A graphic designer with a long-held love for flowers gave up her job sat behind a computer to start her own creative business. From floral arrangements for shop windows, to styling and art direction for fashion brands, Flora & Laura isn’t your traditional florist.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how Flora & Laura came about.
I’m a graphic designer who grew tired of sitting in front of a computer. I want to create different kind of worlds, which are at their best when experienced with many senses. Additionally to flowers, I make concepts, art direction, styling, spaces and events. So most of the concepts I work with have many dimensions in them. Flora & Laura has always been a passion project for me where I can have freedom to use creativity in many different ways.
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Where did you first get the idea to start a business with no physical shop? Are there any difficulties in running your business this way?
I had to figure out a way that does not tie me to a physical location. I need the freedom to do different projects in different settings. My work is design and project based so all the materials and flowers are always sourced especially for that project. I do not have chilled storage for flowers at my studio either which sets certain boundaries for my designs, and besides I would rather fill my home with any extra flowers than keep them hidden.
You have collaborated with many people and brands such as the Artek store and R- Collection. What has been your favourite collaboration so far?
It’s always difficult to pick one. Artek’s Christmas windows were memorable for me as I respect the brand and its interesting history. Usually the projects I like the most are those I have had freedom to work on from the beginning, starting with the idea and concept. I like working together with other designers. For example I enjoyed collaborating with fashion designer Satu Maaranen at Paris Fashion week last fall. I also collaborate with various artists and illustrators with Flora & Laura products and on the webshop.
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If you could create a floral arrangement or do flower styling for anyone in the world who would it be for?
I’d want do an arrangement for Matisse, which he’d paint his own version to a canvas.
You describe flowers as ‘nature’s most curious designs’. What first inspired this love of flowers?
Flowers are so diverse and also have an element of surprise to them. It’s interesting to work with material that you can’t shape as you wish, it needs to be respected. I have to think about life span, season, qualities of different flowers etc. Flowers and plants are timeless and you never grow tired of them. I’ve always been fascinated by flowers ever since I was a small girl, also my best friend since childhood is named Kukka (flower in Finnish).
You offer ‘unique flower stylings’. How do your designs differ from other florists/ floral designers?
My background is in design, so I never followed any flower professionals. I don’t even know how much my methods differ from traditional florists. The best thing about being self-taught is that I don’t feel that I’m bound by a certain way of doing things. I feel free and privileged to do what I enjoy.
Where do you look for inspiration behind your floral arrangements and styling?
Art, fashion, history, nature, and the surrounding world in general inspire my designs. I often trace nature in my own work but subtly try to add something unnatural. I like contrasts. I feel that one should seek inspiration from other professional fields, otherwise you end up looking too similar with others.
25 – 35
Road trips, new opportunities, moss, endless summer nights in archipelago, home, Japan, ice cream, jazz, cooking with friends and loved ones, people’s passion for something new, dancing, stories, raspberries, looking at horizon, discussions that last until small hours, James Turell’s art
Racist and narrow minded people, prejudices, static hair.