Kate Gilman is looking to shake up the floral industry, one bouquet at a time. The New York native was on track to become a lawyer before she opted for a 180 and became a florist. And key to her new concern, which launched this spring: sourcing locally and being environmentally conscious. So all her blooms come straight from New York farms (no mileage racked up in coolers on planes) and are delivered straight to the client by bikes (further lessening the carbon footprint). Here, Kate talks to us about her business, Petal by Pedal, and shares a few insider tips on floral care.

My company Petal by Pedal seeks to…
Reinvent the timeless gesture of giving flowers, through authenticity and simplicity. We source our blooms locally from New York farms and keep our presentation clean and thoughtful — rustic and elegant handcrafted arrangements brought to you by our fleet of custom cargo bicycles.

I was inspired to become a florist when…
I realized how much I enjoyed spending my morning at the farmers’ market — cultivating relationships with growers and being amazed by the gorgeous seasonality of flowers.

And I took the career jump from law to flowers when…
I realized that the flower industry as a whole was anything but green and giving greater access to those local flowers I loved so much at the market could be the right catalyst for positive change.

Insider tips for the flower lover…
1. Always start with clean, sharp clippers and cut at an angle.
2. Provide fresh water and trim the stem every 1-2 days for a longer lasting bouquet. Plus, this avoids bacteria growing in the vase.
3. Go for balance, not symmetry or perfection.
4. Handle a flower by its stem, not the head, keeping the petals protected.
5. A flower with a more branchy-stem (e.g. lilac, hydrangea) lives longer when the end of the stem is splintered, allowing the bloom to drink easily.

My signature (floral) style…
Country chic. I like to keep our arrangements balanced while maintaining a unique wildness about them and I never make the same bouquet twice. At PxP, we don’t believe in only using certain flowers or colors for occasions or genders, we just create the freshest bouquets with an eye towards beautiful simplicity.

An unexpected bouquet for the person who’s seen (and received) it all…
A fun way to compliment bouquets is through scent with non-traditional fillers. Mint and sage are aesthetically pleasing while adding such a delicious fresh smell to any bouquet. I also always appreciate the use of Lilac, though it does not (always) last as long as other stems, so it is very selectively used in our bouquets.

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  • Nancy G

    Great article on Petal by Pedal florist Kate Gilman.