Whitney Port Is Trading Fashion for Flower Arranging
Whitney Port is no stranger to putting together an outfit—typically one that's sunny, bright, and reflective of her laid-back southern California aesthetic. Her life (and by that we mean her Instagram feed) is a veritable treasure trove of aspirational images: workout classes, fancy brunches, and, most recently, lots and lots of flowers. The latter is likely due to the fact that Port recently decided to put the kibosh on her nine-year-old fashion line, Whitney Eve, and join forces with her business partner, Laurenne Resnik, as co-founders of the newly-launched online flower brand Bloom2Bloom.
"I didn't see myself getting into flowers, but now that I am, I'm so passionate about it," Port recently said by phone. "It's just another way to show off my creativity."
Here, she gives us the low-down on her burgeoning business.
How did this collaboration come about?
I met Laurenne at an event for Cheeky last summer. I was in a big transitional phase at the time—I had stopped doing Whitney Eve in the spring and was taking my time to figure out what my next step was, and this kind of landed in my lap. I was like, "Why not? Flowers are fun. They're an easy thing to work with." I dove right in.
Why did you decide to discontinue Whitney Eve?
Fashion will always will be a part of my life, but I've been trying to veer away from producing a fashion line for a while. It became too difficult and competitive and I had lost a little bit of love for it. [Whitney Eve] was very near and dear to me because I started it with my father, who recently passed away. I tried to sustain it with my brother and sister, and we got really far, but it was difficult not to have his expertise with the business side of things.
Do you find floral arranging and fashion to be similar at all?
The main challenge with flowers is that you're dealing with something living. With clothes, we made things overseas and they sat a boat to get here … there wasn't this constant need to keep things alive and fresh and replenished. But we're going to have custom-printed bouquet wrapping, so I'll be designing that. You'll see the Whitney Eve aesthetic reflected in the flowers too. Overall, Bloom2Bloom has been a happier process because flowers make people feel great. And these have a give-back component too: With every purchase, B2B donates a portion of proceeds to Wish Upon a Teen, which supports terminally ill teenagers.
What makes Bloom2Bloom's arrangements unique?
All of our arrangements come straight from local farms in the U.S. to your home, so they're extremely fresh and they last a super long time—I've had some last for up to two weeks. The bouquets are very bohemian: a mix of wildflowers and succulents. I'm obsessed with dahlias right now.
Are the flowers also meant to be worn?
No. They're for your space. I guess in a sense, they're fashion for your home—you're accessorizing your home or office. We're not trying to be event florists or wedding florists.
Where will the arrangements be sold?
On our website. We eventually plan to sell in coffee and tea shops and farmer's markets across southern California.
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Where do you see the brand going in the future?
We hope that Bloom2Bloom becomes a mainstay for brands, whether it's our own storefront or us being part of bigger retail chains. Right now, you go to grocery stores and you don't necessarily know where anything is coming from.
In a memorable episode of The Hills, Lauren Conrad and Emily Weiss are sent on an intern run to pick up flowers for a press dinner, then you and Lauren arrange them on the table afterward. It seemed like a crash course in flowers for everyone except Emily. Do you look back at that experience and feel embarrassed, or just nostalgic?
I need to rewatch that episode! Flowers are one of those things that you don't become passionate about until you're a young adult—you hit 30 and things start to become important for you. Flowers have become that for me. When I was an intern on The Hills I didn't know anything about flowers. Emily was a bit more sophisticated.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.