Floral designer Lizbeth Molina is extending an olive branch into the new year.
The secret to spiriting a landscape into an arrangement, Lizbeth says, is to begin at ground level and build up through its atmosphere. Consider ceramic, stone and metallic vases to be elemental starting points, not just glass afterthoughts. Of course, the hurdle for her Los Angeles floral studio Rawfinery – and designers everywhere – was that 2020 began something closer to rock bottom.
Lizbeth recalls a California events conference early in the year when phones lit up in unison with news of the lockdown. The keynote speaker vacated the stage in tears, the room emptied, and an entire industry seemingly cleared its calendar overnight. Flowers died in shipping containers or arrived overpriced and stained with ash from California wildfires. Armageddon seemed in bloom. For Lizbeth and others, Mother’s Day would be the test: could floral design find a place with a suddenly stay-at-home customer base?
As it happens, drawing inspiration from phases of transition is core to Lizbeth’s studio practice. Rawfinery’s innovative, trademarked method of ‘LifeCycle Design’ pairs dried florals with fresh flowers that age well, creating an arrangement that reinvents itself to the rhythms of nature.
As she pivoted away from grand venues, Mother’s Day brought just enough hope to continue through a summer of uncertainty and breakeven bottom lines – but also affirmational silver linings. Never would she have anticipated a wedding season headlined by intimate backyard ceremonies where brides and grooms appeared more joyfully present. Free to dance barefoot in a garden, in the company of innermost circles, “we had the wedding we didn't know we were supposed to have," they’d tell her.
Inspiration from transition? Peace during a pandemic? Reflecting on a year that stripped her industry to the stem, Lizbeth was reminded of her own love: she just wants to play with flowers. Time recovered from large-scale undertakings was spent on new creative outlets and ways to invent demand, and right now, she knows Rawfinery’s clients are getting her best work. She charges into 2021 with a renewed sense for all the ways that flowers can help others survive and thrive.
“Flowers remind us of our place in the world and the inherent harmony found in nature. In receiving them, we feel light in our spirit and in harmony with nature’s rhythms.”