We had the good fortune of connecting with Yana Polshina & Jacquie Aphimova and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yana Polshina & Jacquie Aphimova, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?

Thankfully, Vespera Floral Studio is a mother-daughter project rooted in creative expression. So although Vespera takes up a lot of what would be called our “personal” time, we don’t feel a lack of freedom/rest. Vespera inspires quality time where we get to collaborate together. Either we’re discussing the look of our business cards, or brainstorming designs for floral orders, or setting up photoshoots, or hanging out at pop-ups…no matter what, we’re doing what we’ve always done as a family: engage our curiosity and create art.

We think this kind of “collaborative” approach can apply to non-“creative” and non-family-owned small businesses too. Having co-working relationships built on mutual respect and appreciation is vital to making those instances where you have to work overtime and dig into that work-life balance feel like a valuable investment of time rather than an abuse of power.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

We embark on floral orders in a pretty special way; we don’t just talk arrangement size, color scheme, and flower type and then make generic, one-size-fits-all arrangements. We like to get to know a bit about our customers so that our floral designs can truly reflect who they are. As noted in our mission statement: we like to tell stories in the language of flowers.

If we’re taking an order for an individual, we want to know the recipient’s cultural influences (ex. what music do they listen to, what movies do they love, what books speak to them), lifestyle (ex. hobbies, pets, favorite foods), and aesthetic (ex. preferred clothing ensembles). All of this information helps us to create arrangements that truly honor our recipients.

When taking orders for businesses (for example, weekly deliveries at restaurants or offices) or events (ex. weddings, receptions/galas, birthday parties) or editorial photoshoots, we like to become well-informed as to the space we are inhabiting (color scheme, architectural style, filled vs. negative space) and the overall creative direction of the order (the brand, the audience, the tone, the message) so that in collaboration with the other vendors, we are able to create fantasy worlds.

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?

We love really stylized places, so definitely Bathtub Gin LA which features burlesque Tuesday evenings (but also other live performances on other days of the week). In West Hollywood, Tom Tom has an eclectic interior for dinner; then near-by check out The Abbey for dancing in medieval vibes.

For a classic, retro Sunset Strip adventure, have dinner at Carney’s (chili cheese dogs!!!), then dessert (milkshakes!!!) at Mel’s Drive-In, then hit up a show at the Comedy Store. Or trekk to Los Feliz for vegan milkshakes at retro-futuristic diner Fred 62 followed by a movie at the “movie palace” American Cinematheque.

During the day, we love to roam LA’s botanical gardens; they are larger and more abundant than most that we’ve visited in other parts of the U.S. and world. The Arboretum is a favorite because it features roaming peacocks!

On another day-trip, we’ve loved the combo of drinks at Otium followed by walking through the galleries of the Broad.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

Vespera began as a personal project between Yana (the floral designer) and Jacquie (the photographer). But our friendship with Lola Fox-Rabinovich at Luna Body + Mind in Santa Monica, CA inspired the pursuit of a more formal business venture. We saw how Lola, an empowered female business-owner, spread wellness with her acupuncture and holistic health center. Similarly, our work in floristry is rooted in mindfulness and mental wellbeing; we regularly re-connect with nature by “forest bathing” (immersing ourselves in the sounds, sights, and smells of natural surroundings) and share that connectivity to nature’s abundance of vibrant colors, textures, and scents by bringing our floral designs into people’s homes and/or work environments.

In our early days, Lola was a supportive friend who welcomed collaborations between Luna and Vespera. For her positive energy, we give thinks.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vesperaflorals

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/vespera-floral-studio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vesperaflorals

Other: TikTok @vesperaflorals

Image Credits
Jacquie Aphimova

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.