They’ve been livening up the streets of Williamsburg with their range of flowers, plants, and decorated tree pits since the day they opened, and later this month, the folks behind Rose Red and Lavender, the floral design studio on Metropolitan Avenue, are celebrating five years of being in business.
“We really felt there weren’t enough places to get plants and flowers in the neighborhood at the time that we opened,” said Kimberly Sevilla, the owner of the store along with her husband Enrique Sevilla, and a Williamsburg resident since 2003. “Working with plants in particular is such a unifying activity for the community.”
Celebrations kicked off at the end of last month with a series of series of workshops for adults and children. Some of the classes being offered for the month long period include miniature gardening, learning about plants that heal, do-it-yourself bridal showers, floral designs along with fruits and vegetables and several others.
The festivities culminate on June 22 with a public barbecue party in celebration of the anniversary. To energize the community further, Rose Red has organized a scavenger hunt on the same day working with local businesses on the northside of Williamsburg. Participants will be given clues to figure out what local businesses they’re supposed to find. The first to do so within an hour will receive a gift card from the store as well as a larger prize from Rose Red – a planting kit or store credit at Rose Red worth $215.
“I really see this as being strength with numbers,” said Sevilla, referring to her collaboration with local businesses. “It’s important to support small businesses and keep the money and employment local. The entire community accrues a net benefit from it.”
Sevilla has had extensive horticulture experience prior to setting up her shop five years ago. She worked for four years as a research assistant at the USDA Appalachian Fruit Research Station in West Virginia, where she is originally from, while simultaneously studying to earn her degree in biology and chemistry at Shepherd University. She moved to New York City in 1992 and worked for several years designing window displays, trade show displays and museum exhibits. Her travels for such projects got her further interested in urban gardening and how it is differently adapted in different countries.
After the birth of her daughter, Lavender, in 2008, Sevilla decided to alter her career path. The name of the store is an amalgamation of her daughter’s name and her own nickname growing up, Rose Red.
The store now works with several local schools organizing classes in gardening and urban planting – and the relations she has fostered in the community through her work is the legacy she would like to pass on to her children.
Rose Red and Lavender BBQ + Scavenger Hunt, 653 Metropolitan Ave, June 22, 10 a.m. onward, for information on summer classes and the event visit http://rose-red-lavender.myshopify.com/apps/bookthatapp/calendar or call 718-486-3569/email firstname.lastname@example.org