In Full Bloom: Downtown’s Latest Flower Shop Offers Diverse Floral and Artistic Services

December 18, 2015

The entrance to Art House Centro and Downtown Blossoms, offering a diverse selection of local art, jewelry, and flowers.

The entrance to Art House Centro and Downtown Blossoms, offering a diverse selection of local art, jewelry, and flowers.

By Kai Parmenter

Located in the El Presidio Historic District of Downtown, Old Town Artisans has long been one of Tucson’s premier destinations for authentic local jewelry, artwork, and food. With a number of shops, galleries, and the renowned La Cocina Restaurant, the 150-year-old Artisans building recently acquired another business, Downtown Blossoms, a small flower shop with big aspirations.

Downtown Blossoms opened in October within the Art House Centro gallery, just west of the shared courtyard. A family-owned and operated business, Downtown Blossoms places emphasis on “artistic and original floral expression.”

But Downtown Blossoms is not merely another store that sells flowers. According to Pati Velasquez, manager and co-founder of the business, Downtown Blossoms is a full-service floral shop. “You can walk in and get something, I can have something delivered. I also do private home installs,”  which includes Christmas and other holiday-themed handmade decorations.

Downtown Blossoms manager and cofounder Pati Velasquez, in her shop.

Downtown Blossoms manager and cofounder Pati Velasquez, in her shop.

Velasquez is also quick to point out that the shops located in the Old Town Artisans block function much like partners to one other. Case in point, a partnership between Downtown Blossoms and the adjacent Old Town Market has led to the pairing of wine and flowers in gift baskets, available for home delivery. More collaborative projects are anticipated in the future.

Velasquez was most recently a freelance designer, and her resume includes projects for Hotel Congress and several other businesses in Downtown Tucson. She also worked for an event planning company, and as a bartender. “I used to bartend at District Tavern,” says Velasquez, who contacted Old Town Artisans in June regarding a position as a bartender. “They called me the next day [and asked] ‘do you want to open a flower shop?’” Velasquez jumped at the opportunity.

“I had an investor all ready,” notes Velasquez. “Everything just worked out perfect because [the owner] wanted flowers here and I was in the market to open up my own place.”

Downtown Blossoms offers a wide array of handmade decorations, including holiday-themed items.

Downtown Blossoms offers a wide array of handmade decorations, including holiday-themed items.

In addition to her duties as a florist, Velasquez is also an artist, which seems only fair given the location of her new shop.

“I have a lot of projects going on constantly,”  she says. Her work includes painting, mixed media and home decoration. “Everything is custom. I’ve been Downtown for so many years, and I love it. My heart is here.”

Downtown Blossoms does have an emphasis on flowers, but Velasquez says her work as an artist allows her to cover a diverse array of mediums.

“It’s a flower shop, but because of where I’m at, I have a lot of opportunities to branch out,” as seen in a recent project where Velasquez painted a guitar case in the style of Dia de los Muertos for a music major at the University of Arizona.

“There’s inspiration everywhere,” says Velasquez. “I never know how my day’s going to go, whatever project comes up, I just jump on it.”

Downtown Blossoms is located in the Old Town Artisans block at 201 N. Court Ave, within the Art House Centro gallery. For more information, visit their Facebook page here, or call 520-539-9650.

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