flowers + reading
The Botanical Brouhaha Street Team, as we like to call ourselves, recently hit the road to Houston to join fellow Texans in welcoming Darroch and Michael Putnam of NYC-based Putnam & Putnam to our area. The event, hosted by Mayesh Houston, Allied Florists of Houston, and Fleur de Vie, reflected the hard work of the evening’s hosts and their commitment to the floral community who look to them for support and inspiration. One hundred fifty floral designers and flower lovers gathered in the warehouse at Mayesh Houston for a spectacular evening of connecting, learning, and celebrating the Putnams’ book Flower Color Guide.
The evening was filled with reunions between industry friends we hadn’t seen in a while, some we’d corresponded with for a while but never met in person, and some we’d seen just a week prior at the Botanical Brouhaha workshop in our hometown of Bryan, Texas. Every conversation reminded us how fortunate we are to work in a profession filled with artistry and compassion.
After a quick trip out to the Taco Truck (for some incredible tacos!), we spent time in the Mayesh Houston cooler browsing a plethora of flower varieties and watching the excitement of floral designers shopping for product prior to the start of the floral demo.
Allied Florists of Houston President Alan Masters, AIFD, CFD opened the program with some important thank yous and introductions. Charity Reel, Mayesh Houston Manager, introduced the Mayesh team and thanked local vendors. CEO Pat Dahlson took the stage to share a bit about the Mayesh company and culture. And then it was time for Mikey & Darroch to take the stage after a wonderful introduction by Madeleine Elmer of Fleur de Vie!
After much anticipation, Darroch and Mikey shared a bit of their flower journey timeline complete with images of their editorial work while offering entertaining behind-the-scenes commentary. From meeting at Trader Joe’s 11 years ago to getting married and creating a unique business model, their journey has been an eventful one. Early on, Mikey was working in interior design while “playing with flowers” on the weekends. Darroch was pursuing fashion photography, but taking time to capture Mikey’s floral creations along the way.
The duo was living in a tiny apartment in New Jersey and using the back of their smart car as a flower studio (seriously!). Their first big break came in the form of a message from Vogue asking them to re-create a Dutch still life with flowers from the local market. The influence of those Dutch paintings is still evident in their work today.
Eventually, the Putnams moved to a 300 sq ft Manhattan apartment and were able to hire their first employee. The ball was rolling and their endeavor began gaining speed with unique opportunities like having their flowers picked up by a designer who printed them on fabric and created pieces that were sold at Bergdorf Goodman. Today they travel the world promoting their book (book two is in the works), regularly work with designers during New York Fashion Week, design the florals for a handful of special weddings each year (Gweneth Paltrow, for example), run a retail shop in NYC, and have recently launched the Putnam Flower Channel.
As the lights came up, we could feel the excitement building as the crowd watched Mikey create a Putnam & Putnam original arrangement. Slowly, a jaw-dropping urn design emerged as Mikey talked through his design process and the importance of design elements he described as: embracing negative space, finding the perfect transitional flowers to create color flow, choosing floral elements carefully, and adding each stem to the arrangement with intention.
Stem by stem, Mikey’s arrangement came to life as he demonstrated his design guidelines of starting with foliage, then adding “face flowers”, filler flowers, textures, specialty flowers, and finally, gestural flowers. Pure magic.
The evening concluded with a long line of excited flower lovers waiting their turn for a picture with the Putmans and a chance to get their copies of Flower Color Guide signed. As we prepared to hit the road back to Bryan, there were goodbyes and promises to stay in touch. One special moment for us at Botanical Brouhaha was meeting Mayesh CEO Pat Dahlson and our long-time email friend and Mayesh Marketing genius, Ali Dahlson in person for the very first time! Pat, Ali, and Mayesh Wholesale have partnered with us this year to bring Season 3 of the Botanical Brouhaha Podcast to our listeners. We couldn’t have asked for a better partnership. It was an honor to hug their necks!
Thanks to everyone at Mayesh Houston, Maggie Bailey and Allied Florists of Houston, and Madeleine Elmer of Fleur De Vie for a memorable event. And thanks to Mikey & Darroch Putnam for coming to Houston! Until next time…
Special thanks to Robby Lozano & Gabe Miller of Ten23 Photography for capturing the evening and being the best traveling team a girl could ask for!
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