International Women’s Day is on March 8, so what better time to celebrate one of our own who uses her skills and heart to uplift others in our community. Kara Lolley is the founder of Canyon Blooms, a local flower farm that provides bouquets and bouquet subscriptions to the Yakima Valley. She and her team of women are hard at work, making our community brighter, one bloom at a time.

Canyon Blooms Yakima
Founder Kara Lolley picking fresh flowers on her flower farm. Photo credit: Joe at Yakima Valley Photography

Canyon Blooms has been growing steadily since it was founded in 2020 — no small feat for any small business. It began from a simple gesture of kindness and grew into what it is today. Kara, the owner of Yakima Healing Arts, brought flowers into the office one day. She had an extra bouquet and decided to give it to one of her clients. The bouquet lifted her client’s spirits and began this dream of providing beautiful, local, and sustainably grown flowers for people to enjoy and help get them through the tough times. Kara is a naturopathic physician who has called the Valley home for 16 years. She believes that “Beauty helps us get through the hard times.”

Kara tilled her pasture and planted many seeds the first year in honor of her friend, Candace. They shared the belief that nature can be healing and a way to “transcend and lift” people up. She describes Candace as “an incredibly gracious person who had a deep appreciation for her community and gratitude for the people that made her life richer.”

Canyon Blooms Yakima
One of the many artful bouquets arranged by Melanee Bruntjen. Photo credit: Joe at Yakima Valley Photography

Every picked flower or foliage that goes into the bouquets has been grown and harvested by Kara and her team. Melanee Bruntjen, the floral designer, then arranges each bouquet into the lovely assortment you see. The arrangements can be purchased through their website as a single option or a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription.

“It’s fun to see a subscription because you can see the progression through the season,” said Kara. “There’s a different energy in spring flowers and summer flowers.” Canyon Blooms offers a 6-week or a 24-week subscription. This means that they can deliver a new bouquet to your home once a week for the subscription package chosen. They also offer a business subscription which is a vase floral arrangement delivered to your business to brighten up your office, restaurant, or store.

Canyon Blooms Yakima
Try your hand at floral arranging with Melanee’s guided “Petal Party Date Nights.” Photo credit: Joe at Yakima Valley Photography

From zinnias, sunflowers, and dahlias, to basil, fennel and raspberry, Canyon Blooms uses the freshest (and pesticide-free) seasonal picks. This year, they have begun offering “Petal Party Date Nights.” You can get together with friends and join Melanee for some floral arrangement fun. She will bring you and your party buckets of floral assortments and show your guests how to arrange a stunning bouquet to take home.

Providing bouquet packages isn’t the only thing they do to bring joy and healing. They have also established a local fund called Petals For Patients. Donations made through their website go solely to providing bouquets for patients in hospital or hospice care. They also offer a percentage of their subscription proceeds to the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy. “We live in the Canyon. They are our neighbors and are a wonderful asset to Yakima,” said Kara.

Canyon Blooms Yakima
The Canyon Blooms women doing some hands-on work on the farm in Yakima Valley. Photo credit: Joe at Yakima Valley Photography

The people at Canyon Blooms are not only there to bring art and nature to their community but to help the Valley stay healthy and vibrant through their donations. “Women in business is such a valuable thing for a community because they have a slightly different approach,” said Kara. “It stabilizes a community.” Celebrate International Women’s Day by supporting this and any other local women-owned business. As the International Women’s Day website promotes, we must “Celebrate women’s achievements.”

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