Friday, May 22, 2015

Detroit download



Took the show on the road last weekend. Packed up two 24 foot trucks in NYC and drove to Motor City. I can no longer deny my desire to become a professional truck driver, and so this road trip was especially satisfying for me. Let me tell you Pennsylvania is a long state and you can get lots of thinking done across it. 


It's an exercise in logistics when we travel for weddings, but I have to say we've gotten pretty good at it, and with enough peanut butter sandwiches, I can make anything happen anywhere. Or my team can, I should say...The venue was the Elanor and Edsel Ford House in Grosse Point, on the shore of lake Michigan. The weather was unseasonably hot; reaching the mid 80's. The main tent was a clear top; a structure which acts like a giant greenhouse as soon as the sun comes up. The HVAC team had a hard time getting their system up and running; air conditioning promised at 9am didn't get turned on till 6pm that evening...


Which made for Bikrim-style flower arranging Friday morning, roses and tulips exploding open before my eyes, the team racing to finish centerpieces by 11am in order to load them back into the refrigerated truck. I cannot stress the importance of reliable temperature control on these sorts of big events…



We stayed in downtown Detroit, renting a big old house on a beautiful historic street near cork town. Through the course of the week the lives of our staff merge in this strange, suspended sort of way; showers waited on, chapsticks and sunglasses are shared and lost. Meals can become these haphazard conglomerates, brussell sprouts for breakfast, who knew? Mothers day, did everyone call their mothers? Can you do a handstand? lets see



The first night we arrived our host recommended hiring guards to stay with our trucks on the street overnight. For $21/hour they could be armed. We hired one. Driving around there is so much space - compared to the congestion of New York City it feels refreshing. I love it there so much. I fantasized about moving Saipua to Detroit…on the road home through Ohio, another very long state. 





Jenya - interantional freelance extraordinaire, not sure how we would have pulled this off with out his calm laser focus. Courtney from Swell Botanicals, one of the most sensitive people I know and a fantastic listener. Do you know that feeling when someone is really listening to you? It's special and rare.


There were lots of large installations in this wedding, feats tackled by Deanna and Dan and Justin. They say that you should know how everything works in your business, but hell if I know how some of these things went up. At certain points I'd watch in awe. A scene very far in the distance from the first days of ball jar arrangements in the back of my pickup truck for a backyard wedding in Brooklyn.   



But ball jars don't bring you to Detroit, and traveling weddings has become one of my favorite parts of the job. Discovering flower people and new floriculture around the world keeps wedding work really exciting.


We got to meet some amazing designers who joined our team to pull the event together -- many thanks to Katie, Jody and Lia for being so professional and hustling so hard. Thanks to Sarah from Fresh Cut Detroit for bringing fresh crabapple after all ours started to shed. And thanks to Jennelle (who happens to be one of our next farm apprentices) for bringing branches from her parents house and helping out for the wedding day. And many many thanks to Alison and Brian for VLD Events who brought us out and were a dream to work with.


What do you want for your business? I always think it's important to consider what you actually want your day to look like. I mean, do you like waking up early? Do you like eating? You like long walks in the woods? Do you like driving? Because those are the things I like doing, and those are the things I do a lot of in my work. But the best part of my job is getting to work with lots of different people and watching the Saipua community grow. I like a lot of people around; I like watching them work together and make friends with each other. I like feeding them. I like to be driven around by them and hunting flowers with them. And then I like to be alone.



We got back into New York late on Monday night. I lugged my shit upstairs. My apartment was a wreck. I took my dirty jeans off and they walked away without me. I fried an egg and some brussell sprouts that came back from Michigan. Then I folded myself into my chair by the window, warm dark air blowing in from the street. I thought about what I needed to do before hitting the road again the next day for the farm. My old houseplants hung dusty and thirsty around me. I sat there into the very early morning, feeling very happy. 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

You totally should move to Detroit! I never comment but I've been soaking up your flowers online for quite a while (I think maybe Orangette mentioned you a long time ago?) and I'd love to see them in person some day. It'd be a lot easier to make the trek from here in west Michigan if you were in Detroit. :)

Jen

P.S. We have the real Lake Michigan over here on the west coast. Lakes Huron, Erie and St. Clair are cool but not the real deal. Sunsets are amazing over here.

Brittany | the Home Ground said...

I second Jen! I live outside of Ann Arbor now, but grew up in Grand Haven and Lake Michigan is much cooler than Erie and St. Clair :)

I was so excited when you mentioned last week that you were coming here. I interned at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford house and it is such a gorgeous venue. Your work there is amazing!! Come back soon <3

Brittany

danger garden said...

This post was a joy to read. You've energized me and I can't wait to get up tomorrow and tackle my list of things to accomplish. Of course you've also exhausted me a bit...

Anonymous said...

I can never get enough of these posts. Delicious living!

Alyssa Rainville said...

Pennsylvania is the perfect long-drive state. I'm from Pittsburgh, and live in Philadelphia, so I make the drive several times each year. Lots of thinking.

count buckula said...

I'm more partial to toasted peanut butter. This bias has led to a less portable pbj habit.

josh's toasted pbj recipe:
- og peanut butter
- fruit spread (i.e. no sugar, just fruit & pectin)
- 2 slices healthy bread (sprouted wheat, rye, etc.)

lather on the pb, highlight with fruit, toast for 5-8 minutes.

Anne Hubbard said...

Oh good lord, I love reading your blog.

Donatella said...

Reading you blog is good, but the pictures are just phenomenal. Such extravagant beauty! I love those pictures!

Jenny N said...

this is so special.

Anonymous said...

Sarah,

I just love your blog and your flower designs -- such sumptuous gorgeousness!!! And you have the best sense of humor!

Sabrina

Camille said...

I am especially grateful for the floral community you have helped build. It's funny, you and I have been tackling a few of the same questions this year--but having you put it out there, on the blog, forces me to think harder about my own answers. I really appreciate it.

Those hanging floral wreaths are the prettiest I've ever seen, and I've been scouting inspiration for a client. As usual Saipua is setting the bar high.

Maria del mar said...

That ring on top of the Dancing Floor is dreamy. Just splendid.

Becca Blue said...

God damn. Thank you so much...for all of this.
So much love from Chicago. (The other side of the lake.)

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Ashley said...

Hello. My name is Ashley.
I'm studying about flower in Korea.
I get the inspiration for your work in blog.
your are really nice! : )

Sachi Rose said...

Sarah, I love your blog so much it hurts. Also, Jenya worked for me too and he's the sweetest best guy ever. Cheers!