Ashley Bookout is not your average Charlotte florist.
The area native is the proprietor of Bookout Blooms, a boutique flower shop that specializes in providing floral arrangements for all of life’s major events. From funerals and weddings, to birthdays and everything in between, Bookout Blooms has established itself as Charlotte’s go-to flower shop.
In 2015, after a string of serendipitous events, Ashley got her big break. She was able to open a flower booth in the historic Atherton Mill in the South End during the Atherton Farmers Market. What started as a small booth soon turned into a full-blown storefront.
Today, Bookout Blooms is a powerhouse in the floral arranging world. They offer everything from unique floral arrangements and bouquets to flower crown making workshops and more.
Why did you want to be part of the South End neighborhood?
We love our location because of the proximity to so many other cool places. The Rail Trail connects many of the apartment complexes, which allows us to meet new customers every day. Other retail shopping like Anthropologie and Free People bring many to Atherton Mill for the first time and we are able to connect with those customers as well.
What’s it like to be part of so many people’s special days?
We are so happy to be a part of so many memorable life moments such as weddings, birthdays and funerals. There is a lot of pressure to make everything perfect for these events and there is a huge responsibility to get everything right for those important orders. We are glad whenever we hear sweet comments from brides about their flowers or receive notes from someone who experienced a loss to say that our flowers made them smile.
As a Charlotte florist, where do you source your flowers from?
I love working with local farmers in the spring and summer months. A lot of them I met originally when we opened in the Atherton Market in 2015. We also source from many wholesalers that bring in gorgeous and rare products from other countries. South America is known for their roses and places like Japan and Holland have some of the best flowers in the world.
What are some details you’d want to tell those who are interested in your workshops and classes?
I love our workshops because they are intimate (at most, they’re 10 people), and allow us to connect with people on an individual level. During the classes and workshops, we teach everyday flower techniques that many have never heard of. We get a lot of great feedback about the workshops, but the best is to receive repeat customers signing up. All materials and instructions are provided. All you need to bring is yourself! Also, it’s great to do with a friend or a group.
What is the best initial care and continued maintenance for flowers, and their longevity, after one has received them?
Water! Water is so important; many people fail to refill the water in their arrangements. Having a full vase of water can extend the life of the arrangement by five t0 six days.