– Words and photography by Lia Crowe
Shauna Grobowsky, owner of Passionate Blooms in West Kelowna, creates art that connects people through nature and allows them to feel special. Her love of flora stems back to her childhood where she has fond memories of being in her Nonno and Nonna’s garden. It was her happy place, and it’s a feeling she loves to share with others.
Shauna admits she’s never been one to fit into the norms of society. Today, she encourages people to not be afraid of who they truly are and to acknowledge what drives them.
“I’m the type of person who likes to make my own rules, to do things my way,” Shauna says. “It was natural for me to become an entrepreneur. I love to be challenged by being told that I can’t do something. Then I ignore that negative attitude and find a way to do it.”
Passionate Blooms has been around for nine years and is busier than ever.
“I believe one of the reasons we’ve been so successful is that I don’t put limits on my dreams or ideas,” she says.
Asked why she chose the name Passionate Blooms, she replies, “I believe you should be passionate about what you do, otherwise, what’s the point? We need to honour who we really are as artists; we express ourselves through design.”
Shauna’s passion is visible the moment you walk into her store: beautiful décor, tropical plants, and a heavenly scent. You can see it in the arrangements she creates and in her face when she talks about Passionate Blooms.
“Passionate Blooms is much more than a florist shop,” she says. “I can execute someone’s vision better than they can imagine when it comes to florals—I just see things differently. When we create arrangements, we find out as much as possible about the sender as we do the receiver. We use only high-quality products and artistic design to evoke a feeling of happiness. We want our arrangements to mirror the personality and the intention of the sender.”
It is evident that Shauna loves her career.
“I love going into work where I am able to Zen out by creating with flowers, with nature. It gives me internal bliss. And I know from experience that when I’m in that space, whoever receives the arrangements I make feels that same type of feeling.”
Shauna, who also teaches floral design, says some people don’t even realize how creative they are until they finish one of her workshops.
“I find creative people more complex than the average human. We need variety and excitement, and we want to express ourselves in unique ways. I love hosting workshops with people who think they aren’t creative. I love inspiring them to be imaginative and to push themselves beyond their perceived limits in creativeness. It’s so fun when they leave with a beautiful arrangement and a satisfied smile.”
One of Shauna’s latest passions is creating large-scale moss walls. “It’s like a live piece of art in your house. We use moss and lichens, which are preserved with a non-toxic dye. The beauty of these walls is they are super low maintenance.”
Shauna is very much hands-on in gathering items for her specialty walls. As she explains about sizes, frames and the plants she uses, she breaks into a big smile. “I love venturing into the forest to gather pieces of bark and bits from the forest floor and add them into the moss wall. Traditional arrangements and styles just aren’t on my palette.”
While Shauna loves her career, like everyone, she appreciates balance in her life. “We all need to release, to let go and forget about payments, employees and processes and all the things we have to manage over the week to succeed.”
It also doesn’t hurt to have a piece of nature nearby.
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
Madonna. She’s such a queen. I love the way she expresses herself and enhances emotions through music and fashion.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
Pizza. It has all the food groups and multiple combinations. If you don’t like olives and pineapple on your pizza, we cannot be friends.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
Latex outfits and designer shoes, of course. If you’re going to splurge, why not look fabulous as your outcome?
People who don’t refresh the water in their floral arrangement (or add water at all). I mean, let’s be honest, this is pure cruelty. You receive a luxury item such as fresh flowers, and they only last a short period of time, so, for goodness’ sake, give them some life!
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
Anywhere tropical with a cabana boy, lots of tequila and house music playing loudly on the speaker.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
Pulling people outside of their comfort zone. Limits don’t exist in my world.
What makes your heart beat faster?
This is easy—executing a large event. It’s a thrill, a feeling of anticipation and a total adrenaline rush to get it done in time, all while maintaining a calm, happy composure. All of the logistics of creating that perfect art piece for everyone to swoon over are very exciting!