How did Rachel Clark and Thursd get together? Well, life has its mysterious ways. Last year Naranjo Roses organized a new competition, Dare to Bloom. This challenging creative competition lets the competing florists design with the eternal roses from Lulu and the fresh roses from Naranjo Farms. The Dare to Bloom Floral Design Competition was won by Rachel Clark, also known for the famous HBO Max program Full Bloom, 2nd season. Rachel Clark lives in New York City and fell in love with flowers completely. She has her own business in Brooklyn: Dearest Rachel.
A Floral Interview With Rachel Clark
Rachel Clark's love for flowers hit her at an unexpected moment in her life, yet a perfect timing. Ever since her life has collided together perfectly. COVID brought her a lot of business in an uncertain time, and the Full Bloom Program on HBO Max as well as the competition Dare to Bloom gave her exceptional experiences. To have so many blessed people in life and to be able to do all these things was a real blessing.
Rachel Clark in Full Bloom on HBO Max
Rachel Clark - The Winner of the Dare to Bloom Grand Finale
Rachel Clark was one of four competitors in the Grand Finale in Miami of Dare to Bloom. This competition was organized by Lulu Is Forever. She won and was thrilled about it.
Q.: You won, how did it go for you?
"My first adult trophy!!! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet everyone. I think that’s what sets our industry apart, the community aspect. It’s so important to everyone I know within the floral world to spread love and support each other. We pour our hearts into what we do and it’s something we all share in that regard."
Rachel Clark Winning Dare to Bloom
Young and Passionate About Flowers
Fairly new in floristry Rachel hopes she will have a bright future in this floral business world.
Q.: How long is it exactly that you have been working in floristry?
"I’ve been in the floral industry for about six years! Which is the grander scheme of things, is only a small fraction of time. I have been fortunate to have a lot of success early on, and I am so so so excited to continue to grow and blossom."
Fleurs Chose Rachel
Rachel is convinced that faith had something to do with her getting into the floral industry. She loves creating meaningful and thought-provoking beauty. Seeking to live a life where passion and ‘work’ collide simultaneously, she ventured into the unknown and found herself immersed in the world of fleurs. To this day she claims that unexpected discovery was one of the most influential moments in her career.
Bringing that love to each and every project, Rachel believes in preserving and cultivating the artist-and-client relation. By forming a foundation of trust and appreciation, the best work will shine.
Q.: What made you decide to choose flowers?
"Fleurs chose me. Unexpectedly and exactly when I needed it the most. And to be honest, it wasn’t a loud discovery. But when it happened, little did I know my worlds would collide so gracefully it was like everything before lead me here. It’s kind of how they say when you meet the love of your life, it’s this incredible feeling of knowing this is it."
Full Bloom on HBO Max - 2nd Season
Rachel participated in this awesome TV show. It took a lot from her to always give her best self, but it also brought her a lot as a person. She grew and got confident, and learned to know a lot of people.
Q.: Did you like it participating in the HBO Max series Full Bloom??
"Oh my, that’s a loaded question! It was the most emotionally and physically demanding experience. To be constantly creative - and not just creative but YOUR BEST CREATIVE - self consistently is draining. This is my passion as is for all of us on the show, and when you give everything you have every single day, it is a lot. But to be honest, one of the most special experiences of my life. It taught me A LOT about myself and for that, I am a more confident business boss gal. The cherry on top, I met amazing people that I know will always be a part of my life."
Rachel Clark in Full Bloom on HBO Max
Competitions and Rachel Clark
Rachel is happy, she performs quite well under stress.
Q.: Do you learn from the competitions? In what way?
"Yes and no. I think of competitions as 'yes, you’re competing against other people' but you’re also competing against yourself. You often find yourself in a situation of 'do I stay within my comfort levels or do I take a risk'? You learn what type of person you are by how you handle stress. I learned I do very well under stress, in fact, I thrive off it haha!"
Lulu Eternal Roses
From the beginning of her career, Rachel loved to work with preserved roses. They provide her with a kind of signature design. And when she found out you could flex them, she saw many opportunities.
Q.: Lulu Eternal Roses for design, do you often use them?
Lulu roses are fabulous. They look and feel like fresh roses. I started off designing dried flower arrangements here in NYC, in LA, and at the Hamptons. I think being able to use preserved roses within my designs elevates them and makes them stand out. It’s also the way you can manipulate them!"
Q.: We saw you flexed the preserved roses during the competition. What a great idea! Did you do that before?
"Yes! As I mentioned, I’ve been designing with dried and preserved products for all my floral career. Reflexing roses isn’t a new technique and something dawned on me one day to reflex a preserved rose. Just like a fresh rose, you have to be gentle but WOW does it make a difference!"
The Winning Prize
Dare to Bloom had the privilege to give the winner an awesome prize: A trip to Ecuador, visiting some nice places, and - of course - the Naranjo Rose Farms.
Q.: You won the trip to Ecuador, have you been there already?
"I’ve never been to Ecuador and I literally cannot wait!!!"
Q.: Have you visited a farm before?
"It’s been an absolute dream to visit a fleur farm, especially outside of the US. I cannot wait to run around like a wild fleur."
Q.: Do you have a lot of questions for them?
"To be honest, I feel the questions will flow organically and I will be in awe more than anything. Nature is incredible."
Rachel can not wait to visit the farms from Naranjo Roses in Ecuador
How Covid Influenced Rachel's Business
For many branches, COVID struck hard. Yet overall in floristry, the business didn't go that bad. A lot of florists sold flowers well.
Q.: Is your work influenced a lot by the corona pandemic?
"I acknowledge COVID has been so hard on so many people. Of course, it took its toll on me. But I also must admit that my business flourished. I accomplished more than I could have imagined the last few years under the most unpredictable, unprecedented circumstances. It’s made me and my business stronger. I am grateful I had a ray of light shining down on my life."
"I officially launched my business Dearest Rachel in 2019 but due to COVID, it - fortunately - became my main source of income. At the time it was scary! I sold thousands of my signature dried bouquets and shipped them nationally to supplement the lack of weddings and events. It was a way to connect people and to send love to people that due to COVID were unreachable. It was fulfilling for me to handwrite every letter. As the first summer during COVID approached, I had a pop up flower shop in Montauk on Long Island! That was a saving grace and I am so lucky to have had that experience. From there, events and weddings slowly came back, and ever since it’s been a whirlwind I can barely catch my breath!"
Rachel Clark With Her Dried Signature Bouquet @dearestrachelnyc
The Name Dearest Rachel
Often businesses have interesting names, and in this case, it even sounds sweet. How Rachel got to this name already sets her apart from somebody else.
I honestly have no idea. I always liked the Instagram girl Sincerely Jules and I wanted to do a spin off. I like period films and anything in the 1800, and early 1900’s people called their loved ones dearest. I love it.
What the Future Holds
For all of us, it's pretty much the same: no one knows what the future holds. Of course, one sets goals and has the most incredible dreams. Rachel Clark trusts in the future.
Q.: How do you think the future will evolve?
"I think I’ve set my eyes on a completely obtainable future, and all I have to do is continue to refine it one day at a time. The best things in my life have happened unexpectedly, and I look forward to more moments like that. I take comfort in the unknown. It’s about trusting the process and ultimately trusting myself that everything will work out. It’s like the tattoo I got, the words wither or blossom. I ask myself in hard times, what will I do? I will always continue to blossom."