Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Seasons of Stacy: Spring at Zokahana Flowers

Amanda and Stacy

While every day is Earth Day in Stacy Casteel’s floral design studio, this particular rainy, earthy afternoon made the flowers seem brighter and with the fresh damp air, door wide open, the fragrances danced around the room. Stacy and her assistant designer, Amanda Gehin, created centerpieces for the upcoming MU Tiger Ball and talked about their art. And since their studio opens into the shop, you’re in for a treat when you stop by and ask for something special. Beyond special, you’ll be delighted as you watch them design just for you. It’s Spring at Zokahana (Japanese for house of flowers)…

Today the design idea was to design something that appears un-designed, or rather something designed by nature. No sketches, no specifications. Instead, an eye for color, a few varieties of yellow flowers, black vases, willow greens wispy and some curly, twinkling gold wire…catching the school colors theme here? So, imagine a Tiger, walking into a jungle clearing, and coming upon a clump of delicious yellow sweet smelling blooms bounding out of the moss. They made a number of these arrangements this afternoon in between visits from their suppliers who parked their trucks outside and invited Stacy ad Amanda to pick amidst a blaze of colors. Don’t worry, Jayhawk fans…they can arrange something gorgeous in blue and red, too.

Stacy has been working with flowers since she was 9. Amanda’s designed for the last six years. There’s more than meets the eye to this studio. It’s a sensual place where your senses receive amazing inputs of color, texture, smell, with Tony Bennett crooning in the background…and the Broadway coffee tasted great too.

But there are a few senses we non-designing mortals lack, that Stacy and Amanda seem to possess. Words here may fall short of describing those, so you must see for yourself. It appears that these artists paint with a multi-dimensional palette. Think sculpture with an aroma. Picture a tour in a rainforest in Brazil, transported to the Western Auto Building. Put your face in the gardenia bush, inhale and fly a while. Walk in the front door and allow the huge refrigerated case of flowers to say hello. Watch the designers create and share the calm of the process. Request a “sculpture” that will grow

Sure it gets busy, like yesterday, Administrative Professionals Day. All those forgetful bosses running in at lunchtime, desperate, leaving delighted.

This afternoon was busy too, but these two artists serenely arranged, took calls, greeted customers, and generally had fun. Beneath the fun s a dedication to the business, a sustained process of knowing what works to continue the art. Their artistry resides in their ability to connect with customers, to literally draw them into the world of flowers. Ask to see a flower and you’ll be asked to get close and smell and touch. Browse but feel free to enter the studio to watch…

For those people needing assistance to manage those special days, Stacy offers a club membership allowing you to receive reminders about those special flower days. Sign up online at her website but visit first-hand and absorb the experience, the art…every day is earth day there…

Zokahana Flowers…naturally
Located at 21st and Grand Boulevard
In the historic Western Auto Building
Kansas City, MO

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy with everything I've received from Zokahana, they are most beautiful floral designs I've experienced in the region...Keep up the great work!