Backstage

  • <i>Lisa Przystup of <a href='http://www.jamessdaughterflowers.com/' target='_parent'>James's Daughters Flowers</a><br />
<br />
Photo by Danielle Giza</i>
  • <i>Lisa's floral arrangement inspired by <a href='http://oribe.com/index.php/products/view/4529' target='_parent'>Bright Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color</a><br />
<br />
Photo by Danielle Giza</i>
  • <i>Lisa's floral arrangement inspired by <a href='http://oribe.com/index.php/products/view/4529' target='_parent'>Bright Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color</a><br />
<br />
Photo by Danielle Giza</i>
  • <i>Lisa with her floral arrangement inspired by <a href='http://oribe.com/index.php/products/view/4529' target='_parent'>Bright Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color</a><br />
<br />
Photo by Danielle Giza</i>
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Lisa Przystup

When Lisa Przystup, a freelance writer, was working on a story featuring the stylish tribe of florists based in Brooklyn, it piqued her own interest in floral design. “It was so amazing to visit their studios and be among the flowers,” she remembered. “My fiancé and I were upstate a lot, and I would forage and cut flowers and play around.” After assisting a few florists in the city, including Taylor Patterson from Fox Fodder Farm and Emily Thompson of Emily Thompson Flowers, Przystup started James's Daughter Flowers in 2013. Her first gig was designing weekly arrangements for the Claire Vivier boutique in Manhattan, which amounted to more events with brands like Steven Alan, Madewell and Urban Outfitters. “Now, I feel like I’m at a good point where I’m writing and doing flowers in between, which is nice because my schedule is flexible and my weekends are open for weddings and events.”

We asked Przystup about her favorite flowers, her hair care routine and the blooms she’d use for a floral arrangement inspired by Bright Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color.


How did you learn about floral design?

It was a combination of looking at other florists’ work, reading books and assisting. I looked at a lot of websites of florists whom I admire, which gave me a sense as to how to create their lines and what they’re doing. There are definitely a lot of books out there that are super helpful and get you on the road to building your base structure for arrangements. When I was at Emily Thompson’s studio, I was given a small nugget of information, and I learned that if you build on that foundation, it’s a jumping-off point to finding your style.

How has your style changed since you started?

I was always drawn to the organic, wild, natural look. I think that’s what I’m trying to emulate. It’s funny to look at old pictures—seeing your growth and knowing that you’ve improved, but understanding you can always get better.

Describe a typical day for you.

The night before an event, I’m brainstorming the color palette and textures that I want. That way, when I go to the flower market, I’m not blindly grabbing—that works sometimes, but it’s nice to have a game plan. Ideally, florists should be at the flower market at 6 a.m. But I’m not a morning person, so I usually end up getting there around 8 a.m. It’s late on the floral side, but it still works out. Once I’m finished with the flower market, I go home, start arranging and deliver the flowers.

What do you love most about your work?

It’s such a treat to work with living things. It’s really invigorating to be surrounded by these living, breathing, amazing smelling things through every season. In the summer, everything else is alive and you’re so happy. In the winter, everything is dead around you but you have these beautiful living things here. That’s a great part of it. It’s so much fun to play with them and work with different textures and colors. It’s like a puzzle. You’re arranging and trying to figure out the right space and find the right filler. And when you figure it out, it’s a really nice feeling.

What inspires you?

Looking around at different florists’ work and at color palettes is always inspiring. Right now, I have fun working with bright colors that are kind of funky—colors that are represented in really unique, irreverent blooms. I’m also inspired by the complete antithesis of what’s outside: Right now, it’s gray and cold and terrible, so I’m creating bright, wild, overgrown arrangements. By the summer, I’ll be more about romantic, lush and traditional arrangements.

What are some of your favorite flowers?

In the late summer and early fall, there are these dahlias called Café au Lait that are so beautiful and show-stopping. Fritillaries have a checkerboard pattern on them, and I really love those. There are also some beautiful tulips with colors and leaves that are shaped to look almost alien-like. You don’t recognize or realize that they’re tulips.

What are some tips for hair salons interested in having fresh flowers as part of their everyday display?

If you have a business and you’re trying to do weekly flowers, simpler is better. Go to the flower market and spend a little bit of money on a unique statement bloom that will make your arrangement stand out. Then augment it with some interesting greens or a couple of really accessible blooms.

Cut the stems on an angle and make sure they’re touching the water. Before adding the stems to the water, remove all of the leaves. When the leaves rot in the water, the bacteria will increase and the quicker the flowers will die faster. If it’s a simple arrangement, you can always pour the water out and change it with fresh water after the first two or three days. Also, try to keep them out of direct sunlight or away from a drafty window. But be realistic: The expectation to make bouquets last more than a week is unlikely, so enjoy them while you can!

How do you think flowers can enhance a salon environment?

It makes such a huge difference and can create an immediate improvement. They add color and life to a space. It’s like plants: If you add a plant to your apartment, you feel like you have company in a way. People love flowers. Whenever I’m carrying a package of flowers, the people around me are smiling, everyone’s happy.

Describe your hair care routine. What are your favorite Oribe products?

I religiously use a thickening shampoo and conditioner. My hair is fine, but I have a lot of it. I’ve always wanted texture, waves and volume, so I definitely strive for that in my hair care routine. I don’t ever blow-dry my hair, so when I get out of the shower, I let it air-dry a little bit before adding product. Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse is the only product that I need. I also like to wash my hair before I go to bed and sleep on it to add a little more texture. It’s pretty low maintenance. I’ve also been using Dry Texturizing Spray and Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray recently.

Tell us about your arrangement inspired by Bright Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color.

The arrangement is bright, light and airy. The bottles are so vibrant and beautifully shaped, so I wanted to do an arrangement that complemented them. I used orange, pinkish roses with pale pink filler flowers. I included jasmine and eucalyptus, which are always so pretty and smell so good. Since the shampoo and conditioner formulas are purple, I wanted to add in that color with the fritillaries.
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