We had the good fortune of connecting with Olya Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olya, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
The floral industry is notoriously bad for the environment. We’re trying to reduce that impact and choose more sustainable options. First, we don’t use any floral foam. That green stuff you see all the time in arrangements is actually made from plastic and ends up in the landfill breaking down into micro-plastics and releasing carcinogens into the air. We also wrap our flowers in compostable material instead of plastic. Another way we’re trying to help is by using locally grown flowers wherever possible – cutting down on the total amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere from your arrangement or event.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I found my way to floral design through fashion and television, so my work is a cinematic sensory experience that covers many genres. Romantic, dramatic… whatever is needed to create the right mood or tone for an event or space. To find my way here I tried many different creative pursuits – jewelry and fashion design – before I finally clicked with floral design. Once you know you know.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The amazing thing about LA is the amount of different neighborhoods to explore – there’s also something different to inspire you, artistically and culturally.
Downtown LA has so much going on – even with its ups and downs. The flower market is my happiest place in LA, the energy and the smells are something that will always be remembered.
For lunch in DTLA I love Manuela, then once you’ve finished you can explore the rest of the Hauser & Wirth building – there’s always something inspiring in the galleries or bookstores. Arcana in Culver City is another amazing bookstore to check out too.
Malibu is my escape from the busy and fast LA pace of living, its so relaxing. Abbot Kinney in Venice for some fun lunch and shopping. Say hello to the amazing ladies at IRO for me!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My work is driven by nostalgia for the flowers in my Grandma’s garden in Ukraine, the drama and beauty of New Zealand, my second home, and now the energy of Los Angeles. All those influences, especially the beauty and abundance of flowers in Ukraine, fuel my creative passion. I have vivid memories of driving past acres and acres of sunflowers as a child in awe of their beauty. My grandmother always had fresh cut wildflowers in a vase in her home – that brought so much warmth and joy. I love using daisies and other wildflowers every time I get a chance because of this memory.