Once, in a moment of arrogant naivete, I waltzed into the neighborhood wholesale florist to pick up some stems with the intent of composing a little bouquet for my room. Given my job, I've spent a good bit of time around stylists who make it look easy, and I'd thought to myself, "How hard can it be?" A few turns around one refrigerator filled with blooms and another with greenery, and I realized I was in way over my head. I left with a handful of hydrangeas and a deeper appreciation for the talented florists who spin magic from botanical chaos. I'd shelved my floral-arranging whims until last week, when I learned about Petalled, a new company that's here to make floral arranging approachable, even for (especially for!) amateurs like me.
"I'm no floral professional; I'm no expert," says Katie Dos Santos, who launched Petalled earlier this month. During a battle with Chronic Lyme Disease, she received an arrangement from her friends and found that it was just the mood-booster she needed. The wheels started turning, and through research, she realized there was no company on the market doing exactly what she wanted to do: Provide fresh flowers and an accompanying step-by-step guide for arranging them into a cohesive centerpiece.
"I actually think it helped [that I wasn't a florist]," says Dos Santos. "I quickly realized what was doable and what wasn't." Partnering with sustainability-conscious, women-owned flower farms in California and professional floral designers, Petalled offers a variety of subscriptions for budding florists. You can choose from petite, mezza, or grande arrangements, as well as opt to receive the subscription monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly (the subscription price starts at $63). Each time, the flowers and arrangement will vary based on what's in season. They also sell ready-to-go centerpieces for gifting.
Last week, Petalled sent me the 35-stem "Modern Love" mezza arrangement package (which checks out at $80), along with a hobnail vase and a tool kit filled with pruning shears, a rose stripper, floral tape, and twine. The vase and tool kit are sold separately so that you can opt out of purchasing them if you already have them at home.
The easy-to-follow guide provides amateur-proof instructions, complete with pictures, in case you don't know the difference between silver dollar and baby blue eucalyptus—and who does, really? After an hour of soaking the stems and another 30 minutes of trimming and arranging, I found myself the proud creator of a beautiful arrangement of ranunculus, stock, and calla lilies that I'd actually feel confident gifting (although I kept it myself because I loved it so much). I've changed the water and trimmed the stems per Petalled's instructions, and it still looks fresh after a week! Additionally, the instructions also make note of which flowers work well for dried arrangements, in order to ensure you get the most bang for your buck, so I'll have to try that too.
Best of all, once this centerpiece does kick the bucket, I'll be able to march confidently into my neighborhood wholesale florist with Petalled's instructions and pick up the stems I'll need in order to recreate the same arrangement. I may have missed out on the sourdough-baking craze that the pandemic gave us, but thanks to Petalled, I think I've found a new lifelong hobby.
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