PERFECT PIVOT: Business owner turns adversity into sweet-smelling success

 PERFECT PIVOT: Business owner turns adversity into sweet-smelling success

Celia Alcaraz, who owns Flower Bar Floral Design, sets up a floral display at a recent shower.

Roses are red, violets are blue, when a traffic roundabout led to the unfortunate closure of Celia Alcaraz’s family-owned coffee shop, she came up with something new.

And the South Lyon resident’s new business — Flower Bar Floral Design — is blooming like a bouquet of fresh-cut roses.

Since late-May, Alcaraz has partnered with her mom, Laura Huey, to operate a flourishing floral-design business located in the basement of Celia’s South Lyon home.

The family’s motto could be: When life hands you dandelions, turn them into a beautiful bouquet.

Quick thinking

“My family owned a coffee shop just outside of South Lyon called Flower Bar,” Alcaraz explained. “We were forced to close when a roundabout was constructed in front of our business. Roundabouts are built to keep traffic moving and, unfortunately, it moved potential customers right past our shop.”

Floral Bar Floral Design has made the wedding day memorable for many brides and grooms
Flower Bar Floral Design has made the wedding day memorable for many brides and grooms

An experienced floral designer since her college days — Alcaraz designed floral arrangements for weddings and showers on a part-time basis even while the coffee shop was thriving — the always-hustling entrepreneur (Alcaraz is also a real estate consultant for Social House Group) came up with an idea.

“At first, I wasn’t sure what we were going to do when we were forced to close the coffee shop in May,” said Alcaraz, a graduate of Canton’s Salem High School.

“I still wanted to work with my mom and I like to stay busy, so we came up with the idea of launching the floral-design business.

“My mom, who has a lot of experience in the florist industry, committed to help me. We sold fresh-cut flowers in our coffee shop, so we moved all of the florist-related supplies to our basement and went to work.”

Sudden success

Considering details of weddings are cemented several months in advance — and most weddings happen in the summer — Alcaraz wasn’t sure how much interest the business would generate this past summer.

She was pleasantly surprised.

“We were booked every weekend this summer,” she said, smiling. “It’s been wonderful. And I am so thankful I get to work side-by-side with my mom every day.”

Alcaraz attributes the sudden success to the word-of-mouth marketing her business received from brides she had worked with in the past.

Floral Bar also offers a monthly bouquet subscription plan
Flower Bar also offers a monthly bouquet subscription plan

“I also have a big family and I’m active on social media, so word spread quickly,” she added.

“We feel very blessed that we’ve been this busy. I think it helped that a lot of people were familiar with our name from the coffee shop days.

“I also heard from a couple of brides who found out about what I was doing and told me, ‘I’m getting married in a couple of weeks and we’re not happy with our floral designer. Can you help?’ We were in a position where we could help because we weren’t super-busy yet.”

Alcaraz said she loves making the most important day of her clients’ lives as special as can be.

She does it all

Alcaraz is a hands-on owner, building the arrangements in her basement with her mom at her side — and setting up arrangements at shower venues, churches and reception halls.

“My husband (Anthony) has been a huge help, too,” Alcaraz said. “He helps with deliveries and he hasn’t charged me rent yet for turning our basement into a business (she laughed).”

In addition to designing and providing floral arrangements for weddings and showers, Alcaraz offers a monthly and bi-monthly subscription service that delivers fresh bouquets to clients’ homes.

And Alcaraz and her mom can still brew up a delicious cup of coffee.

To learn more about Flower Bar Floral Design, visit its website here.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or

Ed Wright

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