Flowers let us unapologetically be ourselves. But can everyone really be themselves when working in the floral industry? And what happens when we bring a designer’s personal preferences to the discussion? Four gay designer duos tell us about how being creative gives them freedom of expression. A moment for Putnam & Putnam, The Wunderkammer, Ampersand, and Kwiaty & Miut and their manifest in flowers.
Why This Topic on the Table?
Why, in the year 2020, do we bring this topic to the table? In the international floral industry, creativity is cheered upon. People are touched by the things you do, and by your unique floral creations. In some parts of the world though, being your ultimate self is not so obvious. What if your floral designs are the only way of expressing who you truly are? It means that you emphasize the creative part of being gay but avoid the delicate subject of your sexual preferences. We visited four international designer duos in their most original habitat - surrounded by flowers. Thursd. zooms in on how they experience ‘being themselves’ in the floral industry.
The Power of the Flower
First of all, we notice that wherever we go, the mutual respect for flowers and the appreciation for craftsmanship is what connects every aspect of the floral industry. Isn’t that amazing? Flowers make the connection, whether it is between passionate growers and dedicated designers or – in consumerland - between giver and receiver. But in a sense, doesn’t this make being who you are subordinate to the flower itself? Or is it that, the flowers help you express who you are (or want to be)? Let’s tap into that a little bit deeper in our video, with the eight gentlemen leading the way.
Creative Environment = Open-Minded People
Conservative situations are something that every floral stylist might have experienced before. Putnam & Putnam will share one of their most memorable situations. How you deal with it is what matters most. Why is it that in a creative environment, people are more open-minded? How does a designer’s style affect their clients’ attention to these New York residence florists? And how do other industry professionals deal with it?
Let’s Ramp It Up!
The gents of Ampersand go as far as a night & day comparison when it comes to the comparison between people in the Californian flower industry. Regardless of these different backgrounds or beliefs, San Francisco is a privileged place to be in as a queer business owner. They would even “ramp it up” when they would face a conservative situation. In their amicable and warm interview they overall stress the importance of how honored they feel to be finishing the journey that a grower has started; turning their flowers into a new art form and out into the world.
Polish designers Kwiaty & Miut enthusiastically share their motto about making no compromises in life. This equals goal setting 2.0 by the two gents when they realize their own flower shop in Poland. A ‘flower shop extraordinaire’ that is not only nourished by their creative souls but also by the immense supply of beautiful flowers from their own dahlia farm. At the same time, these designers with a self-said dose of frenziness regret to be compulsively florist in the first place and gay lovers second. Only because of the conservative views on LGBT rights in their country.
Be True to Yourself
In some parts of the world in the floral industry, a same-sex preference is suppressed. It gets its outing from the freedom of expression in its floral designs. No one will question it. The flower carries the message that the florist wants to bring. These flowers – the type, the color, the combination - are representatives of the people behind the creative concept. These four renowned designer duos are driven by love for flowers and love for each other. People want to be touched by what they do and are not interested in who they share the bed with. As The Wunderkammer explicitly says: “We love flowers, we love to live our life, no need to carry it out more”.
Don’t Be Limited
Thursd. is an online platform, here to inspire. We start the conversation about all things floral and beyond. Not only do we offer transparency in the entire floral chain, but this manifest in flowers is an initiative by Thursd. to create awareness about the creative profession of being a florist and what this means in our culturally diverse world.
Many thanks to Kwiaty & Miut, Putnam & Putnam, The Wunderkammer, Ampersand, Rutger M Flowers, Meilleur du Fleur and Pulitzer Hotel Amsterdam, Daan de Graaff, Sean Vogel, Jerry Tran, Sander Houwen, Ting Fung Cheung, Iris Custers, Agnieszka Dawiczewska, Malgosia Magott for helping to create this story.