SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Meet the Foxglove Brooklyn design team – and hear of their search for seasonal and local blooms (Episode 136)
April 9th, 2014
An email arrived in my in-box last month from Justine Lacy and Jessica Stewart, two supporters of my recent Slowflowers.com campaign. I had sent them a thank-you message after they contributed on Indiegogo, and it prompted this reply:
“Hello Debra, this is Justine, Jessica’s business partner here at Foxglove Floral Design Studio in Brooklyn. We are ardent fans of your work – both your floral designs and your leadership and activism in the slow flower movement (and your great podcast!).
“We’ve been following your Indiegogo campaign as we’ve found it an exciting challenge, and a challenge nonetheless, to help our clients connect with local farmers in the New York/New Jersey area. We do love the wholesale market in Chelsea and love to work with fantastic European blooms, and we like getting to know the growers in our area who are providing the more local options, like flowering branches in spring. However, we are very (very) ready for your directory of like-minded, slow flower-inclined designers, growers, wholesalers, etc. I’m currently reading Amy Stewart’s “Flower Confidential” and finding that the more we know, the more we want to source local!
Well that introduction led to a promised phone date that we scheduled in late March. And I am pleased to share what we discussed with you today. You see, Jessica and Justine agreed to let me record our hour-long conversation for this podcast. We’ve condensed it a little, but you can follow along from the beginning to the end ~ and I promise you’ll gain important insights into today’s challenges facing progressive floral designers who truly desire for their work to be local, seasonal and sustainable.
Let me tell you a little bit about these two innovators:
Foxglove Floral Design Studio specializes in thoughtful, naturally-styled arrangements for weddings and other special events. The studio is committed to celebrating regional and native flora and is proud to partner with local farms to bring seasonal flowers to their clients during the growing season. Foxglove also works with other American and European growers to source ethically and sustainably grown blooms throughout the year.
Based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Foxglove serves all of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and will happily work on location elsewhere. We love to create one-of-a-kind floral and event designs for our clients and celebrate every kind of love.
Justine grew up in Charleston, SC. She misses the wisteria in the spring and the winter camelias. And lots of fresh shrimp. Jessica is a Western PA native, and has been gardening since childhood. She loves beets and books and long car rides.
Whether you are a flower farmer who is eager to understand the needs of eco-conscious floral designers OR a floral designer who’s experiencing some of the same challenges that Jessica and Justine are facing, I know that today’s conversation will be inspiring and relevant. Thanks for joining us.
The floral marketplace realities that Justine and Jessica are experiencing is both a challenge and an opportunity – and I’ve heard these same concerns from others around the country, designers who are frustrated with the challenge of finding an American-grown-minded wholesaler to work with or anyone else who will help their studio source farm-grown flowers from domestic fields and greenhouses.
In the coming weeks, you will hear additional chapters of this ongoing conversation, with farmers, florists and the “middle-man” wholesaler . . . and I expect that together we’ll begin to see a shift in the sentiments. Let’s turn frustration into possibilities and opportunities. Together, let’s redefine the floral industry and heal the broken model we’ve had to endure for so long. I welcome your suggestions for people and businesses to include in the dialogue.
Because of the support from you and others, listeners have downloaded episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 9,500 times! I thank you for taking the time to join to my conversations with flower farmers, florists and other notable floral experts.
If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.
Until next week please join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time.
The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about her work at hhcreates.net.