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About us

Stems is a unique, retail florist located in downtown Santa Rosa - the heart of wine country. We specialize in beautiful, custom floral designs using a wide variety of materials, both locally grown and imported.


Founded in 1989 by Jerry Schooley, Stems originally shared its current space with a partner hair salon. The concept behind Stems was to offer an artistic floral alternative to the people of Sonoma County, who were growing tired of the standardized floral designs that have captured so much of the American market. After starting work as a Stems designer in 1991, Barbara Loutsch purchased the shop in 1995. The hair salon was closed and Barbara expanded the floral operation to include the entire first floor of the old victorian that it currently calls home. Since then, Stems has flourished and earned a reputation as the premiere florist in Sonoma County.

About Barbara

After growing up in the Chicago area, Barbara pursued a degree in graphic design at the University of Illinois at Champaign. She met her husband, George, in college and they settled down in Sonoma County in the late 1970s. Prior to her life as a florist, Barbara raised two boys while engaging in a number of other pursuits such as catering and baking/cake decorating. In 1991 she decided to embark on a full-time floral career.

Truly local

Stems is an independent florist, unaffiliated with any national or local wire services such as FTD or Teleflora. Florists who advertise "worldwide delivery", as well as most large online and telephone retailers, do so through the use of these wire services. When you place an order with one of these florists for delivery outside of their area, the person who takes your order gets a percentage of your money (usually 20%), as well as any service charge they may levy. The wire service company also takes a percentage (usually 8 - 10%). The 70% that's left is what the filling florist, who actually produces and delivers your arrangement receives. Many times, the actual value of your gift will end up based on that 70% instead of what you paid. At Stems, you receive full value for your money. If you want to send flowers to someone in Sonoma county, do it the smart way: call Stems, and speak directly to one of our designers. We guarantee that you will make much more of an impression with your floral gift.