A Closer Look
The goal:to defy the typical and the often seen.The product: exquisite floral designs that represent a feeling and a moment in time. Embracing the unique guarantees that this goal is consistently achieved and their product perennially sought-after.The store name expresses two ideas: “New Leaf is our name and Flores is what we do,” explains co-owner Jeb Taylor, adding that the Spanish word for flowers is a tribute to his partner Daniel Lopez-Ospina’s Colombian heritage. The pair met while working together as floral designers in Boston. Desiring their own “creative baby,” they opened New Leaf Flores together in 2007 in Jamaica Plain.While some florists are known for modern and others for traditional, these designers strive to defy labels in both their retail and event arrangements. “We view the process as more of a collaboration,” they describe of the event side. Some couples come with pictures; some just have a color or two in mind. “We ask them what style they feel represents them and work with the answer, layering in our creative strengths. It’s an amalgamation of vision and talent.” “We also consider the venue as well,” they add, noting that English country doesn’t work at the Institute of Contemporary Art, for example. “We embrace cohesiveness and collaboration but without compromise,” they assert.
The proximity of New Leaf to the Boston Flower Exchange is a huge perk for their frequent sourcing adventures, up to five times a week. Hand-selecting blooms and botanicals ensures tip-top quality. “I might go to six or seven vendors to find the perfect yellow rose,” says Taylor. “We try to search out flowers that are grown locally, but the season here is short. At the exchange, we buy flowers from all over the world.” Even with this international reach, Taylor and Lopez recommend against a bride setting her heart on blooms that are opposite in season to her wedding date. “It’s best not to get fixated on one specific flower but instead to have a sense of your color palette,” agree the partners, adding that the linen and bridesmaid dress colors are two of the most important details affecting their work.
New Leaf considers a wedding day no less than an evolution, and each part should look like it belongs: “You want to treat your guests to something new throughout the evening.” Often starting with softer, paler hues for the ceremony, they gradually intensify colors through cocktails and into the reception. Ensuring that each bloom is perfect for the big day requires buying and preparation expertise. “Unlike retail arrangements, where the flowers are a little closed for longevity sake,” points out Taylor, “event creations need to open perfectly on one day. It’s all about timing and making sure they don’t pass that peak.” In order to keep their energy up and creativity fresh, the duo simply consider each end product a piece of art. “You have to want to love the look,” they say. “It is always our hope that the end result goes beyond what the client was expecting.”
TEXT BY: Jennifer Sperry