For our summer issue launch party at Mia, Sarah Bruxvoort’s florals brought our night at the museum to life with dreamy, artful movement throughout the space. Her floral design business, Rose and Laurel, is known for its eco-friendly approach and classic style that stands the test of time. Here, Bruxvoort discusses her sustainable design practices, her inspiration and influences, and more.
How did you get started in floral design?
I was pursuing interior design when my sister asked for help with her wedding flowers. Her wedding introduced me to floristry, and that’s when I saw an opportunity to enjoy a profession that could help me realize my personal goals and challenge me. The first few weddings were eye-opening, and I realized there was room in the industry for a design approach that focused on sustainable techniques and local blooms.
What does it mean to be an eco-friendly florist?
I think we assume because flowers are from nature that they are inherently eco-friendly. This is not the case in the modern floral industry, where most florists rely on imported blooms and microplastic-based floral foam. For me, it’s important that Rose and Laurel’s eco-friendly approach be more than just reducing waste. There are several ways I go about pursuing this goal, including prioritizing local growers. I source my flower inventory from local farms first and domestic growers second; only in very special circumstances do I make the decision to import flowers.
And I never use floral foam. Instead, I design directly into water or use biodegradable materials to create my designs. It’s totally possible to create everything from a vase arrangement to a large-scale installation without floral foam. It takes some creativity and experimentation to find methods that work best for each design application.
What is Rose and Laurel’s consultation process like?
After an initial inquiry, I have a consultation over the phone with every prospective client. Once we decide to move forward together, I customize each client’s experience with Rose and Laurel. Some clients are busy professionals and want me to handle all the details. Others really want to lean into the design process and be a part of every decision. Everyone is different, and that’s part of what makes this work so enjoyable.
Where do you source inspiration for your floral designs?
My collegiate work encompassed political science, history and design. Because of this, I’m most inspired by historic architecture and artwork. This ultimately led me to the work of English florist Shane Connolly and to a “setting and season first” design approach, giving me an immediate vision for any event.
What is a major “don’t” when it comes to planning florals for an event?
Don’t ignore the setting and the season! Flowers are a design statement that can speak subtlety or powerfully, with every variation in between. Flowers are fleeting, rare and a luxury that completes the design of an event. By intentionally designing with a “setting and season first” approach, I create a cohesive and seamless event design while being mindful of our planet. The result is always tastefully opulent and truly bespoke.
Your Ask The Florist series is a great resource for those planning a wedding or event. What gave you the idea to start this series?
If you’re looking to become a florist, there are an overwhelming number of resources out there. But I realized there was no dedicated resource for floral clients looking to get their basic questions answered! I started Ask the Florist to serve clients who want more information around flowers but may not know exactly what questions to ask. I talk about everything from the basics of eco-friendly flowers to tips for holding a bouquet.
Are there any exciting projects on the horizon?
As a business owner, every new project is an exciting one! Looking forward to 2023, we are now booking events, working with some exciting brands and expanding the Ask the Florist series. It’s an exciting time to be in business, and every day is an adventure.