interests of the business community through development and implementation of programs and services which enhance economic activity and the quality of life for the Greater Kingston Community.   Our “Person of the Year” is someone that has consistently gone “above and beyond” with their time and talents to make Kingston a great place to live, work and conduct business. 

This year, we are very pleased to present Shannon Castillo, of Thistle Floral & Home,  our “Person of the Year Award”.

Shannon is the cheerleader for so many Kingston businesses promoting not only her shop, but many others via referrals and social media.   She believes “By supporting other business owners, we elevate the Kingston Business Community as a whole and together we are stronger.”   This past fall, she and Lisa Maxwell of Little City Candy Co., organized and implemented Kingston’s participation in the NKTC Spirits and Spirits Event bringing hundreds of people into Kingston on what is typically is a slow day.   She serves on the Kingston Beautification Committee,  Kingston 4th of July Ball Race Staff, Kinston Chamber Events Committee and was in charge of the KHS Homecoming Parade 2012 & 2013.  She also generously supplies flowers at KHS sports banquets and often donates floral centerpieces to local fundraisers.    Shannon embodies what a great community business leader should be. 

On April 1st, Thistle Floral & Home will celebrate its 5th Anniversary.  A milestone that has not been without its challenges.  Everyone knows that running your own business is incredibly hard work.  But for Shannon, there have been a few extra hurdles, although you would never know it from her perpetual smile and optimism.  Shannon has Lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes severe inflammation and pain in variety of ways.   Add to that, a fall last year that resulted in a severe leg injury requiring surgery and months of rehab.   How does she stay so positive?  Shannon’s philosophy in her words  “You can’t let those things determine your path.  There is no time for self-pity, you just get up and start your day.  Learn from your past but move on.  If you worry about yesterday or tomorrow, you will miss out on this wonderful day!”      

Shannon grew up here but had the opportunity to spend a couple of her high school years in Puerto Rico and this is when she met her future husband, Wilo.  They were high school sweethearts but parted ways when she returned to the states to attend college.  Fifteen years later, they reunited and according to Shannon (and everyone who knows them) “have been ridiculously happy for the 17 years since”.   

Shannon credits her “super talented and creative” business partner and mother, Robbin Anderson, for their professional success and for teaching her everything she knows about flowers and life!  “ There is no way I would be here today without my mom!” she says with tears in her eyes.  “We are so close.  I am so blessed to have her in my life every day, to learn from.”  Robbin has been a florist for many years.  She now shares in the daily management of Thistle.  Christian, Shannon’s son, also works at the shop.   It is a true Family Business.  If you didn’t already know where to buy your flowers, now you know!  They offer full Service Floral Delivery with a retail shop selling hand crafted soaps, hand lotions, jewelry, garden art,  unique live indoor plants and so much more.  Stop by to check out the shop and say hello to Shannon and Robbin at Thistle Floral & Home in Cleo’s Landing, 25960 Central Avenue NE, Kingston. 

Submitted By Colleen Carey, Executive Director

 Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce





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