Fall 2011
The Power of Flowers By Haley Shapley

Floral gift shops look to plant a seed with each shopper, then watch it bloom into a repeat customer.

Article Resources

Tina Stoecker
Designs of the Times

Scott Kremp
Kremp Florist
Willow Grove, PA

Jeff Corbin
Radford City Florist
Radford, VA

Kimberly Sevilla
Rose Red & Lavender
Brooklyn, NY

Urban Oasis: Rose Red & Lavender

In a past life, Kimberly Sevilla was always on the go, working from morning till night. “In my career, I had traveled all over the world,” Sevilla explains. “Whenever I needed a break, whatever country I was in, I would seek out gardens.”

These days, she’s still working long hours—but now she’s doing it in an environment she loves, among the flowers and found treasures of her shop Rose Red & Lavender in Brooklyn, NY.

Opened in November 2008, the shop has become a go-to spot for the hipster neighborhood of Williamsburg. The full-service floral studio and organic gardening center features everything short-on-space New Yorkers need for gardening in window boxes and on fire escapes, as well as terrariums, glassware, organic candles, soaps, and a number of other small gift items. “My parents live in West Virginia, and down there, there are a lot of junk shops and antiques stores and flea markets,” Sevilla says. “I like to go through them and find some interesting vintage items.”

Some of her fun finds include 3-inch-tall German gnomes that were made in the 1960s and used as cake toppers, Christmastime knee-hugging elves, and Italian bottle stoppers with two carved heads that kiss when you push a lever in the back. Sevilla also offers canning supplies and her own line of jelly made from edible flower petals.

But at Rose Red & Lavender, customers not only can see beautiful things—they can create them, too. Classes on topics such as vegetable gardening, growing mushrooms, raising chickens, making jelly, and canning tomatoes have proven to be popular; Sevilla has plans to continue expanding the selection.

Sevilla particularly has fun flexing her creative muscles in designing flower arrangements for weddings. “I really enjoy making something that they’ll love,” she says. “The more abstract information they give me, the more I enjoy it. If somebody comes in to me and says they want blue hydrangeas, then it’s not as fun.”

The trade-in for her old life to the one she has at Rose Red & Lavender—which has attracted the attention of Los Angeles Hollywood royalty and New York heavyweights alike—has been a welcome one. “I’m doing what I set out to do, which is to teach people more about gardening in urban settings,” she says. “I’m surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed connecting with the community at large.”

Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is a Seattle-based freelance writer who 
specializes in retail, travel and health topics. Learn more at www.haleyshapley.com.

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