The Wick - Interview FLOWERBX Founder & CEO Whitney Bromberg Hawkings The Wick - Interview FLOWERBX Founder & CEO Whitney Bromberg Hawkings
Monday Muse

Interview FLOWERBX Founder & CEO Whitney Bromberg Hawkings

Whitney Bromberg Hawkings
20 May 2024
Whitney Bromberg Hawkings
20 May 2024
Whitney Bromberg Hawkings started working for Tom Ford at Gucci in Paris just after graduating Columbia in the late 1990s. After eighteen illustrious years working for Tom Ford (she left Gucci with the designer, to join his eponymous brand) and having risen the ranks to the role of Senior Vice President of Communications, Hawkings decided to start over again, founding her own venture – FLOWERBX, the first premium global flower brand. FLOWERBX now does the beautiful bouquets you’ll find at every Tom Ford store.

It was working in fashion – sending out flowers on a regular basis for Ford – that sparked the idea for FLOWERBX. Hawkings realised there was no consistent way to gift fresh flowers from different cities around the world. Her company now provides this service, and is rightly a favourite among luxury, hospitality and fashion insiders, favoured for its chic and sustainable arrangements – sourced directly from eco-conscious growers, with zero waste.

With the RHS Chelsea Flower Show almost upon us, The Wick Culture thought there could be no better time to talk to one of London’s favourite florists about art, fashion, her passion for John Currin and the place in London she’ll never grow tired of visiting.

THE WICK:   As someone who has seamlessly blended luxury with floristry, how do you see the relationship between art and floral design?

Whitney Bromberg Hawkings :   Since the beginning of time, artists, writers, fashion designers, and poets have been inspired by flowers. Flowers are one of nature’s most visually stunning, symbolic, and enduring gifts and have historically been admired and celebrated by artists, from Monet’s water lilies and Georgia O’Keefe’s calla lilies to Van Gogh’s sunflowers. I started FLOWERBX with Monet’s famous quote in mind, “I must have flowers always, and always’ and they are still words I very much live by.

TW:   Your collaborations with designers like Laura Bailey and Emilia Wickstead are stunning. How do you approach these partnerships to ensure a cohesive and impactful collection – and is there anything in the works you can tell us about?

WBH:   I think the key to any successful partnership is authenticity. The brands/people need to be aligned on culture and values or the collaboration falls flat. With both of these collaborations, there was both brand alignment, fun and friendship which insured they resonated with our customers in a wonderful way (and were commercially successful). My favourite collaboration was one we did with Tiffany in NYC who built an entire FLOWERBX shop in their flagship store and co-branded Tiffany x FLOWEBX bouquets. That was a real pinch-me moment that I had created a luxury brand that could comfortably sit in a Tiffany store and hold its own next to Tiffany on packaging and printed collateral.

We are working with my wonderful and talented friend Lara Mead on a beautiful activation at her Kings Road Varley shop for the Chelsea Flower show which will be a destination for all flower-lovers next week!

TW:   Chelsea Flower Show is around the corner – talk us through your top tips for beginner florists?

WBH:   I think the most important thing to remember is who YOU are and what YOU stand for. It’s easy to become distracted by what is trendy or what others are doing, but I think it’s most important to establish your point of view and stick to it, unwaveringly, to create a signature and become someone that people trust.

TW:   FLOWERBX has become synonymous with chic, pared-back floral arrangements. Which is your favourite and why?

WBH:   As I am being asked this in the peak of peony season, it is impossible to choose anything else other than enormous vases of loosely-arranged peonies with their enormous heads, delicate fragrance and fleeting beauty.

“I think the most important thing to remember is who YOU are and what YOU stand for.”

TW:   If you could do the flowers for any artist dinner in the world, whose would it be?

WBH:   I would have to say Andy Warhol, as I very much share his aesthetic of simplicity, repetition and abundance to create maximum impact.

TW:   What is your favourite culturally curious spot in London?

WBH:   The Tate Modern is quite obvious, but it’s my favourite place in London to get lost in the building, the art, and in myself. I never tire of visiting it.

TW:   An artwork you’d love to add to your collection?

WBH:   I love all of John Currin’s work that is so classic and masterful but also has a sense of humour too. I dream of owning one of his paintings some day.

TW:   Who is your ultimate Monday Muse and why?

WBH:   Ruthie Rogers is my ultimate muse. She is a talent, a visionary, an activist, a huge lover of art and architecture, a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother and a beautiful friend. I admire her endless tenacity and incredible resilience.

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