It's in my DNA to love flowers. Growing up, I lived next door to my great-grandparents who had an expansive yard and dark green thumbs. They grew citrus trees, vegetables, all kinds of plants, and my personal favorite — orchids. I would spend hours in their garden, pretending it was enchanted, climbing branches, eating oranges right off the tree, and playing with flowers. Thanks to this experience I will forever be captivated by flora, a fact that inspired me to organize an event around the importance of sustainability in the floral industry. The event took place a little over a week ago and was dubbed "Bloom" as a tribute to spring and awakenings.
As I explored my great-grandparents' backyard in Florida, Xristina Samira was exploring places like the mountains and oceans of Greece, the Great Lakes of Michigan, and the snowy winterland of Canada, absorbing the colors and textures of nature wherever she went. Xristina has always loved flowers and creating beauty; she now uses the therapeutic power of plants for her own wellness and in therapy with her patients. Her creations for La Vie Rosie incorporate fresh plants and herbs and are a beneficent expression of culture, herbalism, and creativity. La Vie Rosie strives to use sustainable materials, living plants that can continue to root, and herbs that can be dried for a second aromatic life.
The morning of the event, Xristina arrived at Mode Marteau studio with her mom (who was in town visiting) and buckets of fresh flowers and herbs in tow. "Although it was a chilly Sunday morning outside, the sunlight shining on us inside made it feel like we were in our own secret garden!" she later commented. The space instantly felt alive and I couldn't wait to get started. Everyone began to arrive and ooh and ahh over the flowers; we had an intimate class of eight including me, Emma of Past Fashion Future, and Alden of EcoCult.
First, we learned how to measure the twine for our crowns, then Xristina briefly instructed us on how to attach the materials to the twine and then let us get creative. The scent of eucalyptus and lavender surrounded us and we formed our creations with zen-like focus. As we picked, cut, bunched, touched, and smelled the flora we all agreed such a tactile experience truly is therapeutic.
We donned our finished crowns, had our photos taken, and marvelled at our handiwork. Although flower crowns have recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, they have a long history as a symbol of celebration, fertility, and even empowerment (think Frida Kahlo). La Vie Rosie incorporates not only these symbols, but sustainability and wellness into the craft as well.
I want to thank Xristina of La Vie Rosie for being a part of Bloom and for sharing her knowledge and passion with us. I also want to thank Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers for her support and guidance. Thanks to Ariana of Mode Marteau — her studio was again our beautiful venue and provided gorgeous natural light. Thank you to the NYC Ethical Writers Alden, Emma, Juliette, and Jacquelyn for their support and help with the event. Florist Gloria B. Collins provided attendees with seed packets to take home. Julia Pinter was our lovely photographer; all photos in this post are credited to her. And thank you to everyone who attended!