Flower and Coffee Shop Stemistry Opens Second Location Downtown
The flower and coffee shop led by teen entrepreneur Dylan Capshaw has opened a second location in Phoenix’s historic Heritage Square. Stemistry, located in the Teeter Carriage House at 618 E. Adams St., offers affordable, pre-made bouquets and invites customers to design their own arrangements at a build-your-own bouquet bar. “I don’t see flowers as this luxury item but rather a gift everyone can enjoy,” says Capshaw, 16, who started selling plants online in 2020, followed by the first Stemistry in Scottsdale in 2022. The Coffee Lab takes inspiration from the flowers with botanically-infused drinks, as well as the history of the carriage house. Also on the menu are sandwiches, pastries and desserts. At the new location, floral delivery and picnics will also be offered. We caught up with Capshaw to talk about the new location and what drives him as an entrepreneur.
What sparked your passion for entrepreneurship—and what led you to start Stemistry?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember, always starting little businesses here and there. My first legitimate business was in 2017 when I was 11 years old. It was Capshaw Wildlife, a nonprofit I created to help animals around the world. In April 2020, I created For The Frontline, a nonprofit that utilized 3D printers in an effort to mass-produce a revolutionary mask template that allowed one surgical mask to be used seven times safely. The next business was The Sanitation Stations, personal protective equipment-dispensing vending machines that I placed around the state, the first at Scottsdale Quarter.
My goal for every business was not to make money but rather to help my community and spread kindness, whether through helping people or animals. During COVID I was in online school and pretty bored, so I started selling plant clippings online from the weird plants I had to feed my exotic rescues in my wildlife rescue. The business took off within a month, thanks to my unique marketing, and I quickly ran out of plants to cut and sell, so I reached out to floral distributors and expanded my inventory online. Over the course of two years I boxed and shipped out over 10,000 orders alone, saving up enough money to launch a real brick-and-mortar business. I combined my passion for coffee with this flower shop and created Stemistry, a place where everyone can feel welcome and a neighborhood space for people to relax. I’ve learned an immense amount about business since launching Stemistry, and I love every day of it.
Tell us about the second location and what made it a good time to expand?
The second location is a really cool and unique space in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Expanding has been my dream since I first opened the doors of Stemistry but it was difficult knowing when the right time to expand would be. Within a couple months of doing business I fully recouped my initial investment of getting Stemistry up and running, so I knew it was profitable. I waited until I had a really good team that I trusted in place, and I started looking at spaces available.
Why did you select Heritage Square for your next location?
The first time I went to Heritage Square, I was with my sister, and we had been driving all day looking at available spaces around Phoenix and Tempe. Heritage Square felt like the calm in the storm, a piece of green history in a concrete jungle. It was really special, and the history absolutely fascinated me. I’ve always really liked history, and the quaint brick buildings in this big city seemed so unique and different, something Stemistry is all about.
Tell me about how the history of the building and its owners are impacting offerings at Stemistry and The Coffee Lab.
Stemistry is in the Teeter Carriage House, one of the buildings located on Block 14 of the original townsite of Phoenix dating back to the late 1800s. The Teeter Carriage house was built in 1899 as the mule barn for the Bouvier-Teeter house. It is typical of the traditional carriage house structure, with vehicle, animal and tack storage below, and a loft for feed above. Detached carriage houses were common before garages and carports became popular.
The neighboring Bouvier-Teeter house was built in 1899 by Leon Bouvier. It is a Pyramid Cottage-style home, the simplest type of single-family dwelling during the late Victorian period, a style that is a direct predecessor of the bungalow. Bouvier was a cattleman and flour miller. He sold the home to Eliza Teeter in 1911 and she, in turn, rented the property until she moved into it in 1919.
Stemistry wants to honor these original settlers of Phoenix and not let their history be lost. We renamed all of our best-selling drinks to the original property owners at the square. Better yet, we have matched flavor profiles of each drink to match the personalities of the people they are named after.
How do you infuse botanicals into the coffee experience?
When I was designing my menu and formulating drinks, I decided that I wanted to mix the two aspects of Stemistry, flowers and coffee, into the drinks. I did this by creating our floral latte line, lattes that are infused with pure pressed extract from flowers. Our best seller and my personal favorite is the rose latte. This drink is a latte with fresh rose extract infused in the drink and a rose petal topping. Other drinks in this lineup include our lavender latte, wild hibiscus latte, and flower garden latte.
Where do you source your flowers, and what makes your process different from other flower shops?
We source our flowers from three local floral distributors. The biggest difference between us and other flower shops is affordability. My goal since day one was to keep prices for flowers as low as possible. When I find myself in other flower shops, I see arrangements in the $500 range, and this has become a “norm” in the industry. I don’t see flowers as this luxury item, but rather a gift everyone can enjoy.
What’s one tip you have for people when building their own flower arrangements?
My best tip for people creating their own arrangements in our Build Your Own Bouquet Bar is that the perfect arrangement of flowers is the one with the right balance. This means that the height of the arrangement should be at least one and a half times more than the height of the container. Although the height of the arrangement can be higher than this, it is never lower. This is just a basic tip for starting out any arrangement.
What new experiences can people expect at Heritage Square?
I’m offering a picnic experience at this location that I’m really excited about. My goal is it will give people a chance to shut off their devices and relax in this special piece of Phoenix. The exact details are not solidified yet, but for a set price people will be able to purchase our “picnic package” that gets them a picnic basket packed with flowers, a blanket, lattes, appetizers and candles if it’s at night.
We will also be offering local delivery to the surrounding area so people can purchase fresh arrangements for same-day delivery.
What are your favorite flowers to use for seasonal arrangements right now?
The best Valentine’s Day flowers are obviously red roses, and they happen to be my favorite as well. In Western culture, the significance of the red rose dates back to Greek mythology and the belief that the red rose was created by Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Legend has it that the flower grew from the ground watered with Aphrodite’s tears and the blood of her ill-fated lover Adonis. I have my florists creating wrapped rose arrangements, a simple grab-and-go gift for your loved one this season. We keep our website updated with all of our arrangements for sale with pickup or local delivery.
What’s something you’ve learned along the way that you share with other aspiring entrepreneurs?
I feel supporting one another is one of the best things we can do for each other. A couple months back my biggest inspiration, (entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” star) Mark Cuban, reached out to me out of the blue to congratulate me on my success and offer some advice. Something I’ve said since the day I started my business is, “Why wait?” If you have an idea, what are you waiting for? Sure I was 11, but I had a phone at my fingertips and access to YouTube, which contained more than enough knowledge to teach myself the process of getting started. Nobody is going to push you to succeed, and anything you dream can happen if you put in the work.
What’s next for you?
In full honesty, I have no clue! I would love to continue growing Stemistry and spread across Arizona over the coming years. Long-term, I’ve always wanted to get into politics at some point, even though my parents are not too happy about that goal. If I can continue bringing smiles to people’s faces then I’m happy no matter what I’m doing.