Brave Floral is a flower shop & creative studio crafting thoughtful, environmentally-considered botanical environments via the intersection of design & hospitality.
Brave Floral was conceived as a side hustle in Valerie’s apartment kitchen back in 2015. Its focus at the time was solely on weddings throughout New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. Mid-size events became Brave Floral’s bread and butter over the years, having honed in on the intricacies of the wedding industry, refining our offerings, aesthetic and approach.
The retail shop came about in November 2018, as a physical locale for our clients and customers to experience seasonal blooms in their purest form with the ability to see, touch and smell all the product in the shop. Our shop is set up similarly to an ‘open-kitchen concept’ where you can converse with designers as they’re working, and see first-hand how the process takes place.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how we operate, having had to temporarily close our doors and limit entry of our customers, and shift most of our business online. We are still working on how the "new normal" will look and feel for us. For now, there are still flowers and will always be flowers.
Local vs. Commercially Grown Flowers
Often times we are asked why our flowers are priced the way they are. When available, we source our blooms from local farms within 99 miles of Maplewood. The flowers are transported to the shop via car or van, and arrive in the freshest state possible. We are proud to work with farmers and growers who pay themselves and their staff a living wage. We value being a part of this local ecosystem and economy, and will support within our community however possible.
The unfortunate truth about the floral industry is that, like the case with manufacturing or agriculture, you may often pay a low price as a customer, but at the expense of other aspects. A vast majority of commercially-grown flowers are done so at the expense of their workforce, paying their workers cents to dollars per hour for their physical labor with little to no healthcare benefits. They do this, and are able to sell their flowers to grocers or florists at a lower cost...and that's why all flowers are not created equal.
We pledge to utilize locally-grown floral product wherever possible and especially during the growing months of April thru October. In the off months, we may source from other parts of the US and globally, though we will always be transparent as to where your flowers are coming from.
On Mindful Growth
We work tirelessly to avoid single-use plastics (including all floral foam), implement recyclable papers in our wrapping, hire local freelancers and designers for event work, and reduce botanical waste through our composting partner Java’s Compost. Every day, we are adding to our community of friends, florists, growers, farmers, and vendor partners who align with practices to better the environment in their respective industries.
Brave Floral is derivative of Braverman, Valerie's last name. At first, it was selected because it had a nice ring to it, but as time has gone on, it's formed a bit of a double entendre. Here at Brave Floral we are not afraid to take on new projects, or tackle a challenge presented in front of us. We will gladly stand up to what is decent and right. We proudly take a stance on Black Lives Matters, and believe there is learning to be had to undo decades of taught micro-agggresions, racially-tinged thoughts/actions in our upbringings. Brave is the name that was chosen, but has evolved into how we conduct business as a whole.
Our team of experienced and budding floral designers come from an array of education backgrounds ranging from New York Botanical Garden, New York Flower School, Brooklyn Botanic Garden plus design training with various shops and studios based in New York City. Our designs are led with intention with an emphasis on color, juxtaposition and holistic environmental storytelling.