Flowers of the World
We were arrested by the sight of a cherry orchard blooming in the window of Flowers of the World and had to step inside. Immediately, we entered into a conversation with Samantha, the director of sales, who told us a little bit about the store, all the while orchestrating deliveries and handing out tasks in the beautiful, sweet-smelling shop. She explained that the company began with Peter, the CEO, whose father owned a flower shop. Peter got his start doing window displays – “he is through and through a designer.” By building relationships with corporations and clients and maintaining an exceptionally high standard, Flowers of the World became extremely successful in its field. Now, fifteen years later, many of their floral designs can be found in hotel lobbies and spacious business offices as well as at large corporate events. They maintain a blossoming retail counter, however, for anyone who walks into their shop.
Samantha told us that their specialty is keeping things monochromatic. All of their magnificent floral sculptures are assembled in one shade and one shade only. The designers tend to stay away from “common” flowers such as roses, daisies and carnations, since they are firmly based in educating their clients in the “best flowers available.” They focus on “rare and incredible” flowers, and blooms that last a long time. “Roses are a dirty flower,” Samantha said, after explaining the wasteful way that roses use water. She then pointed us towards the amaryllis, stating that it is a flower with more beauty and longevity.
As the name of the store suggests, the blooms are sourced from all over the world, but the staff tries to buy locally when they can. On the early spring day when we walked in, Samantha was looking forward to soon being able to buy peonies and hydrangea in the Flower District. The store receives a delivery from overseas everyday, but they also frequent the flower markets early in the morning so that they have stems in stock for regular clients making last-minute requests. Before most businesses have opened their doors, the flowers are sorted into different colors and quickly arranged into works of art. One counter holds the weekly color palate – on the day of our visit, it was orange and yellow – and another held a dazzling array of pink flowers. Samantha was pleased to point out that every petal is completely free of rips and tears.
It was very clear that Samantha knew her product. She told us that she grew up running amok in her parents’ gardens in Connecticut and spending time with her local florist. When she realized she wanted to work in sales, she knew that she had to find “a product I could believe in.” Flowers became her passion, particularly those at Flowers of the World. She went on to say that everyone in the store shares her enthusiasm and knowledge for everything floral.