Raise your hand if you are remotely familiar with Kim Kardashian’s affinity for floral walls. From her Italian wedding to her recent Vogue India cover, it’s clear that Kim K. loves a good flower wall. What makes the Vogue India cover unique is the floral designer behind it. Spencer Falls of The Unlikely Florist is a New Zealand native, LA living, snowboarding male florist. His love for the natural world ultimately brought him to create his mobile, subscription-based floral business.
From hanging installations to entire rooms covered in flowers to yes, designing the floral wall to grace the cover of Vogue, we caught up with Spencer about his work, his favorite projects and what’s to come. For this installment of The Gentlemen Journal, get ready for some flower power.
Tell us about yourself, the birth of The Unlikely Florist, and why you love to do it?
My name is Spencer Falls, I’m from New Zealand and I’m a lover of many things. Since I was very young I had a passion for snowboarding which led me to the states, I then got deep into acting and that introduced me to LA and finally, when I was feeling creatively unfilled and frustratingly unemployed as an actor, I decided to create my own role, The Unlikely Florist.
Tell us about being a male in a female-dominated floral industry.
Man, where to start... I feel lucky to be in my position. I think to excel in anything you need to be original, to have a quality that sets you apart. Being a man in as you say ‘a female-dominated industry’ does that. I think there are a few other elements, the selling from my van, the plant material I choose to work with, to name a few that also help achieve this... My work, or the way I do it is real physical too. You wouldn’t think that of a florist but that’s the way it is for this male florist.
What's your favorite piece that you've done so far and why?
This is a tough one for me to answer because a few pieces come to mind... Of course, I love making one-off installation pieces like the flower wall I created for Vogue India that landed on the cover with Kim Kardashian or this ‘flower room’ I created in San Francisco that was a 12 x 12 x 8ft room with silk drapery and floor to ‘ceiling’ flowers on all four walls...Since the beginning, I’ve been pretty fascinated with the combination of wood and flowers... so I have two pieces where I’ve combined the two. One is called a Floralier, a suspended reclaimed wooden ‘chandelier’ attached to the ceiling by a rope running through a vintage pulley that’s fixed to a winch allowing multiple display levels and making it easy to change out the flower arrangement that protrudes from old spray paint cans that I’ve cut the tops off. All of this is fixed with brass... the other is a dried flower arrangement, stems wrapped in a vintage burlap fastened with a brass safety pin. This arrangement hangs in a custom, reclaimed wood frame that’s fixed with brass screws and sits behind museum glass, making it a lifelong piece. Those pieces are the most gratifying to making, probably because I know that they’re going to a good home.
Tell us (if you can) about any upcoming projects that you are excited about.
I always try to be more of a show don’t tell kind of a guy but for the sake of suspense, I’ll say we have a couple epic brand collaborations in the works. One with Banks Journal and the others I’ll keep under wraps. We have a destination wedding out in Hawaii that I’m frothing for... And I’m in Paris as I write this with the hope of getting a little something going on out here but we shall see...
Where can we buy your flowers in person? Where can we find you?
We’re currently rotating the vans pop-up location between, Soho House Malibu, Great White in Venice and we start our Banks Journal collab on the 18th of March that will see us at The ROW parked outside their location there on a monthly basis... However what I learned when I started all of this was that people wanted more flowers in their lives but really just didn’t have the time to buy them. With that in mind, I developed a subscription service that caters to the LA area. So now we cruise around town with a bunch of custom arrangement in the back of our delivery truck named ‘Red Back’ going door to door like the milkman. It’s pretty fun and people seem to love the service.
Is there something that we should look forward to with The Unlikely Florist?
Oh, so much! Ha, I don’t really know where to start or what’s for sure. To be honest I’m just rolling with it... However, for the better part of 2017 we’ve been renovating our studio in Venice that we hope to share more and more with the community via movie nights, nights of jazz that will likely be in collaboration with Airbnb concerts and whatever else takes our fancy. 2018 is likely to be one for the books and we’re so excited to share the adventure with all those that love flowers, art, music, film and really just anyone that’s on the vibe.
Photography by Fanny Chu
MEET THE CORRESPONDENT
He plays the role of The Unlikely Florist: An outlaw florist who sells flowers from a 1980s VW Van. He wears a green fedora and often a pair light tinted glasses. His goal: To bring flowers to the people. - Website