When Taylor Patterson came back from Paris to live in New York, she started selling flowers at a flea market which very quickly turned into creating her own flower shop, named after her parent’s farm in Delaware. Fox Fodder Farm in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is where the minute you walk in you understand why Carolina Herrera commissions Taylor for the flowers in her shop and why her Floral workshops in Greece make you dream.
In situations like today where we are staying at home flowers seem to me the most calming remedy, especially when they are put together with so much care and uniqueness.
We had a chat while picking a bunch of flowers.
IRMA: There are many new flower shops in town, what makes you special?
TAYLOR PATTERSON: A main reason I opened the shop was that I wanted a place for people to be able to come in and get hands on with flowers which is seriously lacking in the city. So much of the floral industry is shrouded in mystery. Arrangements are presented as if they are alchemy. I wanted to give customers transparency. Every flower for sale in the store is labelled with origin and dated and tables are set up so customers have the option of making their own arrangement.
IRMA: You have created the floral ID for some Fashion stores in NYC, tell us more about it?
TAYLOR PATTERSON: We work with a number of fashion brands in either continuing or helping them to establish their floral identity.
We’ve worked with Carolina Herrera for example for a number of years since Wes Gordon took over. Wes loves flowers to feel as natural as possible. He prefers single variety arrangements and having them feel loose and easy rather than super tight or composed.
We also have been working with Ulla Johnson, doing the flowers for her store- Ulla love flowers. Period. And this love is so much a part of her brand identity. Floral wise, the aesthetic matches the clothes. Romantic, whimsical, ultra-feminine, and a little bohemian.
IRMA: Besides Flowers: what can I get at your store?
TAYLOR PATTERSON: I have a rule that everything in the store has to feel special to me. The inventory will always change Right now in the store we sell soap from Saipua which I adore almost as Sarah who makes it, ceramics from Yoon-Young Hur and Akiva Rowley, this waxed French chore coat which is my new favourite armor, these beach stone vases from an artist on an island who made me promise anonymity.
IRMA: The wedding season is around the corner. Which trends do you think are relevant and how can that be translated into your work?
TAYLOR PATTERSON: For me, it is never about what is ‘hot’ at the moment or manipulating nature to what I think would look good. It is about finding the beauty that is in nature, what that locates in ourselves. It’s taken eons to form that art and architecture of flowers— it will always be in style.
IRMA: What is the best accessory to a beautiful flower arrangement?
TAYLOR PATTERSON: Someone to appreciate it.
IRMA: Talking about sustainability: Is there something we should know about flowers?
TAYLOR PATTERSON: We should all know the environmental impact of our choices. As for the word “sustainability”– it is tossed about so freely now it seems to have no meaning. I am not trying to sustain, I am trying to get better. Whether it is establishing relationships with local farmers or not buying flowers dyes and chemicals or our composting program in-house, it is my responsibility to minimize the carbon footprint of the business. It is one I take seriously.
IRMA: You have an annual workshop in Greece, what can we expect when we book a session?
TAYLOR PATTERSON: As of right now the workshop is still taking place. It will be our second year. Andros is one of the largest islands in the Cyclades with a lot of fresh water and so in the late spring it is lush with wildflowers. For the workshop, we forage all of the material creating arrangements from what we’ve collected. There is nothing like engaging with flowers from the immediate environment.