Florist Maurice Harris seeks to grow in beauty, with accessibility – WWD

Beauty is on the mind of Maurice Harris, founder of Bloom & Plume, the luxury floral studio located in Los Angeles’ Echo Park. The florist counts Beyoncé and fashion houses like Louis Vuitton among its customers.

“I want to keep growing, from beauty to fragrance to home to home fragrances,” Harris told WWD of upcoming plans. “Soaps, lotions and potions.”

Expanding — and what it would look like — has been on his mind lately, he revealed at Diptyque’s cocktail party, held on the rooftop of the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., to wear a toast to Harris’ “Eau Rose” partnership with the French perfumery.

“It was a great experience for me to see how people would engage with the fragrances,” he said of the collaboration.

Inspired by the rose, the limited-edition collection features a $150 eau de toilette and a $190 eau de parfum created with unexpected notes, which are reimagined and deconstructed with four candles – “Chamomile”, “Artichoke”, “ Lychee” and “Roses,” at $76 each.

By creating a bouquet, you are “rebuilding [the scent] when you burn the candles,” Harris said. “I just thought it was so romantic, so poetic and beautiful.”

With Diptyque, he is able to reach a global audience. And while it remains in the world of luxury, it’s a category that has new meaning amid COVID-19, he said: “Home being such a focal point right now with the pandemic, our luxuries that we focus on are more spatial.

Her striking floral arrangements start at around $350, but Harris also runs another business: Bloom & Plume Cafe in historic Filipinotown, which brings her brand to life in a physical space while providing accessibility.

“Coming to our cafe and having a $5 coffee in one of our beautiful mugs, surrounded by all of our beautiful flowers and plants and stuff, it’s so much more accessible,” Harris said. “One of the reasons I got into the cafe space – coffee originated in Africa, but cafes are mostly white male dominated spaces that look like a boring Scandinavian area.”

He sees parallels in the beauty industry.

“We’re so obsessed with the health and wellness space, and things always come from people of color, whether it’s Indian culture, African culture, Asian cultures, Latin cultures, but generally the face that presents it for Americans to digest is still white people,” Harris said. “And it’s still a white woman.”

He added: “Fundamentally, my goal is to be free, to be able to express myself creatively in a way where other people, everyone, can also be inspired.”

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