Sometimes, store-bought or readymade bouquets aren’t quite right, so you toss the fern filler here, snip a stem down there, and rearrange it more to your liking. Building your own bouquet just the way you want is the premise of JJ’s Flower Shop, which operates both out of a storefront at Ponce City Market and the back of a spiffy 1968 Volkswagen drop-side pick-up truck named Bev.
Owner Sarah Donjuan had little floral experience—beyond deconstructing and rearranging the bouquets her then boyfriend (now husband) bought her—when she launched JJ’s in 2018, named for her Goldendoodle. She had a business degree, a marketing job, and an interest in flowers and doing something entrepreneurial. Just looking for a side hustle at the time, Donjuan did her research, bought the truck in California, and launched with a create-your-own-bouquet mobile pop-up on weekends. Six months later, she quit her day job and opened her brick-and-mortar shop.
“I knew there were a lot of floral companies with an events-based business, and I wanted to do something different,” she says. “I’m not a professional florist. I just saw a gap in the market and thought it would be fun, so I figured it out.”
The beauty of JJ’s is that everything is priced by the stem—starting at just a buck—so you can mix and match or buy as little as one bloom for a sweet souvenir.
Now, Donjuan employs a lead floral designer and shop manager, plus four assistants. At its Ponce City Market location, JJ’s also offers readymade and custom arrangements and conducts monthly workshops on flower arranging and, like more typical florists, offers same-day delivery and wedding florals. From March through September, floral truck Bev rolls around town, making stops at markets and shopping centers like Avalon and the Shops Buckhead Atlanta, and can be hired for private parties. Should events remain on pause, take advantage of JJ’s flower subscription service and regularly refresh your blooms without ever leaving the house.
Build a bouquet
“We encourage thrillers, fillers, and greenery,” says Sarah Donjuan of JJ’s Flower Shop, referring to the age-old recipe of combining a tall, big, or bright statement flower with smaller accent blooms and greens.
1. Envision a color palette or a theme. “Decide if you’re going for neutral, bright, moody. It helps establish a creative direction,” says Donjuan. “We chose a vibrant, tropical palette for this arrangement.”
2. Use a piece of greenery as a base. “Greenery holds everything together and helps form the overall shape of the arrangement,” she says. This bouquet is anchored by pointy-leafed ruscus.
3. Pick your focal point (aka your thriller). This one features a pincushion protea.
4. Shape it. “We love an asymmetrical shape,” says Donjuan. Two longer-cut roses and a carnation—a flower Donjuan insists is “back”—create an ever-so-slightly off-kilter balance.
5. Finish with filler and more greenery. Billy balls, mimosa, dried lunaria, and the rest of the ruscus are tucked in, cut at varying heights, with the yellow billy balls acting as exclamation points.
This article appears in our May 2020 issue.