Our Thursday Spotlights often feature the multitude of painters, ceramists, and cartoonists in our colorful neighborhood. But Greenpoint’s cultural scene reaches far beyond visual artists, and florist Grace McDonald more than proves that with her small business, Flower Clvb. A sustainable, creative medium, floral designs are a vital part of many a celebration, as Grace below outlines. Get to know her work — and favorite flower — below!
Greenpointers: How long have you been in Brooklyn and where is your businesses based out of?
Grace McDonald: I have lived in Brooklyn since 2013 and I am a studio florist based in Greenpoint.
Flowers is such an interesting and lovely medium, how’d you get into this type of artistry?
I come from an arts administration background where my primary duties involve connecting contemporary artists with youth. Floral design combines my love for art, nature, and coordinating as I administer an experience for clients that brings out the full expression of who they are. Working with my hands and in a medium that grows from the earth is deeply satisfying to me.
What kinds of requests would you say make up the bulk of your business?
Most of my clients are brides, however I am beginning to receive more inquiries from companies who are interested in planning a fun team building activity or who need flowers for corporate events.
Where do you source your flowers from?
During spring, summer and fall, I try to source as much of my flowers as possible from local farms and supplement with beautiful blooms I find on the 28th Street Flower Market. There are also great local blooms at certain wholesalers at the market as well. During the winter months, I primarily buy from the 28th Street Flower Market or from a local wholesaler in New Jersey that is often able to find me blooms that are American-grown, if not local. I have also found the Union Square Greenmarket to have really incredible and affordable local flowers in the summer.
Are there any kinds of projects you love working on?
I love experimenting with challenging large-scale installations. I am always looking for interesting alternatives for installing without floral foam since floral foam is so bad for the environment. There is almost always a foam-free solution, it just might take a little time, creativity, and the hands of a great team.
One more question: what’s your favorite flower?
I absolutely love poppies. I love how hairy the stems are and how their blooms are often covered in little pods when you buy them. They are a flower that surprises you when they emerge from their pods and I think there is something mysterious and whimsical about them.
Field Day Friday at Kingsland Wildflowers Kingsland Wildflowers | 520 Kingsland Ave
Friday, June 15 | 4pm-7pm Join Kingsland Wildflowers this Friday, June 15, at 4pm for their Field Day Friday (every 3rd Friday of the month) in partnership with Newtown Creek Alliance where you can volunteer to get your hands dirty and help maintain the beautiful rooftop garden!
Botanical Printmaking / Art + Nature at Kingsland Wildflowers Kingsland Wildflowers | 520 Kingsland Ave Friday, June 15 | 4pm-7pm And, this Friday as part of their art + nature series, you will also enjoy a guided tour of what is blooming on the rooftop meadow and learn creative ways to get to know the plantsbylearning botanical printmaking with artist Autumn Kioti! $10 suggested donation. More info + registration here.
There’s something about the flower arrangements at Greenpoint’s The Little Glass Slipper (200 Franklin St). It could be that shop owner, Cary Pereyra-Imbert, takes great care in selecting the flowers she uses, or that the shop itself serves as a small oasis among the condo construction surrounding the neighborhood. Either way, you always leave feeling like you’ve gotten a special treat. Continue reading →
North Brooklyn community residents came out to 520 Kingsland Ave. for the first annual Kingsland Wildflowers Festival on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in Greenpoint this past weekend. The event marked the public inauguration of the new green roof that will serve as a wildlife refuge and community space for educational programming.
Attendees enjoyed free food and beer from New York’s first organic beer maker, Smart Beer and musicians entertained the crowd of friends and family. The littlest Greenpointers (and future conservationists) danced, enjoyed educational activities, face painting and frolicking in the rooftop meadow. This new green space is an oasis in this industrial area that was at one time a rich ecological habitat. “That’s what this project is all about, greening Greenpoint,” said property owner Tony Argento.
True Leaves Floral is a beautiful concept from Jessica Balnaves & Ryann Mead. Jess and Ryann grow gorgeous flowers in Jess’s Bushwick backyard, and create unique flower arrangements with their home grown flowers.
Woman-owned and operated, they have been selling the arrangements to local restaurants (on the tables at Sea Wolf), shops (The Rack Shack displays them), the Saturday Bushwick Farmers’ Market, the Bushwick Food Coop, and they also make custom orders. At the farmers’ market they sell plants, including their $10 “Can o’ Chamomile,” catnip, salvia, fig trees, violas, basil, and marigold plants. They’re also happy to give advice to plant buyers, so you can follow up with them if you don’t have a green thumb. Continue reading →
Imagine sitting under the moonlight surrounded by overflowing vines loaded with nighttime blooms. A soft breeze rustles through leaves and tickles petals from their open blossoms. A minute later a warm rush of honey, rip figs, and anise fills the air. Immediately you want to wrap yourself in this decadent scent of earthly delights and bask in it until the sun rises.
Welcome to the evocative world of Tal Shpantzer, a long time Greenpoint resident whose photo exploration of the dark feminine mystic and fragrance play out in real life.
Some of you might recognize Shpantzer’s photography which has cropped up on HBO’s hit show True Detective, Vogue, and recently on this site. One look at this work and you’ll see there is more than meets the image; Tal has an enviable way of making women look and now smell deliciously sexy. But what started as a photographer’s fascination between women’s relationships to flowers took her to places even she couldn’t imagine.
She put up with you your entire life (not to mention MADE you alive) so you clearly owe her more than a phone call and a mass produced greeting card.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, but don’t worry, you still have plenty of time. We’ve put together this Greenpoint Mother’s Day Guide so you can keep the shopping local and still shower her with awesomeness. We are making this REALLY easy so don’t phone it in this year. Your welcome. Happy Mother’s Day! Continue reading →
Did you know that flowers have purpose and their colors have specific meaning? On Valentines Day, there will be a plethora of options for flowers, candy and other gifts to chose from, but can you offer a purposeful and meaningful gift?
The Little Glass Slipper, a floral design boutique located at 200 Franklin St in Greenpoint, uses colors, herbs and herbal flowers to create a sensory gift giving experience and shares some insight about what these flowers can do. Continue reading →