Our Garden Tour Star Sepideh Mianaby

From time to time, we highlight “Our Garden Tour Stars” — landscape architects, florists, and interior designers who have participated at our annual Garden Tour and Showcase Estate at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. We want to let you know about these very talented designers, their inspirations, and their creations.

This month, we are featuring Sepideh Mianaby of Ivory Floral Events. At the 2023 Garden Tour, the multi-talented Sepideh designed the most gorgeous creation of a mannequin “dressed” with pink roses, foliage, and blue and white feathers which “wowed” the attendees in the Great Hall of the house.

We asked Sepideh these six questions: 

1. How did you decide to become a floral designer?

Back in 2000, when I was living in Israel, I opened up a shoe store in Tel Aviv, and after about six months of being in business, I quickly realized that my space was too small for the demand. During this time, the shop next door was selling its business, and it happened to be a flower shop. I decided to purchase their shop, with the intent to open the walls between our stores to create more space for my products.

Unfortunately, one week after I purchased the flower shop, my partner in the shoe shop backed out of the deal, because he was going through a rocky divorce and just couldn’t juggle everything all at once; so I had no choice but to halt all of my remodeling plans and run the flower shop as well. Thankfully, the retired florist I purchased the flower shop from kindly agreed to take me under her wing and teach me how to run the business and design. I had an extensive history with fashion design and art, and somehow, flower designing and event planning was a perfect mix of both for me. So the more I learned, the more I fell in love with the whole process.

When I moved to San Francisco, CA, in 2007, I began to work closely with event planners in the city and started to understand the trade. I stayed there for a few years with my family, and eventually moved to Los Angeles, where I was hired as a fashion designer in a company that specialized in evening gowns. I gradually moved from fashion designing to hair styling in Pacific Palisades, and during this time I stepped back from flower/fashion designing, though I still maintained it as a hobby. I was introduced to The Virginia Robinson Gardens by a dear customer-turned-friend, Jacqueline Tesoriero. She really pushed me to participate in the Garden Tour of 2019, under Blue Peony Events, for which I will be forever grateful. Since then, I have opened up my flower shop and floral events business, and I have been blessed to continue serving my customers in Southern California by doing what I love. 

2. Where do you find your inspiration?

As a young girl, and in my adulthood, I always found myself incredibly moved by all forms of art. Whether it be a beautiful dress in a magazine, a famous painting like the Mona Lisa, or even an instrumental piece. They all come from the same place, and most people would say it comes from your heart, and while that might be true, I like to believe they also stem from the soul.

Seeing people from all walks of life come together to create something completely original and unique to them spoke to me deeply when I was young, and it is what kick-started my passion for painting, fashion, flowers, etc. I have an endless gallery of inspiration in my head to look back to and implement into my everyday creations, and it is a blessing. 

3. Can you please share some photos of your favorite floral arrangement(s) and/or projects you have worked on?

4. What is the book that inspires you the most?

My all-time favorite book, which has stood the test of time, is Gone with the Wind, written by Margaret Mitchell. The ambitious main character, Scarlett O’Hara, was headstrong and romantic, and she went after what she wanted without fear. I read this book when I was younger, and I immediately fell in love with it. Her unapologetic spirit and fearless determination were attributes that I tried to aspire for.

5. Choose a work of art and then design a floral arrangement inspired by it.

Painting by Charles Joseph Frédéric Soulacroix, Afternoon Tea for Three, (French, 1825-1879)

6. How would you like to be contacted? Please add your contact information.

For our flower shop and floral events websites you can find us at:

www.ivoryflorist.com & www.ivoryfloralevents.com 

For inquiries in Southern California, you can call at:

(310) 321-222 – LA County and surrounding areas
(949) 545-3132 – Orange County/San Diego and surrounding areas

As well as email us at:
[email protected] & [email protected]

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