Toni Reale, owner and lead designer of Roadside Blooms is making Charleston headlines for her popularized 100% American and locally grown floral company. With an infectious curiosity to become a changemaker by “treading lightly on the earth,” while promoting eco-friendly initiatives, Toni Reale is shifting the way industry leaders plan celebratory events and weddings.
How it all started…
Initially opening up shop in 2012 out of a 1971 British Ice Cream Truck after launching her first ever sustainable events planning company in 2009, Reale noticed a needed space in the market for supporting local and American farmers. According to Reale, their flowers are “fresher,” and it’s of utmost importance to support neighboring clients. Almost seven years later, after turning the once psychedelic treat truck into a mobile flower shop, she turned to a much-needed brick and mortar store, and finally, to a larger storefront. Reale is showering Charleston locals in alluring blooms while actively spreading the word to promote native farmers.
We caught up with Reale to learn about flowers, her business, Charleston, and tips on arrangements. Reale prefers working with locally grown flowers during the months of April, May, and June as they are currently in bloom. Ranunculus, Star of Bethlehem, Dahlias, and Larkspur, to name a few. She’s obsessed with all kinds of flowers, particularly the ones that are unique. She’s really into foraged materials incorporating them into designs that create unique and unexpected outcomes.
A Timeless Tradition
Reale states how the joy of receiving flowers dates back about a thousand years. It’s natures way of spreading joy and feels lucky that many amazingly beautiful things grow in Charleston. Weddings are her favorite occasion to create flower arrangements, especially weddings in which the clients give a lot of freedom to get creative. She enjoys installations that allow her team to create the unexpected. Her most memorable installation was designing florals growing up and wrapping around an ancient oak tree at the Legare Waring House. The bride was wowed and Reale was consumed with joy.
A couple must have trends include textured greenery arrangements with pops of neutrals, dried foraged elements such as pampas grass, privet berry, and unique pods found in the forest. Lastly, for at home arrangements, Reale says: “Don’t overthink it. Follow Mother Nature’s lead when it comes to color and design. She’ll never steer you wrong.”
We’re proud to partner with Roadside Blooms to offer DIY classes and experiences, stay tuned to our Happenings Page for more information on our upcoming events.