We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brooke, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My mom was a florist for most of my life growing up. I started loving flowers at a very young age. I remember cutting yellow roses off of her rose bushes and wrapping the stems in wet paper towels to take to my teacher. After High School I started working in the same flower shop my mom worked at. I was taught how to clean and handle flowers as they came in from the wholesalers. Not long after I started, I was shown how to design a dozen red roses in a vase to help with the Valentine’s Day rush, and I was hooked! I loved every minute of putting those roses together. I knew then that designing flowers would be a big part of my life.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been a florist for over 22 years. Most of that time was spent in an everyday floral shop. We designed mostly for everyday occasion, Birthdays, Get Wells, and Anniversaries, etc. Towards the end of the week, thats when we started designing for the weddings! I loved wedding weekends. It was about 6 years ago I really started focusing only on weddings and events. I left the flower shop I was working for and started my own floral company, Creme de la Bloom. I also reconnected with an old flower friend Andrea McKay who owned Garden Gate Flowers at the time. I went to work for her as a freelance designer. A few years later Annie came to me with the proposition to sell me her business. It was a no brainer, of course I wanted it. The transition of ownership was seamless. I’ve continued to expand the Garden Gate Flowers brand. We offer brides floral designs that are whimsical, romantic, and garden inspired. Each wedding is unique and needs to be treated that way. There is no package pricing with us. Each bride gets a customized proposal after we go through a detailed meeting to discuss her floral vision for her wedding day.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Arizona is my place! I’m 6th generation Arizonan. We would definitely hit as many Mexican food places as we could. Starting with Elmers Tacos in Chandler and ending up at Tia Rosa’s in Mesa. For entertainment we would spend a day tubing the Salt River, visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens and driving up to Prescott and go treasure hunting at the Antique Stores. I’m not a drinker but I can tell you the best cinnamon roll in town is at Rise up Bakery in Gilbert and if you want the yummiest cookies you have to got to Soda Rush!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I mention that my mom was a florist, but I come from a long line of talented women. My Gran has one of the most unique talents of being able to create something out of nothing. She can pick up a twig in her yard and it’s some how now an accent piece to a bowl of polished rocks that she’s hand drawn dragonflies on. There’s my Aunt Lousea who made the most amazing wedding cakes and grew beautiful roses and sweetpeas in her garden. These 3 women have shared their many creative talents with me over the years and supported me throughout my floral career.

Website: www.gardengateflowersaz.com
Instagram: @gardengateflowers

Image Credits
Head Shot- Brookiedphotography going from left to right 1st photos- For The West and Wild Photo 2nd photo(cake) – Leslie Ann Photography 3rd Daniel Kim 4th Karlee K Photography 5th Hart Film LLC 6th Melissa Brielle Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.