On a very rainy evening last week, I made my way to the Lower East Side of Manhattan to visit Denise Porcaro, flower designer and owner of Flower Girl. Truth be told, I’ve been kind of enamored with Flower Girl for quite some time now and have always been fascinated by the fact that her flower shop is located inside of an Ernest Sewn shop! So naturally, when I found out I’d be interviewing Denise I was super excited.
EJ: If you were a flower which would you be?
DP: I get asked this question often as well as what my favorite flower is… I feel that they can be one in the same at times, however for this specific answer I would have to say I would be an orchid! There are tons of beautiful and rare varieties… They hide in the forest, come in all shapes and sizes and each seem to have a mind of their own. They are truly fascinating to me, and I feel that this is a good answer because it is similar to the many different hats that I wear in a day. Things are always changing with a small business both on a daily basis but also in the way I have done business over the years… my role in this company has changed over time – I used to do my own accounts and my own bookkeeping… I feel that the different varieties of orchid allows me to be that flower, to answer this question, however allows me to change into the many “varieties” that the orchid comes in to express whatever the “variety” that I am that particular day or year.
EJ: Are they any elements you like to tie into your arrangements that are not flowers?
DP: When fitting, yes for sure, other elements can be a fun addition or accent to an arrangement. I do like to stick to natural elements however. There was a big push with feathers added to wedding bouquets, and we do stock some brown and some traditional peacock feathers as I think they work well in some of our tins and with the flowers and pods that we stock. For special events and weddings, I really let the client’s dictate what their specific vision or needs are overall, and can guide them for a fun interesting touch if they are looking to add something different if they give me their initial idea. I love to help in this part. I actually recently was asked by someone the other day to put her grandmothers knitting needles into her wedding bouquet.
EJ: What’s one thing you see a lot of in weddings and what is one thing you’d like to see more of?
DP: There’s been a lot of rustic weddings… and Flower Girl work for that kind of wedding but I also think there’s something really amazing about huge, gorgeous, old-fashioned arrangements that gives you that wow-factor. We’ve always had the antique bottles and the antique tins because people gravitate towards that. We’ve always had the terrariums because people love them, and love to use them in their weddings, so of course we keep them, but there is something really nice about growing up a little and having the flowers be a little bit more decadent especially for a major occasion… They don’t have to be overly arranged, but just a bit more abundant and grand, a bit more dressed up for the occasion!
EJ: If you weren’t the owner of Flower Girl and a floral designer what would you be?
DP: You know there are so, so many things – I am a pieces, therefore can be a bit of a dreamer… but if I could, I would have the means to help people and save lives, all around the world. I don’t think that it has a job title… A good will ambassador of sorts?! I would like to conquer and travel the world doing good and spreading good – if I ever get the chance, I may need an army to help.
Denise also took a few minutes to walk me (and us!) through the basic steps of flower arranging:
Step One: Green your arrangement. Here we used Eucalyptus which is one of Denise’s favorites. One tip is to find pods that are on the green and a green you really love to work with.
Step Two: Add your big heavy hitter flower. Here we used Peonies and then we added some Rose.
Step Three: Add your highlight elements like the smaller more dainty elements. Here we used Ranunculus and Scabiosa Pods.
Isn’t it lovely?
And now the GIVEAWAY! If you’re located in New York City we’re honored to be giving away a beautiful winter arrangement. To enter, visit Flower Girl’s website and let me know what your favorite flower is in the comments. If it is in season, we will do our best to work it into your masterpiece. A winner will be selected at random November 30th at 10:00 AM EST and you will get your arrangement just in time for a weekend dinner party! All you have to do is comment on this post to enter!
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! McKenize Miller is the winner of our arrangement giveaway. Congratulations!