Meet Brittany Asch, Festoon Tycoon
As you may have glimpsed in our recently posted photos, we had some horticultural magic going on at our lookbook shoot. This was thanks to the brilliant Brittany Asch, founder of B R R C H, who provided the gorgeous flowers and greens that transformed our rented Bushwick loft into an ethereal haven.
Leah found Brittany through her website, and we were charmed by her editorial work for BHLDN. We reached out to her, and she agreed to work her magic for our photoshoot! We were pumped, but we really had no idea what to expect on the morning of the shoot. Lucky for us, Brittany had things under control.
After sizing up the space (sunny, spacious, white walls and cement floors) Brit quickly got to work installing greens. Using the combined magic of adhesives and physics, she sent vines and ferns climbing around our white leather chair, and meandering over the surface of a wall in expressive arabesques. A wire basket was upturned and became an impromptu vase. In only a few minutes, the empty corner had become a fairytale setting for the first phase of our shoot.
Read on for an interview with Brittany!
Brittany, How long have you been working with flowers? About 2 ½ years.
Tell me the story! How’d you get started?
I went to music school at Berklee, but I decided I didn’t want to do that professionally. I left, and got a job at a restaurant. When I worked there, I used to see a girl bring in fresh flowers every week, and I realized it was a job. I thought, “I have to do that. That is what I want to do.” I went home that night, I think, and told my boyfriend I was going to be a florist.
After that, I researched, a lot, and took a course at the New York Botanical Garden. I did an apprenticeship at Saipua in Red Hook, and started freelancing. I would take pictures and posted them on a personal page; soon friends started asking me to do flowers for them.
And so you started B R R C H! What sorts of jobs do you enjoy most?
I really enjoy doing weddings. It’s a big deal to be a part of a day that someone’s been dreaming of their whole life; I have to do right by that day they’ve imagined. I’ve been lucky to have clients that like what I do, and trust what I do, and the feedback so far has been great!
So, I imagine that certain flowers rise and fall in popularity the same way trends in fashion and food do. Is there an “it” flower right now? A floral equivalent to the neon skinny jean?
There are definitely flowers that are very popular. The Juliet rose is requested by almost every bride. Ranunculus is also very popular, and anenomes. I try to avoid floral trends, and looking at blogs too much; you don’t want to use something that’s already exhausted, or end up with work that looks dated. You want your work to look different; for people to say, “Oh, I’ve never seen this before.” I draw my inspiration from the flowers themselves. The beauty already exists… the fun part is picking out the elements, imagining how they all live together.
Yeah! I do some collaging, and that’s how I feel about, like, vintage ephemera. Your work has a very fine-art quality to it… your piece on the wall isn’t just a flower arrangement, but more like, a sculptural installation using flowers. I have to ask: Do you have a favorite flower?
I swoon over fresh cut garden roses. I love so many flowers, but those are emotional for me. The fragrance is out of this world. You can tell the difference between a rose that’s grown by a loving rosarian and one that’s grown for mass production.
Many thanks to Brittany for helping make our shoot awesome! Now I want to be a florist.
Interview has been condensed in the service of clarity and brevity.
All photos by Ashley Wood