By Jill Brooke
As part of our #FabulousFloristFridays segment, we want to introduce you to Leatal Cohen from Pic and Petal in Brooklyn, New York.
Her work is getting rave reviews in everywhere from the New York Times to Living Magazine and we feel lucky to have discovered her artistry and want to share it with you. Not only is she an innovative florist but she also does the photography.
“I just don’t leave after we do the flowers,” she says. “I’m there through the whole experience. I love that because by the end of the night, I know the whole family and friendships are made.”
There’s not only a finesse to her work but also a gentleness. Not surprising when you consider she once did pediatric occupational therapy. As with many success stories, she pursued her love of flora and then got so many requests that she stopped her other gig and launched Pic and Petal a few years ago.
Her world is a kaleidoscope of color. Pic and Petal infuse that sensibility into her signature wedding canopies which we call Caring Arches of Petal Perfection. She also does beautiful baby showers and intimate dinner decor.
Notice how the arch here for Min Joo Shin and Dennis van Laer’s wedding isn’t a perfectly tightly formed arch. There is open space in there, a symbol of how devoted couples still need air to breathe and individuality in a committed relationship It was such a thoroughly modern interpretation.
And the flowers. Pic and Petal used Taira purple roses mixed with large Gladiator alliums, delphiniums in lavender, blue and white, ranunculus in pastel shades of pink, yellow and blue. We also liked the Venvel pink and golden mustard roses.
It’s always the subtle details that sing. Instead of white baby’s breath, she used pale pink as the base as well was peach and blue on the right. The command of colors is masterful.
In another canopy, she didn’t make the flowers matchy matchy but instead let them be individual statements. The Geraldine roses were stunning as was the hanging green amaranth.
“I actually like working for smaller events because it’s more intimate and you can do more detailed work,” she says.
One couple wanted to recreate a special Capri memory now that Covid-19 grounded them to New York. Cohen used lemon branches and lemons along with flowering Spirea and sprinkled colored roses on the table.
Especially for installations that aren’t easy to bring home post-event, Cohen partnered with Arielle and Aviva Vogelstein of ReVased who pick up used event florals and deliver half to subscribers as well as donating half to shelters and nursing homes.
Giving back is also part of her mantra. In awe of all the essential workers helping navigate the pandemic, she joined forces with Floratorium and created a stunning installation to cheer up the nurses and doctors.
“It felt so good to do something,” she says. “We were at a Leaf Flower Festival meeting and thought about it and then just did it.”
As far as her future, she is finding many more clients seeking her “boutique” offerings.
“I could never do a big production event,” she says. “It’s not my personality and too grand for my tastes. I like the control of it being me and caring for all the details.”
That idea is especially appetizing in the current climate. The bonus prize to canceling larger extravaganzas is there’s less pressure with smaller events and the bride and groom can actually talk to everyone including each other. As well as their florist who will also take the pictures.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.