What started as a foldable table and a bunch of flowers at weekly farmers' markets has blossomed into Bay County's first mobile flower trailer.
As a fourth-generation gardener, Lauren Stiles had an idea about a year ago to bring a flower trailer to the community called Late Bloomer. Small Hiking Backpack
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She opened her business in February with what she had — folding tables and flowers — to set up around local events and markets in the area. After a long six months of fabricating her trailer, she was finally able to bring it to life in October and now she travels around town to set up shop.
"At the time when I started, I was just a couple of folding tables and a sign, and just moved my business around and did markets until it was finished," Stiles said. "It was all worth it because it was a lot of fun for me."
But Stiles wanted something different, which is why she created Late Bloomer with a unique twist.
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Late Bloomer is a build-your-own-bouquet concept where shoppers can select from a dozen flowers and fillers to create a custom bouquet. The steps are simple: pick a focal flower, add accent flowers and finish with greenery or fillers.
All flowers are priced by the stem, and bouquets range from $15 to $75.
"There are build-your-own bouquet bars in tons of bigger cities, but in smaller cities like here, you don't see them very often," Stiles said. "So I know people were excited to see this come to Panama City."
The flower options offer a mix of unique and specially selected, and are frequently rotated to give a wider variety. For example, kangaroo paws, bunny tails, lavender roses and star thistle were all selections at the latest pop-up shop.
Stiles said she wanted to keep her brand authentic and non-traditional to give the community more options.
"They're kind of funky, and not the traditional flower," Stiles said. "People are not going to find most of these flowers unless they go to a florist."
When the Late Bloomer trailer debuted in Panama City, Stiles said she was overwhelmed by the community's supportive response. Not only has she held pop up markets scheduled around town, but she's collaborated with other businesses to host flower-arranging classes.
"Everyone has come out of the woodwork and has been so sweet in supporting my business," Stiles said. "I'm very grateful for Bay County and how everyone was so pivotal in helping me get this business off the ground. It was wildly welcoming."
Stiles said she plans to keep the flower trailer local to the area, and hopes to have multiple flower stands planted throughout Bay County in the future. Her ultimate goal is to own a you-pick flower farm.
Outdoor Table Cover New and returning customers are encouraged to follow Late Bloomer on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on upcoming markets and events in the local area.