Flora and Fashion with Lacie Porta of Framed Florals

lacieportaframedfloralsbrandassembly1.jpg

If you ask us what our happy place looks like, florals or foliage of any kind will most likely be the interior centerpiece. In fact, at our most recent panel, we dug into the importance of cultivating "happy places" that inspire both creativity and productivity. Throughout the discussion with leading design experts, we learned that our panelist Lacie Porta of Framed Florals also shares this appreciation. With that said, we're providing an in-depth look into Lacie's flower-filled world to follow up on our conversation with this budding talent.

Located in the heart of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Lacie's studio is a feast for the eyes. Its rustic interiors and plant-laden corners foster an ambiance for both Lacie and her fellow studio mates to come together and create with ease. Situated at the center of the communal space, Lacie spends her days tending to inquiries and projects ranging from wedding announcements to fashion week invitations. While her clientele may vary, Lacie's overarching mission is to create lasting works of art that are reminiscent of her refined, modernized approach to floral preservation.

Read on as Lacie shows us her floral-inspired style and shares more about the impetus for starting the business, and what she hopes to assemble daily.

Hi Lacie, your studio is gorgeous! Before you give us the tour, please introduce yourself.

I'm Lacie, I was born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, and have been back living in Brooklyn for the last decade. It's my favorite place. I run Framed Florals, where I press, preserve, and frame flowers. It combines my love of design, minimal aesthetics, and florals. I both live and work in Greenpoint, and because of that, I try to explore the rest of the city and go out of town whenever I can. I'm married to my firefighting husband, Alex, and we have a tiny rescue dog named Tony, who we love to obsess over. We love going upstate, visiting our families around New York, and spending summer weekends in Rhode Island.

We loved having you speak at our recent Happy Place panel about all things design. But for those who weren't able to attend, tell us more about your background and the inception of Framed Florals.

Thanks so much, it was such a pleasure talking on the Happy Place panel! I loved reflecting on what makes my space my "happy place" and how I work and design to help clients achieve that feeling too! Framed Florals launched two years ago, but the idea started four years ago after my wedding. I was heartbroken over the idea of not having a way to save or preserve my flowers that I grew to love, and I searched and googled for someone to create the vision of flower preservation that I had in my head. Realizing that it didn't exist in the aesthetic I envisioned, I created something myself.

My first frame was my wedding flowers that I pressed in the books that my husband and I had at home, and it really just grew from there. I quit my "real job" to pursue Framed Florals, and I'm so happy I followed my passion. I taught myself through a lot of trial and error, research, and experimenting with how to properly press flowers. The business side of things was a similar trial and error process, lots of research, and calling on a lot of friends and family members who had launched businesses before me. It was scary and a lot of work, but so worth it.

Many of the creatives and designers in our community value sustainability as an important aspect of their work. It seems that floral preservation is very much in line with this. How do you approach sustainability as a creatively-driven business owner?

Absolutely! When I started Framed Florals, it was driven with the goal of keeping as many flowers from being thrown in the trash as possible. My approach and mission have stayed the same, and I've expanded on that as I've grown. I offer natural silk dyeing with any wilted or unusable flowers, so even the ones that would normally be tossed are still used in preservation. With that, I apply the same concepts to keep my business sustainable while keeping things fresh, challenging, and interesting.

As we head into the second half of summer, we're challenging our community to think about the ways they find and cultivate inspiration in their work. How has your source of inspiration changed as you've grown your business and honed in on your point of view?

Taking myself away from my work and seeking inspiration is a huge part of my summer. Summer tends to be my busiest time of year, with custom wedding commissions, events, and new projects, so I put a lot of value into my time spent away from the studio. It seems counterproductive to say no to work and leave during that time, but it keeps my mind fresh for new ideas. Spending time unplugged, in nature, reading a book, coffee in hand, visiting art museums, seeing live music, shopping at antique stores, and taking time to slow down are my favorite ways to seek inspiration.

When I first started, I was too afraid to unplug or not answer emails in record speed. I've learned to detach a bit more when I need it and set boundaries to keep myself from burning out. Taking time to source new ideas has relatively stayed the same since my business has grown. In the last year, I've put more of an emphasis on unplugging and being okay with stepping away from my inbox, and it has really helped me hone in on how I absorb inspiration.

Brand Assembly is dedicated to creating infrastructure for designers to do what they do best: design. tell us more about a few designers that inspire your work and sense of style. Why do you think fashion and florals go hand in hand?

I absolutely love what Brand Assembly is doing in this space; it's so needed! My sense of style is definitely inspired by my work, needing to be comfortable, simple, and filled with lots of organic materials. Linen is my go-to fabric of choice. My favorite designers and brands are Christy Dawn, Madewell, Jesse Kamm, Ulla Johnson, and Everlane. But to be honest, I mostly shop vintage and second hand. My favorite fashion brand is Meg (who designed my wedding jumpsuit!), and their collections are always filled with clean lines, simple patterns, and easy to wear items — all of which is totally in line with Framed Florals aesthetic. Fashion and florals feel so intertwined since they're both such visual mediums. Also, just like my medium of framed flowers, it takes a statement frame or article of clothing to evoke a feeling and memory.

What do you hope to assemble daily?

My daily goal, and my life goal really, is to bring more beauty into the world. I want to inspire people to keep the items in their home that remind them of special moments in their lives. We live in a world where everything is fast, we all have instant gratification, and we purchase and receive things in record speed. I love that flower preservation is slow and takes time, and with that, I hope to bring more of that to the world. Appreciating slower processes, and longer time framed art forms is a beautiful thing. I know there's room for it in every industry, and I hope that pressing flowers brings more of that introspection, mindfulness, and appreciation for slowing down, to the landscape.

Photos by Phoebe Cheong for Brand Assembly