How did you begin your career as an artist?
Before flowers I worked in children's book publishing! Towards the end of my time in that career, I felt like I'd hit a dead end and lost any passion or creativity I'd once had. Luckily, right around this time a dear friend of mine was opening a flower shop and needed someone to run it while she focused on her growing floral design studio. "I'll teach you everything you need to know," was all I needed to hear to quit everything and give floral design a shot. This friend, Jackie Hartnett of Extrafloral, changed my life by introducing me to the art and practice of working with flowers. Floristry demands of you a level of attention, awe, and responsiveness that had been missing from my life for a while. Looking back, it's so special to see the many ways in which working with flowers brought me home to myself, so in response, my work is suffused with deep gratitude.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
I get asked some versions of this a lot! I can only speak to my experience and the artists I've come to know, but I feel there's a generosity in the creative community here that is truly moving and energizing. Whether it's folks being generous with their connections, their time, talents, encouragement ... The support available to you is so palpable here. I also don't feel a sense of competition or a scarcity mindset, even with my fellow florists — we're always there to celebrate one another's successes, share client referrals, and even jump on board to help freelance for each other when someone calls out sick, even when it's our only weekend off! So many amazing work opportunities have come from other creatives speaking my name in a room, and I absolutely do the same whenever I can. Generosity & honest connection are what it's all about.
What's inspiring you right now?
This winter I had a chance to spend a couple of months traveling up the West Coast, visiting family and friends along the way. There was so much time for leisurely breakfasts, long walks and scenic drives, good conversation, and connection ... I'm still drawing a lot of inspiration from that time. It's amazing what rest & a few golden hours spent staring at the Pacific Ocean will do for you.
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