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People still tell me how beautiful my mother’s wedding was. With ice sculptures, an expansive hors d’oeuvres table, a live jazz band and 5-course meal for five hundred guests, there were plenty of details to take in. But what stands out in my family’s memory was the flowers. Stems Inc., a floral company owned by Carla Williams, provided a unique blend of dark purple roses and butter-cream calla lilies. Williams is as unique and exotic, and as warm and energetic, as her arrangements.


For my mother’s wedding, Williams designed three-foot high tabletop arrangements that rested above the heads of the guests. My mother didn’t want her seated guests to have to look around the flowers to see each other, so Williams found vases that lifted the arrangements up, creating a magical and airy feel. Every table, corner and person in the wedding party displayed hints of Williams’ enchanted touch. Not a single stem was out of place. I learned afterwards, that Williams had done all this by candlelight the night before because the hotel power had gone out.


Williams has designed arrangements for every special occasion in my family since. Her flower designs are truly awe-inspiring. This year, on my birthday, I received a stunning arrangement of olive moss, purple orchids, orange daisies and birds-of-paradise overflowing out of a black clay pot.


As a floral designer, Williams spends her days among the clean, crisp smells of flower stems and the chaos of preparing roses. Dressed in black and hands buzzing, she talks with me as she trims banana leaves on her current project. “In my younger years, I was always interested in color and texture.  I wanted to know why we choose certain colors. I became interested in the vibration of color and texture.  As an artist, lines and space have always interested me,” Williams said.


After being unexpectedly let go from her job at an insurance company, Williams decided to try turning her hobby into a profession. She started developing personal relationships with marketing departments of hotels and funeral homes, and before long she had a full-time business. Williams described her ultimate purpose in creating floral designs for weddings. She said, “To create an environment that is pleasing to the eye, a lot of florists just throw stuff together, but my goal is to create a design where people are having an experience with the design itself. Almost like an optical experience where it really does something to your senses.”


By Angela Roberts



Mikki Platt
Kate Osborne
Rachel Haslam  801-558-9877




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