Captivating Blooms: Local Flower Shops Loaded With Color and Flair

Written by Jenna Macfarlane

Photos by Paul Bolstrom

Flowers bring life to a bridal ceremony. They signify new beginnings, shared celebration and dreams in bloom.

At many weddings, flowers are the only decorations necessary to set the tone for the day. They bring the bride’s color palette, desired mood and overall vision together in harmony.

Floral arrangements are elegant and meaningful. They are also time-consuming and take an artistic hand to craft well. Luckily, Lakelanders have a variety of wonderful options to consider at any stage in the wedding planning process.

Uli & Co

Julie Czernek of Uli & Co. believes flowers are an integral part of the wedding experience. “Flowers bring together the color palette, the vision, the mood, the feelings,” Julie says. “Flowers are at the core of what you experience on your wedding day.”
For many couples, a good florist is the only decor assistant they need: centerpieces, archways and table decor can all be done beautifully with quality flowers. 

Julie is inspired by flowers thanks to her mom, Maria, whom she works side-by-side every day to arrange and create intricate floral details. Maria’s floral hobby began 15 years ago in Seattle, Washington, when she attended workshops within their community. When Maria and Julie moved to Lakeland together, they began making floral arrangements in their spare time. 

One of her favorite trends right now is creating long tabletop floral “runners,” which seemingly emulate long gardens across a table. 

For two years, they took orders out of their home—crafting beautiful bouquets for Mother’s Day, archways for small events, and eventually full-service florals for weddings. Today, they own an event space in Dixieland, Uliana Events, where staff put together the flowers that customers can order through checking out the company’s Instagram or by emailing

“So much time goes into the process, and every detail is meticulous, from shipping, cleaning, arrangement and delivery,” Julie says, but she believes it’s all worth it.

“Flowers are at the heart of the wedding experience. They bring everything together,” Julie says.

Inspired Alchemy

Florida’s natural scenery is some of the best in the world. Our sprawling fields, sunny weather, and coastal beaches bring visitors from across the globe to experience it. Our tropical flowers are eccentric, too—often brightly colored and expansive, making them perfect for display at beach or destination weddings. 

At Inspired Alchemy, Kara Huebsch coordinates floral orders and shipments all the way from Ecuador. She works with florists to provide tropical flowers by-the-stem, as well as ready-to-order bouquets for weddings and events.

“Tropical flowers enhance the natural beauty of Florida,” Kara says, explaining that many of these flowers can be grown here, but they’re bigger and under better conditions in Ecuador. They’re also more hardy — they last longer than most wedding flowers, making shipment more efficient and cost-effective.

“Flowers are just special,” Kara says. “There are so many variations. It’s beautiful to see their structure and natural art celebrated in our community.”

Kara is new to the floral business. She started Inspired Alchemy in August 2022 and has been slowly building a client base since. She showcased her work for the first time alongside other local business owners at Bonnet Springs Park’s Bridal Show, and has since hosted popups at Honeycomb Bakery and the Lakeland Valentine’s Day market. 

In the coming years, Kara hopes to continue the path she’s on: providing affordable bunches of bouquets for weddings, quinceaneras, and special events, and selecting flowers by-the-stem for florists. 

Order your own tropical bouquet via or by calling Kara at 863.521.3004.

Bloom Shakalaka

When designing wedding florals, Laura Shannon of Bloom Shakalaka has one strategy: get to know the couple. 

In the first stage of the process, she asks the bride and groom seemingly unrelated questions — like: “What do they like to do on the weekend?” and “What kind of music do they listen to?” But she believes it’s pivotal information to craft the couple’s unique floral style. 

Laura doesn’t follow the current trends, she truly attempts to create arrangements that represent each couple. Are they an airy garden stroll with lots of greenery, or a tightly bound classic rose? Will their wedding feel like a funky disco party or a quiet, intimate union?

“It’s inspiring to see how florals are evolving,” Laura says, noting she often experiments with hybrid blooms and crafting bouquets into unconventional shapes. She’s fascinated by dying florals to create new colors and making increasingly sustainable installations with foam alternatives.

Laura had been planning and hosting events at Ashton Events for nearly a decade when she decided to open her flower shop. She took classes, traveled and researched to learn how to create the perfect bouquets. 

She noticed Lakeland was missing a modern floral-forward shop, and felt she was the right person to bring it to life. At Bloom Shakalaka, she creates floral designs for customers needing fresh, distinctive flowers for their events. 

See it for yourself: Bloom Shakalaka is located inside the Joinery at 640 E Main St, Lakeland, FL. Visit to shop daily and event blooms.


Uli & Co

Inspired Alchemy

Bloom Shakalaka

The Local Flower Shop Owners

Julie Czernek & Maria Mironchuk / ULI & Co.

“Flowers bring together the color palette, the vision, the mood, the feelings”

Kara Huebsch / Inspired alchemy

“Tropical flowers enhance the natural beauty of Florida”

Laura Shannon / Bloom Shakalaka

“It’s inspiring to see how florals are evolving”