Artist studio spaces are always beautiful and inspiring, but Liza Lubell’s Brooklyn space, where she runs her company, Peartree Flowers, is on another level. With white brick walls, old hardwood floors, and natural light pouring in from the huge windows, the space has great bones. Add in canisters of flowers and potted plants at every turn, along with neatly arranged shelves filled with vessels in natural tones, and you’ll never want to leave. It’s no surprise that one of Liza’s friends recently got married in the space. It has a whimsical, romantic energy that’s not unlike one of Peartree’s coveted arrangements.
Get to know a bit about Liza, her company, and her studio below, and then stay tuned tomorrow for a Peartree Flowers floral arrangement tutorial, created exclusively for Rip & Tan. XXJKE
Rip & Tan: How and why did you become a florist?
Liza Lubell: I had a summer job working as a gardener in the Hamptons during college and immediately became enamored with horticulture. When I graduated college and moved to Portland, Oregon I thought I’d give floral design a shot at a famed local shop there. I never thought that would turn into my career, but sure enough 10 years and 2 businesses later (and now in New York), I’m still arranging flowers.
Rip & Tan: How would you describe your aesthetic?
LL: Peartree’s aesthetic is loose, whimsical, romantic, and feminine. We like color and wild, unapologetic arrangements that also feel composed. It evolves as we evolve yet we stay consistent with our desire to showcase each bloom, leaf, and textural element we use.
Rip & Tan: What is your workspace like?
LL: My Brooklyn workspace is large and open—a very rare combination in New York City. We work out of this historic building in Greenpoint. I share my space with a stylist and a fashion designer so the space feeds off of this collaborative energy. We’re all women business owners in different fields who inspire and encourage each other. When I work out East, I have a small annex in Sag Harbor nearby my family.
Rip & Tan: Where do you source your flowers?
LL: All over! Our work is unique because of the materials we source and that requires a lot of driving around. During the summer we procure flowers from the Hudson Valley, Long Island, the Catskills as well as the NYC flower market in Chelsea. My friends at Worlds End Farm, Cedar Farm Wholesale and Zonneveld farm (all within a few hours of the city) are growing incredible material that I’m always excited to get my hands on.
Rip & Tan: What types of vessels do you tend to use for your arrangements?
LL: I often use ceramic footed bowls. I am a ceramics glutton and love finding new artists to work with. The compote shape is my favorite—giving the flowers a bit of lift to help achieve that gardeny, lush style.
Rip & Tan: What is a typical work day like? Or, if there are no typical days, walk us through a recent busy work day.
LL: There are certainly no typical days, but a busy day last week started at the New York flower market, loading up the van with tons of flowers to drive to The Hamptons to install flowers in a client’s home, stopping along the way to pick up some goods from a few local growers. After our floral install, we headed to another flower farm nearby to cut a few special white cosmos for my best friends bridal bouquet (her wedding was held at my flower studio last week), then we swung by the ocean for a quick dip, picked up some local cherries for our drive back to Brooklyn, where we started preparing for my friend’s wedding.
Rip & Tan: Tell us about your workshops and Pure Vida Peartree. How many people go and what is the program like?
LL: Pura Vida Peartree is my absolute favorite thing we’re doing right now. I love collaborating with talented people from all mediums and this workshop is the epitome of that. It’s a combination of a yoga/surf retreat + creative workshop. This all takes place in dreamy Costa Rica at my favorite sleepy surf town, Nosara. We combine movement with creating. For example, yoga in the morning followed by flower arranging in the afternoon. This November, we’re introducing raw desserts and botanical illustrations into the class mix. It’s basically everything amazing put into one week. Learning, moving, relaxing—with heaps of avocados and margaritas to sustain us.
In the fall, I’m going to start hosting one off classes in my Brooklyn studio. We’ll offer everything from flower arranging to soap making to yoga to tarot readings. I’m so excited to bring more people and innovative energy into our workspace.
Rip & Tan: What flowers or types of arrangements feel at home in the Hamptons?
LL: I think its super important to create flowers that feel of the place. In the Hamptons, flowers need to feel a little less arranged. Masses of queen Anne’s lace or wild grasses look amazing in people’s homes. If you fully take in those surroundings and translate that into flowers, you’ll want to evoke a beachy, outdoorsy, relaxing feel with the flowers. I gravitate towards cosmos, zinnias, dahlias, and grasses as opposed to orchids or roses.
Rip & Tan: What under-appreciated flower or plant varietal do you love to work with?
LL: I’m not sure if it’s that under-appreciated, but I adore working with hellebores. They are so magical to me. So many nuanced tones. They are one of the first flowers to poke their heads out in late winter, in the most unassuming way, their pretty side facing downwards usually.
Rip & Tan: What’s your trick for an easy but beautiful bouquet anyone can put together?
LL: Focus on a few key blooms and cut them at various heights so each bloom gets their prominent moment.
Rip & Tan: How do you know when an arrangement is “finished”?
LL: When you start adding for the sake of adding but it’s not really improving the arrangement. It can be hard to know for sure, but when I start to cram flowers in or look at an arrangement for too long, I know I’m past the finished line.
Rip & Tan: What floral arranging tip or technique do you swear by?
LL: It’s so important to clean the excess greens off of your stems and change the water each day. This can improve the lifespan of your flowers by days. The cleaner the water, the longer your arrangement will survive in your home. If you don’t have flower food, a little sugar in the water (or Sprite!) can also help keep the flowers alive for longer.
Photos: Sarah Elliott
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