FTD joined forces last week with POPSUGAR, a global lifestyle media company, to create a pop-up flower market in New York City in celebration of International Women’s Day. In conjunction with the event, FTD brand ambassadors dispersed throughout Manhattan to distribute 10,000 bouquets, provided by Sun Valley Farms, to random women they passed on the street.
The companies took a vacant storefront in the Meatpacking District and transformed it into a floral wonderland that included a waterfall made of eucalyptus, carnations and phalaenopsis orchids; a wide porch swing, decked out with flowers and hanging above a carpet of hydrangeas; ceiling displays of greenery and spray roses; a wall of boxwood; and a flower cart filled with more fragile blooms, such as peonies, tulips, garden roses and ranunculus.
“We wanted something over-the-top that showcased the amazing work our floral designers can do that, at the same time, encouraged passersby to linger, relax and soak up the joy of being around flowers,” said Andrea Ancel, CFD, FTD’s lead floral designer.
“When you work with flowers day in, day out, you sometimes take for granted what a sensory experience it is,” she added. “We loved watching so many people take in the colors, textures and scents as they explored the market last week.”
The event, dubbed the #PetalsForProgress Flower Market, involved several months of planning (which went into hyper-drive on February 15) and countless volunteers.
“We had hundreds of people working through the night the day before — during a snowstorm, no less — to pull this off,” Ancel said.
The companies chose the location because it had heavy foot traffic and plenty of room to bring their vision to life. They worked primarily in a pink and peach color palette because they wanted “a very feminine aesthetic.”
Throughout the day, Ancel led demonstrations, walking visitors through her thought process when she creates an arrangement.
“We talked about the meaning of different colors and flowers, how florists make choices to match the recipient’s personality,” she said. “We also discussed more technical aspects of flower arranging, like why cutting stems at a 45-degree angle improves vase life and why proper tools make a difference.”
Additionally, Ancel discussed the significance of Women’s Day and how, historically, people have offered flowers as a sign of appreciation and respect.
“Everyone involved reported seeing so many smiles and overhearing a lot of statements like ‘Wow’ or ‘I had no idea’. Both in the market and out and about in Manhattan, flowers proved to be a great conversation starter,” Ancel said. “We’re thrilled how everything turned out.”
Read more about Sun Valley’s efforts to turn Women’s Day into a bigger floral holiday—an effort that won the company Floral Management’s Marketer of the Year honors.