Elisabeth Santana is the founder of ES Blooms, a full-service floral company, designing for clients in New York City and the Hamptons. Renowned as a purveyor of unique and powerful arrangements, ES Blooms and Santana are inspiring.
As Social Life and the rest of the Hamptons enters full-on flora season, we wanted to touch base with Elisabeth and learn what inspires her this season — and every day.
What is your favorite travel destination and why?
I would have to say Greece. It’s an extraordinary country burgeoning with natural beauty, and additionally special because I first visited with two of my sisters. I adore the depth and richness of the Greek culture combined with the pure simplicity of the food. More than a destination, it’s a state of mind: a place where I felt I could be unapologetically myself, completely alive and free.
If you had to choose a destination based on what you’d see from a flora perspective, where would it be and what would you hope to see?
Holland is the heart of flora-driven travel. It has a special annual flower show that basically blows every other flower show out of the water. Some of the most unique, spectacular blooms come from Holland.
You told us last year that the Bird of Paradise is your favorite flower. What is your favorite color and is it reflected in your favorite flower?
Yellow is my favorite color. It evokes an intrinsic feeling of grounded happiness as an extension of sunshine. I’m always filled with joy after a long NYC winter to see yellow tulips and forsythia bursting into bloom: it speaks of the promise of summer.
What is the trait you most like in others?
A sense of humor. In the constant hustle of entrepreneurial life in New York, what really makes a lasting impression is a person who adds levity to the mix.
What do you think will be the biggest floral trends of the summer?
The spring/summer 2018 shows definitely saw a boom in the use of florals. We’ve seen ’70s-inspired bold prints on the runways, Coachella floral headpieces, flower-embroidered shoes. It feels fun and young.
Our events have had a very interesting season driven by the ideal of bespoke creativity. Corporations and fashion design houses love our pop-up-style floral bars. We choose several varieties of flowers based on the season and the brand’s aesthetic, and throughout the event the guests choose the flowers that speak to them. Our talented team of designers work one-on-one with each guest to arrange their flowers in unique combinations for the guest to take home. It’s an interactive experience that everyone gets really hyped about.
What trends are on the way out, and what’s coming in?
Flower walls are certainly still popular, but we’ve seen a lot of buzz recently about moon gates, which signify unity and oneness. The circle evokes a sense of being complete. We’ve seen people use it for weddings, and we’ve been very successful bringing this design aesthetic into the corporate/hospitality world. I recently read an article about the newly unveiled Apple campus using curvilinear walls in their architecture to promote creativity, and I feel that the same is true for bringing new shapes into floral design: it challenges preconceptions and refreshes our palette.
Where are we most likely to run into ES Blooms creations this season as we indulge in outdoor Hamptons fun?
Munching on delightful eats at Topping Rose in Bridgehampton, indulging in decadent cookies from Levain Bakery in Wainscott, or delivering arrangements to Gurney’s Montauk. We just partnered with Gurney’s for summer 2018, and we’re so excited to unveil our designs in its sumptuous space.
How lucky are you and why?
I feel beyond blessed to have the support and love of my six siblings and extraordinary parents and to be marrying the love of my life this year. It’s certainly been a year of incredible growth for my team at ES Blooms, and now my family as well!
What is the funniest thing that recently happened to you?
I was recently meeting my fiancé for dinner in the West Village. I walked in the door of the restaurant, and then made a beeline for the bar as I saw him sitting on a stool with his back to me. I put my hands around his eyes and said, “Guess Who?” Turned out it wasn’t him!
If you could spend a weekend with anyone, past, present, or future, who would it be and why?
I would love to go back to the ’70s to spend a weekend with my mom in NYC, partying at Studio 54, sharing a late dinner at her friend’s restaurant Sign of the Dove, and experiencing from a peer’s point of view her sense of wonder, vivacious personality, and deep kindness.
What flowers are a must this summer to add Hamptons elegance to any home?
Kokedama plant sculptures. It’s a style from Japan I’m very drawn to for its elegant simplicity. This floral art form involves wrapping a plant’s root system in sphagnum moss and then binding it with string, transforming it into a sculptural art form. It can be done with almost any flower or plant and is arrestingly beautiful.
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