We sat down with OG Burrow family member AND floral designer, Caroline Lahti to learn about what makes her tick and what makes her home truly one-of-a-kind. As the founder of Flora Brook her work can be seen all across NYC.
Your style is fantastic. Talk to us about how you got started working with flowers?
I started working with flowers when I was 16 and got a job at a local florist in my town. It wasn't very busy, so instead of sitting around during my down time I would make cool displays and creations with flowers and scraps. When people started coming in and responding to them I realized I have a thing for this!
Is there anyone who deserves a shout out for helping you along the way?
My boss from that first flower shop has always encouraged me and has been there if I hit a bump in the road, or something over my head gets thrown my way. And my mom definitely. But overall I've been humbled and overwhelmed by how generous and supportive my friends and family have been over the years through owning my business. Everyone is always willing to jump in, whether it be to help carry stuff to a delivery or brainstorm a new idea with me.
Tell me about one of the most rewarding moments you’ve had.
When I was only about two months in, I somehow got asked to do a living wall of basil at Eataly. Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing. But we somehow pulled it off and when it showed up at the event it looked perfect. That felt good.
With social media creating both a platform to share creativity, but also a place that potentially spawns competition, where do you find inspiration?
There are so many flower Instagrams getting sent your way once the weird Instagram algorithm realizes that's what you're into. I do like looking at other people's work. My arrangements really begin with me walking around the market. I always look for what looks particularly special/exotic/different that day then I'll base the rest of the flowers off that flower - what will compliment it or bring it to life.
What's your creative process like?
There are times I'll pick out the blooms for an order, then right before buying I'm like - this is too basic. Then I'll switch out some roses for a dried brown or black element just to give it a little edge. Contrast is my favorite. I think it's more-so just my style than an effort to stand out.
Speaking about being unique. Can you share with us four of the most one-of-a-kind-things/objects in your home?
MY PLANT WALL
I have a small apartment in the LES with not very much room; however, my room has two windows and lots of light. I started hanging plants in my windows since I have zero floor space. I now have seven hanging plants and many more resting in either window sill. It represents how I'm good at making due. I want a lot of plants, but can't fit them. So I create some hanging apparatuses instead of accepting that I can't have a lot. It also just makes me feel relaxed to be surrounded by green. On that wall I have a painting that says "the time is now" which being next to your bed is a great reminder : get out of bed!!!
MY ART WALL
Next to my plant wall I have an art wall. All of the art on my wall incorporates either flowers or plants. They are all made by people that I know or have worked with, so they all have that extra meaning to me. When I look at each I remember the person who made them.
MY CERVICAL PILLOW
Because I'm always looking down for work, I've developed a neck problem! I was even hospitalized a couple of months ago for it. One doctor recommended a cervical pillow, which basically is like a donut and your head rests in the middle. When I lay on this after a long day life is goooood.
Not sucking up here!! Alex (Burrow's VP of Growth) who is my cousin's cousin (sounds distant but isn't really), helped me get my Burrow chair. A big majority of my family are entrepreneurs and this is a good representation how we all work together. Plus, it's a pretty great chair.
What does it mean for you to feel finally home?
Being in the service industry, when you're working your customer is your priority. They ask you to change this or fix that, you're subject to listen while working for them. When I get home, finally I am the priority. Getting to focus on my own wants and needs. My favorite thing to do after a long day is take a bath. No one can bother you there. :)
Shop Caroline’s Chair
The Burrow Sofa - Crushed Gravel One Seat With High Arms