After dreaming of playing on New Zealand’s national rugby union team, then turning to snowboarding, then getting into acting (which meant waiting tables, which I sucked at), I didn’t just become a florist. I became The Unlikely Florist.
I sold my first flower in the spring of 2016.
I had zero experience, meaning zero business experience and zero floral experience. What I did have was creativity. I possess, as we all do, a creative energy. Mine flows through the realms of acting, writing, photography and painting, and in this crazy vortex of creative industries called Los Angeles (more specifically Venice Beach, where I live), I wanted to figure out how I could make money being creative, and how I could be creative in every facet of my life.
Though the business and the idea are mine and all mine, I can’t take full credit for or believe everything this has become. I already had the VW van — Untho is his name by the way, and he does most of the selling for me. Also, if you pick the right flowers, it’s nearly impossible to make a bad arrangement, so the flowers themselves do heaps of the work, too.
Beyond that, the Venice community has taught me what it means to be an artist. I’ve learned about aesthetic continuity and, in the past year, this community has shown its appreciation for what I have to offer in a way that I never could have imagined. I have so much love for Venice.
As a florist, I’m often asked about my favorite flowers, my inspiration and my top tips, so here they are:
Favorite Flower: I don’t have one, but Eremurus are epic. They’re native to eastern Europe and are so unique. They bloom for days!
Sources of Inspiration: I really am inspired by the flowers themselves, but a florist who inspires me is Marisa Competello of META FLORA. She’s a true artist who takes floral design beyond.
Top Tips: Get some pruning sheers and hiking boots and go look for flowers! Also, when you can, BUY LOCAL at nearby flower markets. The flower industry has a big carbon footprint, and US growers are struggling, so help out the planet and help out your neighbor.
Follow Spencer at @theunlikelyflorist