It was a wet January day that I visited Olla Flowers to learn more about this new florist on the edge of Gastown. I was well rewarded for my visit and discovered much about the Flower Project that has very strong ties to the community around it.
The store sits in a very beautiful building at 235 Cambie Street with large windows and brick walls. Everything I saw was for sale and the unique arrangements came in modern and vintage planters. From gorgeous terrariums to fair trade roses and flowers sourced locally, Olla was alive with colour.
Megan Branson and Dionne Finch are set on urbanizing flower production and working with social enterprises through work with DTES community gardens, local flower lovers and even backyard growers. They came to this new enterprise through their love of design and landscaping. One of their goals is to ‘bring the outside in’.
Their work within the community includes working with mature gardens for flower cultivation, working with individuals with land available to host a garden and share the crop, hiring locally and purchasing flowers grown in community gardens and then sharing the bounty from corporate events, such as work with Amnesty International with non-profits in the DTES.
For weddings they have everything an engaged couple would need. Olla Flower Project promotes living wedding favours and centrepieces. The creative skills of Megan and Dionne can create stunning bouquets and floral displays. Their living arrangements can be purchased or rented for the big day.
Olla Urban Flower Project
I was very grateful for the opportunity to spend an afternoon wandering the store and learning so much about this unique new florist hub. This spring will find the shop blooming with new ideas and work in the community. Megan and Dionne have (no pun intended) their roots well planted in this neighbourhood and as they expand so will the gardening community around them.
Olla Flowers will be an exhibitor at The Grassroots Wedding Fair on February 12 at Heritage Hall.
photography by sweet earth photographics