Brave Floral is an indie flower shop & creative studio crafting thoughtful, environmentally-considered botanical environments via the intersection of design & hospitality.
Brave Floral was conceived as a side gig 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 ritual, 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
The unfortunate truth about the floral industry is that, like the case with product manufacturing or agriculture, you pay a low price as a consumer, 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. Pesticides, herbicides and various other chemicals are widely used to "create" a floral product for the consumer, compromising the natural characteristics of the bloom in order to make something that has much more longevity than nature intended. Commercial farms do this in order to sell their flowers to grocers or florists at a lower cost and with less "loss"...and that's why all flowers are not created equal.
Often times we are asked why our flowers are priced the way they are. When available, we source our blooms from local farms located 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 SO incredibly proud to work with farmers and growers who pay themselves and their staff a living wage. They are able to share with us the story of a particular variety or how they came to grow their favorite plants. We value being a part of this local ecosystem and economy, and actively support within our community however possible.
Brave Floral purchases locally-grown floral product for our designs whenever 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 grown.
On Mindful Growth
We work tirelessly to avoid single-use plastics (including all floral foam) in our design mechanics; implement recyclable goods in our packaging; 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 our owner'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, #StopAAPIHate, 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 it has genuinely evolved into a value within our workplace culture.
Our team of experienced and budding shop associates & 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, emphasizing color, juxtaposition and holistic environmental storytelling.