This article is part of a new Birdytell Series featuring Creative Small Business Owners. We visit and photograph each person in their creative space while they share insights into their favorite spots in their area of the city.
Flower Bar is one of those spaces that sticks with you long after your visit. It's warm and moody with other-worldly florals and plants, a succulent potting station, and build your own bouquet bar.
Megan Carollo, the shop owner + designer, started creating floral designs for weddings and events throughout Arizona since 2012. She expanded her studio into Old Town during the fall of 2017, so she could add a botanical inspired retail space and a larger workshop area.
We talked with Megan about the changing vibe in Old Town and what neighboring spots she likes to visit when she's away from her store.
What exciting changes have you seen in Old Town recently?
The city has really been working to bring in local businesses and create a bit more of a neighborhood feel, as opposed to the tourist/ bar scene. We are seeing a lot of spaces transition into retail and live space creating a whole new dynamic for the area. Old Town is definitely undergoing a bit of an update / makeover so that it will attract more locals to dine, shop, and live in the area as opposed to only visiting.
What do you think is in store for Old Town in the near future?
I think Old Town will definitely see an influx of more local business and people enjoying the area for longer amounts of time. They are building the first non-gambling Caesar’s Hotel which is going to be a great option for many people wanting to visit and stay in the area. As it is, there are only a hand full of luxury hotels in the area, so that is a very exciting development. Also, there has definitely been a decrease in the amount of new bars and clubs going in than in previous years, again trying to expand the reasons people want to be in Old Town. I think it will aways be a busy spot during spring season and I don’t foresee that ever changing because of the location, but hopefully with the new developments, growth of the Farmer’s Market and new living opportunities we will see a shift in the demographics of visitors to Old Town.
On Monday mornings when you need some energy, where do you go to grab a cup of coffee or tea?
Well, I typically wait until mid day for my “coffee break / boost” and always end up at Sugar and Spro’ - right behind us on Marshall Way. A few of us at the studio have all gotten a bit addicted to their Ah-Ha Honey. It’s fresh squeezed agave lemonade with espresso. I know it may sound a little odd, but it’s super delicious!
If you needed the perfect greeting card to pair with a bouquet of flowers for someone where would you go to find one?
Well, the studio offers a select collection of cards by 2 local artists - Paige Poppe and Heartswell, so I would probably start there ;) Each line is unique and supports another local small business. Paige Poppe has a super bright and happy watercolor vibe with all her cards and Renee with Heartswell creates more muted cards on recycled paper inspired by landscapes and botanicals. Otherwise, the Paper Place, again on Marshall Way is a super cute store filled with larger variety of cards and incredible wrapping papers!
Where do you go when you need something sweet?
Ruze Cake House is absolutely a must, this mother daughter team creates truly beautiful (and tasty) deserts in a super sweet space. Another great option if you are a doughnut fan is Alien Donuts - it’s closer to the studio and it’s not uncommon to find line out the door, but totally worth the wait.
If you wanted to get a quick workout mid-day where would you go?
You can get in a 45 minute Yoga Sculpt class at CorePower Yoga in Old Town. The space is super clean and it is definitely a workout that isn’t for the faint of heart. The focus is a bit hybrid and more fast paced than yoga, but it’s definitely a great workout!
When you have visitors in town what is one local favorite that you make sure is on the agenda?
Sadly it was Cowboy Ciao, which recently closed. I was a super fan of the Stetson Chopped Salad. Without Cowboy Ciao, another great spot is Cornish pasty Co. the food is unique, the vibe is definitely different, and they have a great patio so it’s always a good spot.
When you’re working on a new bouquet creation is there a place nearby that you go to for inspiration?
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts has some great rotating exhibits - it’s not an overwhelming large museum and it’s very reasonably priced, so it’s easy to pop in if there is an exhibit that peaks my interest. Otherwise, I am a total sucker for a good plant nursery. I will often end up at Berridge Nursery on Camelback just wandering around looking at all the varieties and different combinations of plants and flowers. I get a lot of inspiration from the macro side of Mother Nature.
It’s been a long week at the shop, where do you go to celebrate the week’s wins?
FnB is a great, cozy little spot that feels tucked away in Old Town. They have a roaring selection of global wines and the food is absolutely incredible. Definitely a great spot to celebrate and enjoy a truly special meal.
For more about Megan and Flower Bar:
Get local™ graphic by Birdytell. Photos owned by Birdytell.