A Conversation with

Flowers of the World

Known for combining traditional elegance and modern sophistication, Flowers of the World is heralded as one of Manhattan抯 leading floral boutiques. Their masterful creations can be found in the pages of Instyle Weddings and The Knot, lining the lobbies of the Ritz-Carlton and Trump Soho and decorating some of the world抯 most beautiful homes. To welcome the spring season, we asked designer and manager Sara Cancellaro to share her creative process and discuss how salons can use flowers to transform their own space.

How did you get into the flower business?
I got into the flower industry about 10 years ago by accident. One of my closest friends was designing for Flowers of the World, and they needed a bookkeeper at that time. I happily accepted this position卆nd have never embraced something so much, thanks to Peter Grontas, the owner and heart of the company. The combination of working under such great leadership, as well as finding my own passion, made me jump head first into this thriving industry卆nd I抳e never look back.

How would you describe the Flowers of the World aesthetic?
In one word: simple. Consequently, our designs are also incredibly modern. From a gift arrangement to a grand event, we strive to keep our designs simple by using one or two elements and repeating them over and over. We find that this creates an experience that touches people.

Why did you decide to design the Oribe logo the way you did?
My creative team and I decided to design the logo using elements we knew would be easily translated into the Oribe logo. We actually used elements we don抰 normally use on a daily basis, like the gaylax leaves which we painted black for the background and then sprinkled white carnation petals to create the rest of the design.

If you could collaborate with any artist living or dead, who would it be?
I would have loved to collaborate with architect Antoni Gaudi, whose magnificent work can be seen throughout Barcelona and other parts of Spain. I love the way he used textures and shapes to transform massive buildings into works of art. For example, when you look up from underneath the staircase inside the Sagrada Famiglia, you feel like you抮e looking at the inside of a seashell, and walking through the giant walkway at Park Guell makes you feel like you抮e walking underneath a wave in the ocean匢 would love to have designed anything with him!

What is your creative process when conceiving a floral arrangement?
My creative process always includes consideration of the client, season and occasion. If I抦 designing for a winter wedding, then I would work with the couple to capture the beauty of the season. If a man is looking to send his wife an anniversary gift in in the spring, then I would recommend romantic peonies. No matter what project I抦 working on, I always try and stay true to the Flowers of the World aesthetic by keeping it simple.

Now that spring is here, what are some changes you have made with your arrangements?
Spring is one of the most popular flower seasons on the East Coast. After the harsh winter, people look forward to the pastel color palettes associated with the season. With gorgeous peonies and pink cherry blossom available as well as multiple varieties of tulips, hyacinths and the one-of-a-kind Holland hydrangeas that come back into season, we truly embrace spring and pass it along to our clients by offering these seasonal blossoms daily.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
The best advice I抳e been given is to stay true to who you are. This resonates with me personally and in my career because I truly stand behind our company and its design philosophy and I抦 always trying to create a better experience for everyone who steps into our world.

Do you have any favorite flowers or succulents to work with?
My favorite flower is the Holland hydrangea. I love the rich color palette this flower comes in, the textures in the petal and the fact that they can grow to immense size. When you see this flower in its native Holland, it抯 easily one of the most intense and beautiful flowers available. I love working with it.

What are some easy floral arrangements salon owners can create to beautify their space?
Floral designing is no easy task. If you want to create a chic design suitable for any salon, then think simple. Select one type of flower and place the stems into a vessel large enough to allow them to flow freely in one direction, giving the appearance that they抮e cascading out of the vessel. Mixing too many elements for someone with no floral experience can look overwhelming rather than sophisticated.

Which flowers do you think work best in a salon environment?
Seasonal flowers are always best. Depending on lighting conditions and other environmental factors, I would suggest longer lasting flowers like calla lilies, orchids, amaryllis and anthurium.

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