Is your background in floristry, what led you to open a school?
My background is not in floristry, however I have always had a lifelong love for flowers and entertaining. I had been working at a scholarship organization in outreach and I wanted to have my own business going forward. I had read an article in the New York Times called “Go to Paris and Learn Flower Arranging” which intrigued me. I decided to make the trip to take classes with Christian Tortu and mentioned it to a friend. She immediately said yes and within minutes had another friend wanting to join us. It seemed as if I had the germanation of an idea — why did we have to go to Paris to learn when we had such great designers here in New York? After taking the classes I decided to open a school in New York where people could learn flower-arranging from some of the best talent here — like a cooking school that had a number of great chefs teaching different techniques and philosophies.
You mentioned that you are working on a book, what is it about?
The book that I am currently working on is Tropical Flowers and it is being published by Gibbs Smith in fall of 2012. The title has not yet been decided but we are showing different perspectives for arranging tropical flowers in both very modern and 19th century ways.
What other books have you released?
My two other books are “The Art of Floral Arranging” and “Entertaining in the French Style” which was shot all over France and features various different people entertaining in their homes.
How did you accomplish recruiting such a strong teaching staff?
I was able to recruit a strong staff by having a number of really great florists, Michael George, Chris Giftos, Remco Van Vliet understanding my vision and wanting to make great design accessible.
What is next for Flower School NY, long term goals?
In terms of long term goals, we would like to be a resource for the best in floral design — we have a bookstore that has books by many different florist from all over the world. We would like the florists to be celebrated for the great artists that they are — making working with flowers an art rather than simply a craft. We also would like to elevate the appreciation for fine design among people who are lovers and consumers of flowers.
Towards those ends, we are starting to bring in some great talents from different places to teach within the intimate setting of FlowerSchool. In January we will have Rob Plattel, a Dutch florist, giving a series of workshops www.naturalart.nl.
FlowerSchool New York
5 Tudor City Place
at East End of 41st Street
New York, NY 10017
Saturday & Sunday: Closed