Saipua’s Whimsical Take on Flowers
My latest floral obsession is the New York family-owned Saipua, and once you see these magical arrangements, I’m sure you’ll be obsessed too! When I first came across the images of these arrangements, I was taken not only by the unique qualities of the flowers, which are a mix of wildflowers, plants and vegetables (along with more traditional blooms), but also with the style and art direction of the shoots produced by Saipua, which all have a very distinct and whimsical quality about them, creating a whole environment, or feeling around the flowers themselves.
Founded in 2006 by Sarah Ryhanen as a small batch soap maker, Saipua has since grown to a full-fledged florist, with its own flower farm in upstate New York, as well as a fabulous studio in Redhook, Brooklyn. Not to mention a growing reputation as one of the most unique florists in New York!
With a background as a writer and stylist, Ryhanen brings a slightly different approach to her business. She started by making handcrafted olive oil soap with her mother, Susan – who remains an integral part of the operation, functioning as both the soapmaker and bookkeeper for the growing but still family-run business. From there, Sarah became interested in floral design, and began experimenting with creating floral arrangements.
As the florist arm of the business grew, Sarah found herself spending a great deal of time hunting and cultivating the most unusual and beautiful flowers for their arrangements, but often they couldn’t find all of the blooms they needed at the seasonal New York flower markets. This is what eventually lead her and her partner Eric to buy the beautiful World’s End farm just outside of Albany, NY, and start growing their own flowers. Over the past four years the farm has grown and now acts as a distributor to many other florists upstate, fostering a sense of community and partnership. They also still maintain the studio in Brooklyn, which is definitely worth the trek to Redhook to see the lovely arrangements and blooms in person.
Saipua also runs a variety of seasonal workshops and classes, from floral design, to soap-making, to edible berry foraging. Just another way they are aiming to share the love of the land and natural wonders with their community!
What I love about this business is that from the package design of the handcrafted soaps, to the upkeep of the farm, the same philosophy is always present. The care and attention that goes into each hand-poured bar of soap, or personally arranged bouquet is fundamental to how Sarah has built the business, which is one that operates around people, creativity, and community. This is a truly small batch family run, people propelled business. Truly fantastic.
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