Ovando is the floral design studio of Sandra de Ovando, a worldly visionary with a Mexican, Russian, and Spanish background. From a young age, she gardened with her mother and became fascinated by the colors and shapes of flowers. Years later, after traveling through Europe and Asia discovering new and exotic flora, she opened her own boutique in the West Village in 2003.
Sandra went on to expand to the Upper East Side in 2010. Her creations, which not only include simple floral displays, but also entirely recreated environments, are known for their celebration of form and color. I spoke to her team in the 65th Street boutique, Alyssa, Aisha, and head designer Setsuko, who explained that unlike the downtown location, which caters to larger accounts, the uptown store sees many individuals stopping in to purchase fresh flowers for their home. Many people opt for pieces from the Ovando signature collection, which features orchids in clever, minimalist designs, but others choose arrangements from the rotating seasonal collections. Everything in the store, however, has the traditional Ovando look, since each of her designers are carefully trained in the unique Ovando style. People often call in, asking for “something very Ovando,” Aisha told me.
During my visit in 2016, the team was excited about their recently opened Southampton location. Alyssa shared that during the summer, the majority of their clients move out to the Hamptons, so it is “great to have a full-time presence there.” This was not the only change for the brand: Ovando was also collaborating with Brooklyn’s Flavor Paper to create wallpaper based on blown-up pictures of floral arrangements. The wallpaper had recently debuted at the Architectural Digest show, marking a new direction for Ovando. It was, in Alyssa’s words, a step in the “quest to be an overall lifestyle brand, eventually.”