Back in the day when we were younger and more single, my dear friend Rebecka and I would bike to the beach, go on epic camping trips and get together to make flowers. We called our floral gatherings Flower Clvb and would wake up early in the morning, travel to the flower district, grab some blooms, then meet back up after work to make! Years prior to my NYC move, I worked for a florist in Waco, TX (Rose Tree) preparing flowers and sweeping floors, all while taking careful note of the ways each designer would place and put together pieces of various shapes and sizes. So when Rebecka and I began creating arrangements, my experience gave us the foundation we needed to jump into filling water buckets and de-thorninng roses. At the time when our flower clvb gatherings began, she was cutting hair and I was working at Patagonia.
Given that our NYC hustles did not provide unlimited funds for our flower arranging hobby, we gave ourselves a $25 budget and choose flowers simply based on whatever fit into our $50 spending pot. Clearly, this wasn’t something we could do on a weekly basis but when we did, the 6 A.M. vigor of florists and vendors scurrying about the flower district, made flowers seem like an adventure. Eventually, Rebecka and I started making arrangements for church events and friends, growing more in love with the idea of working alongside nature.
When I think about the origin of Flower Clvb, I often think about my time with Rebecka, wildly pursuing nature and a life chasing the sun. Though not my favorite flower to use in arrangements, of all blooms, I would consider myself a Sun Flower as they go where the sun goes. Rebecka is a birch tree, deeply rooted in the forest and mountains, where she moved the summer of 2016. Although we lived in different cities, the time we had together made way for each of our next chapters. It was the fall of 2016, that I began dreaming about the steps it would take to start my own floral business. I started taking classes and workshops from some of my favorite designers and then with a few weddings under my belt, I launched.
Having worked at Patagonia and learned the business practices of Yvon Chouinard’s environmentally progressive company, I acquired the groundwork for how I wanted to run my own business. Not only do certain profits go towards supporting environmental organizations, but the materials and working conditions used to create supply are done ethically and responsibly. After my time at Patagonia, I ran various arts education programs at libraries and public schools, developing a deep love for how children and adults alike acquire aesthetic preferences and learn to see and value the world. Each of my working experiences has defined what Flower Clvb is beyond just a floral design business.
While to me, making sculptural art pieces using nature as my medium of choice is what floral design is all about, it is also about celebrating the people who receive each arrangement and loving the earth by which each blossom came. It is a profound mystery that the ground is able to produce such an array of color, shape and texture. By spending time with organisms as intricate as blossoming plants through Flower Clvb’s gatherings and educational workshops, participants come together in awe, fellowship and affirmation that there is something bigger than ourselves at work in the world.
Preserving the earth and taking care of each flower as a living and created thing changes the perspective of how we interact with our encountered environments. Choosing materials that cause as little harm to the earth as possible such as chicken wire over floral foam, and composting refuse are small ways that Flower Clvb is making sure it has as little impact on the planet as possible. By donating to organizations seeking to preserve life and creating just conditions for living, Flower Clvb operates as a small business motivated by care for the earth.
Reflecting on life moments and experiences shared with friends like Rebecka convince me that the work we choose is inspired by something. For me, money is not the primary motivation behind my business but rather my work with flowers is inspired by a love for nature that has cultivated and grown through my relationships with people. I love the perspective of my dear friend Sarah Gregory who often reminds me that people are one of nature’s greatest gifts. So whenever I want to escape to the ocean and am stuck inside a studio processing flowers, I look into each flowerhead, think about the people receiving them and am transported to to a place equivalent to the beach on a clear day.