Floral-design studio Boulder Blooms highlights local flowers

Supporting community amid a changed paradigm

By Shereen Lisa Dudar Aug 25 2020

Boulder Blooms, tucked in the garden level of a business complex at 2935 Baseline Road, launched in 1999 as an independent floral-design studio. Owner Ashley King purchased it in 2019 to share her love of local flowers with the community.

“I have a background in e-commerce and technology alongside an immense plant and flower habit,” Ashley, an entrepreneur and marketing consultant, tells BLDRfly. “The two were the perfect combination to help grow and modernize the shop.”

Prior to purchasing Boulder Blooms, Ashley launched Dysh App in 2014, a mobile app connecting food lovers with restaurant recommendations, which she still runs today.

While the shop specializes in weddings, they readily deck out any event that needs floral pieces or installations, such as holiday parties and corporate events at local venues such as downtown Boulder’s Riverside. Its delivery footprint spans from just up the mountain to Vail and beyond, with elopement ceremonies in beautiful outdoor locations like Rocky Mountain National Park or Estes.

Ashley King

Boulder Blooms sources its flowers from all over Colorado, and since Ashley bought the company, it has tripled the number of flowers it buys locally, sourcing within the Front Range floral community though some of its wholesalers get flowers from other states.

Under the Colorado Flower Collective, Nederland’s wholesale plant nursery which forms a centralized market for plant growers and buyers all around Colorado, Boulder Blooms can order a wide range of its blooms. Throughout the week, it also receives deliveries from Longmont-based Sol y Sombra and Brighton’s Red Daisy Farm.

The biggest haul of local and specialty flowers comes from Arvada-based wholesaler Stevens and Sons, which gets its blooms both locally and from other states; Boulder Blooms receives a shipment once a week. The shop has probably over 70 blooms in the cooler at all times, but the selection rotates constantly with the season and what’s available, its marketing coordinator Lily Kelly told BLDRfly.

“A value that is really important to us is supporting our local community and our local growers,” says Diane Samu, the shop’s design manager. “The best way to do that is to go directly do them.”

Diane coordinates all the flower ordering and oversees the blooms’ transformation into bouquets and arrangements.

Ashley has implemented sustainable shop practices to eliminate unnecessary waste in the shop, such as recycling materials whenever possible and reusing non-recyclable items. The shop also pays to compost all of its flower and plant trimmings instead of sending them to the landfill.

The Boulder Blooms process: from the flower cooler to the design room to the beautiful 7:30 Sunset arrangement. Images: Shereen Lisa Dudar.

The shop recently launched the Blooms Beneficiary program, where it donates 100 percent of profits from a specific arrangement to an organization within Colorado or the larger floral community.

This program began in July with profits going to New York’s Soul Fire Farm, a BIPOC-centered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. This month’s profits will go to Rocky Mountain Riding Therapy, Boulder’s non-profit therapeutic horseback riding program.

While Covid-19 prevents customers from visiting, the workroom still buzzes with energy. The floral industry continues to thrive as people order flowers to celebrate special occasions, surprise a loved one or brighten up their home offices.

Creative collaboration

Anna, office manager, and Diane, design manager. Image: Shereen Lisa Dudar.

The custom floral-design studio’s office manager, Anna Gelotte, helps customers through the floral design process.

Sometimes people know exactly what they want or have already chosen an arrangement from Boulder Blooms’ website, but often they prefer to collaborate with the florist for a one-of-a-kind creation.

“We love to promote designer’s choice arrangements,” Anna tells BLDRfly. “Our designers get to do whatever they want and work their magic with your price point and color palette.”

Despite the pandemic, Boulder Blooms continues to assert itself as an integral part of the community through the art of flowers.

Check out Boulder Blooms’ Instagram for more beautifully curated bouquets, such as this one which features raspberries and kumquats! Image: Boulder Blooms.

Along with individual orders, wedding orders have continued to come in, keeping the shop’s wedding and events manager, Ciela Cote Directo, almost as busy as a normal wedding season. The florist shop has had some cancellations, but most people have kept their wedding dates and just scaled down guest lists. The shop has also seen an influx of impromptu elopements.

Boulder Blooms’ jewel-toned bouquet. Image: boulderblooms.com.

Some couples choose to embrace social distancing and have their celebrations over Zoom. For these virtual occasions, Ciela and her team create flower filled backgrounds, bouquets and flower crowns.

“There is a sense of normalcy,” Ciela says, “though it is way different than it used to be. People still planning weddings and celebrating big moments gives me a more optimistic perspective.”

Header image: Marketing coordinator Lily Kelly arranging flowers in the design room. Image: Shereen Lisa Dudar.