With her iconic VW pickup loaded with buckets of fresh-cut flowers, Shiann Chambers brings a fun and easy way to for bloom addicts to get their floral fix all over town.
“Everyone deserves flowers!” That’s Shiann Chambers’ motto, and the belief that drove her to create her company, Wilde Honey Blooms. It also led her to restore and drive her beloved VW pickup around town, making flowers available to flower lovers year-round.
Chambers hasn’t always been in the bloom biz. After spending the first years of her career working in the fast-paced tech industry, Chambers longed to escape the corporate world and let her creative side run wild.
“I had an aching to create something,” Chambers says. “I was dying to get my hands dirty, slow down, and take a beat to appreciate, embrace and acknowledge the little moments in my own world that I had allowed to briskly pass by.”
Chambers has always loved flowers, although she previously hadn’t considered them the focus of a viable career. But when the idea of working with florals filled her dreams, she couldn’t ignore it. Without a second thought, she flew to Boston for a workshop with Michael Gaffney’s American School of Flower Design, determined to discover if she could create a business based on blooms. “I spent the next two weeks shivering in a floral wholesale market in downtown Boston, finding my soul’s happiest place,” she says. “A childlike excitement overtook me as I worked with every type of flower possible. Seeing a creation come to life, out of basically nothing, was incredibly rewarding and I became utterly addicted.”
In the workshop, she discovered that she had an eye for design. She also learned that she needed to develop a lot of skills to become an arrangement pro. “I was intrigued by the science of floral design and why certain shapes, colors and textures were pleasing to the eye, while others were not,” Chambers says.
After her design awakening, when her floral fate was “signed, sealed and gorgeously delivered” as she says, Chambers was faced with a new challenge: Utah’s flower market. “Due to Utah’s location and our amazing range of seasons, we don’t have easy access to street-corner flowers 365 days a year like New York City does or the vast public floral markets like those in San Francisco,” Chambers says. “I was determined to give Utah a way to snag fresh blooms in daily doses. I wanted to create an opportunity for others to bring their own ideas to life by being able to handpick stems.”
And so “Ollie,” Chamber’s iconic flower truck, was born. While hunting for the vehicle, Chambers discovered a new passion as she joined the world of Volkswagen buffs. “When people say they love VW, it’s a deep love,” she explains. Chambers chose a rusty 1958 VW pickup and, with the help of Greg Hale—a California-based fanatic who she dubbed her “knight in shining VW armor,” she turned the old vehicle into the charming shop-on-wheels she loads with flowers today. “I love the truck because it’s a brand icon for me, but it’s also a novelty that people fall in love with once they experience it.”
The truck also provides the kind of mobility and accessibility that Chambers desired when she started her floral business. And boy, does it deliver. These days, you can find Chambers and Ollie stopping for scheduled floral classes or parked around town with buckets of fresh flowers ready for the picking.