OUT OF FASHION - THE STARS ALIGN - 38 YEAR OLD INTERN - A NEW BUSINESS BEGINS
In 2016, after 15 years of working in fashion, I had an intense desire to do something else. To chart a new course, learn new things, and strike out on my own. Flowers seemed like the dreamy, romantic, low-key change I needed. I envisioned myself breezing around a light-filled, airy studio, flowers of every variety at my newly unclenched fists. Now, 3 years later, I can say that my vision was nowhere near the reality of the flower biz, but it wasn’t entirely wrong, and the dream is unfolding in unexpected, fun, and inspiring ways.
A few months into my career change (I had been taking some classes, working for free experience, etc.) I saw that Saipua, one of the industry’s rock legends and a personal favorite, was looking for their newest crop of apprentices. I sent my resume and cover letter right away, but without much experience, and a certain deluge of applicants, I thought it a long shot. However, a chance meeting at a nursery between my gardener boyfriend and Sarah, the owner of Saipua, landed me the gig. I thanked my lucky stars.*
The apprenticeship was a real eye-opener. I learned so much, and continue to learn, and be inspired by the Saipua crew. It was funny, to me, starting an apprenticeship at 38. My fellow apprentice was 22. Everyone around me for that matter seemed to be in their 20s. Those I have met closer to my age were the business owners and leaders in the field, already with a decade or more experience. It was a humbling time, but I was game for anything: sweeping, cleaning, packing, unpacking, digging tulip trenches…flowers are dirt, thorns, blood, sweat, and muscle. But I also learned so much about design and arranging. It’s a total sensory art/craft led by intuition and practice, a meditation. I was open to the coaching and advice, the practice and the critiques, and I got better. In a way, I’m still practicing. Endless combinations of materials, changing seasons, and variations in color and form offer endless opportunity for exploration and expression.
After my 3 month stint as an apprentice, in the spring of 2017, I launched Amorosa5. I just really went for it. Not without fear, but bolstered by the sense that it was the way to go. Keeping my mind open to the experience of beginning, trial and error, and imperfection was very difficult at the start. Presenting my work and putting myself out there for examination, critique and possible failure even harder. Because although Amorosa5 is a business, it comes from such a deep, personal place. I allowed the process to be organic, and the stars kept aligning.* There were, and are, highs and lows, of course. Most important to me is that I create a clear vision for Amorosa5, develop a unique style and voice, and do not bow to trends.
I like to think of Amorosa5 as a celebration. A celebration of beauty, of seeming simplicity, of elegance, of dressing up and getting together, of making people feel special, of taking care, of living well. I realize these are all luxuries in life, but to me that is where the attraction lies…creating small fantasies and moments in time that make us feel good. Each arrangement gifted from one person in celebration of another is a little garden world, designed and composed of flowers that are unique, gestural, expressive - living portraits of nature that live and die before our eyes - opening, growing, changing. In creating event florals for my clients I love a collaborative approach. The goal is to create something that is not only beautiful, but captures the mood and personality of the people being celebrated through the eye and flowers of Amorosa5. Because it’s so personal and pure nothing feels contrived. It’s nature, and nature is beauty. We all feel deeply moved by it, and in awe of it, when we take a moment to really see it.
*A side note about luck. I want to mention this because I think I had a lot of luck when I started Amorosa5. However, I often hear people talk or write about how there’s no such thing as luck, only hard work and determination, “making your own luck”, etc. While it’s true that I work hard, confront fear, and have risked time and money, I have felt that luck has been on my side: my boyfriend meeting the person I just applied to apprentice with, meeting a friend of a friend (now a dear friend and one of the most generous people I know) at a social gathering who offered me a space to work, having such amazing support from the start, getting to do what I want to do…I am lucky.