Urban Desert Flora
I am The Sustainable Florist in Phoenix. I specialize in local blooms and sustainable designs! After working in flowers for a couple years, I realized the need for more sustainable florist practices in Arizona. I noticed that florists in my state could do more to support local agriculture. I set out to be the example, and essentially the antithesis of commercial floristry. I want to do things my way! I want to inspire other young people to go against the grain, and follow their dream. Commercial floristry is full of imported blooms pumped with preservative chemicals, a large carbon footprint, tons of floral foam based designs, and questionable ethics across the supply chain. I knew that I didn’t want to contribute to those issues. I also knew I couldn’t be fully on the opposite end of the spectrum where everything is locally grown/ foraged for. I am trying to be right in the middle of those two worlds! I want to create beautiful floral designs that you really can feel good about, educate on the issues with imported blooms, and connect you to your local AZ flower farmers! I have come to learn that the AZ flower season is not during the bulk of the wedding season. I had to shift my mindset to view my business through lenses of sustainability. Whenever I cannot source local blooms, I source from my closest Mayesh Wholesale. My compromise is only buying blooms that will have the lowest carbon footprint and/or Rainforest Alliance Certified. From October – February I import blooms grown in California, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, and Florida. I am able to source some local foliage during that time, but still it is very scarce. AZ flower farming is on the cusp of great expansion, and I want to be an integral part of that. I cut out all single-use plastics from my business. Everything is recyclable, compostable, or able to be repurposed. Since the 1960’s, florists have heavily relied on floral foam to create their designs. It’s a super convenient mechanic to have. However, we now know it is a microplastic made from petrochemicals and formaldehyde. Plus, there is no way to dispose of floral foam without harming the environment! Knowing these two facts does not lead me to purchase floral foam for my business. We did without just fine until the 1960’s. It’s time to take it back old school! This is your sign to always request foam free floral designs from your florist! I am a firm believer that small impacts lead to bigger, meaningful changes. It starts with us! Being a foam free florist allows me be creative all the way through the design process! I have to figure out which pre-1960s floral mechanic is best for the design, or design a whole new mechanic. A lot of the time I use combinations of chicken wire, sticks, and flower frogs. I love that I am required to be intentional throughout the entire design of a piece. I am already intentional with my bloom selection. It only makes sense to take that same sentiment to the creation of my mechanics in an arrangement or an entire floral installation.