Poncey-Highland’s Young Blood Boutique shares its space with blooms
When Ayla Gurganus decided to become a florist, calling her business “SoulFlowers” was a no-brainer. Her mom gave her the nickname before she was even born.
“I grew up with it being similar to a second name for me,” says Gurganus, “a part of my identity, you could say.” She began by selling arranged bouquets, mostly to passersby, out of an adult tricycle she parked in front of Virginia-Highland boutique Urban Cottage. “The idea was similar to King of Pops but with flowers,” she explains. These days, Soul- Flowers is a full-on floral business catering to intimate weddings, events and home decoration. But those in search of Gurganus’s unique bouquets to take home can head into Young Blood, where Gurganus’s microfloral shop, “Ayla,” offers walk-in services on Wednesdays and Fridays with limited availability on Thursdays and Saturdays.
“The flower shop is different than most florists in that we offer one bouquet in four different sizes,” Gurganus explains. “The bouquet changes every two weeks. Most florists in Atlanta offer services where you walk in and choose what you want, which is so great and needed, but it also creates a lot of waste in the flower industry. And why be the same when you can be different?”Ayla also offers hand-tied bouquet flower subscriptions in one-, two- or three-month increments.
Gurganus says she felt a need in Atlanta for a trendy, modern floral shop that was offering something different and new. “My goal is to merge modern elegance with obtainability. The art of giving flowers needs to make a comeback, and I want to be the biggest cheerleader in that,” she adds. “I love what flowers represent in any situation. There’s not a wrong way of arranging; they always bring comfort, peace and joy, and they are simply beautiful.”
STORY: Caroline Cox