Flower Arranging with Sophia Moreno-Bunge
Santa Monica native Sophia Moreno-Bunge creates the most ridiculously gorgeous floral designs for events, gift deliveries, homes, editorial, and displays. Check out our personal flower arranging class with this flower goddess in her picturesque westside loft.
Sophia's arrangements are anything but ordinary. In her own words, "I am very drawn to the weird and wonderful world of plants and flowers, and hope to bring this magic into our daily lives. I love that flowers are both of this world, and also very otherworldly (their colors, and shapes- they're unreal), and I like to make arrangements and designs that highlight this. I love to make unusual combinations, often minimalist, or with a lot of contrast. I like to play with color and composition, shape, drama; it lends itself to the flowers' inherent joy."
Her company Isa Isa is a floral design studio based in Los Angeles. Informed by a background in art and a love of design and process, Sophia's work is an exploration in the medium of flowers. We love her unique approach to floral aesthetics, a much-needed breath of fresh air in the floral design world.
Watch a time-lapse of our floral arranging session with Sophia:
HOW THEY GLOW QUESTIONNAIRE
NICKNAME: Soph, Rooty, Waffle
PROFESSION: Florist (and and and ... I also help run my family's restaurant & hotel in Venice)
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? Los Angeles
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Santa Monica
WHEN YOU’RE EATING HEALTHY, WHAT IS A TYPICAL…
BREAKFAST: a smoothie (lately its been banana, coconut, cacao), avocado toast or eggs.
LUNCH: Sandwich or salad, or leftovers. Or Indian or Mexican or you name it. It really depends where I am for work- which is often varied. If I'm trying to be healthy I try not to eat too much gluten, or fried things- the usual !
DINNER: sushi, or if I am at home, italian anything (roasted vegetables, pasta, fish), vegan thai food near my house.
SNACK: yogurt, fruit , juices/smoothies, the occasional pastry from Sqirl.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS/RESTAURANTS TO EAT HEALTHY? it's usually easiest to eat healthy at home, because I cook simple meals. For going out to eat, Sqirl is a favorite. Real Food Daily, Moon Juice are a couple close to home.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INDULGENCE? a good Argentine BBQ. One of my first words when I was little was shrimp! So naturally, shrimp, oysters, clams….I love them. Chocolate & coconut cream pie. Yum.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS/RESTAURANTS TO INDULGE? My dad's Argentine BBQ is irresistible. Gjusta is delicious. Hama Sushi in Venice is a staple; I'm addicted to uni. When I lived in New York, I loved Pok Pok for Thai, and this restaurant called Ootoya (in Chelsea or Times Square)-- such good Japanese food and so cozy. Oh, and this restaurant called Estela in NYC-- that was incredible. I ate out in New York a lot more than in LA.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST MEAL ON EARTH? I think an extravagant and incredible Italian dinner. I'm a sucker for octopus and I love seafood and pasta.
WHAT IS THE BEST DISH YOU COOK/ YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE? This octopus pasta by Mark Bittman. SO GOOD, SO EASY.
WHERE DO YOU GROCERY SHOP? Whole foods, usually. Sometimes the farmers market if I have time.
TOP 3 ITEMS YOU ALWAYS HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN? almond milk, eggs, avocados
WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS REGIMEN? (how often & what you do) I try to do yoga twice a week, and at home I stretch/do yoga as much as possible. My job is very physical- on my feet, lifting heavy buckets of water, carrying heavy bundles- so it feels like a workout sometimes, and it makes me too tired to work out afterwards. That's why yoga really helps- it actually feels like I've gotten a massage afterwards. I also "run" a couple times a week. By run, I mean jog for 15 minutes and then walk and get distracted by plants and music.
WHAT IS YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE? (products, facials, etc) I don't use face wash (bad? who knows). My skin likes it that way. I use Weleda Wild Rose face lotion. I got to the Korean spa every now and then, and good sleep (going to bed early).
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MAKEUP/NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS? Geranium essential oil is magic. (for a bath or as perfume; it's a natural mood uplifter). And Lipstick Queen by Poppy. BEST LIPSTICK EVER.
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 PRODUCTS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU? water? Chapstick and lotion-sunscreen. (maaaaybe that's 4)
WHAT PROFESSIONAL BEAUTY/HEALTH/FITNESS/SPIRITUAL GURUS DO YOU SWEAR BY? Therapy, reading, my friends that keep me inspired to grow.
TOP 3 FAVORITE SONGS? I can't decide. Right now I am obsessed with these: Dominic by Ramona Lisa, How Do You Do It by Empress Of, Dreams Come True Girl by Cass Mccombs.
MOST-WATCHED MOVIE? Ratatouille, of course.
MOST LIFE-CHANGING BOOK? Love, Freedom Aloneness is one lately. (thanks to you gals!!) There are so many though. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is one of my all time favorites; I love that book so much.
FAVORITE SHOPS/BOUTIQUES? I love Tortoise General Store in Venice; it has an amazing little gallery in back with the most delicate vases. I wish they still taught ikebana classes there! I also love Emily Thompson Flowers, in the seaport in Manhattan, (and where I use to work as a designer!) It's the most magical and incredible shop- like a cabinet of insane curiosities- wax sculptures, weird flowers and exquisite arrangements. It's the most inspiring place.
COOLEST PLACE YOU’VE EVER VISITED? Patagonia, Argentina is epic
FAVORITE HOTELS? eep, I don't know if I have any! I've used air bnb so much the last few years when I travel. At the moment I'm at Sueños in Tulum and it's pretty magical ! I'd certainly come back here.
WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? I really don't know. I'm tempted to say my brother, but thaaaat's real cheesy; I adore the clown. Other than that, my parents supported me in going to college in New York City, despite it being difficult for them in general, and culturally, being from Argentina where it's more common for kids to live with their parents in college, or at least not stray too far.
MOST PROFOUND HEALING EXPERIENCE YOU’VE EVER HAD? Coming out (to myself, really…the rest was easy).
WHO ARE YOUR MOST TRUSTED HEALERS? For me, learning to listen to your intuition/gut is the most healing, and everything and everyone that supports this.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE YOU’VE HAD TO FACE AND WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY FROM IT? My mother's passing was definitely one of those moments. I think being positive in the face of difficult situations is key, and learning to let go. Still figuring out what I have learned, but I think I have grown more than ever since that. One of the main things is that it was my biggest fear, and I realized afterwards that I was ok, even though one of the things I feared most happened. I realized my own strength, and the amount of support I can provide myself. And of course, I learned to appreciate what I have while I have it; to enjoy moments even more than before, since they're all so fleeting. Also, since I have been thrown into the business that she left behind, I have learned to cope with difficult situations more easily, and really learned the value of keeping clear boundaries, and enforcing them!
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY. Sleep until I want to wake up; the best breakfast, a swim in the ocean and a BBQ with family and friends. (At my rose farm that I don't yet have!)
WHAT IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE GLOW TIP/SECRET?? Follow your gut (this is hard sometimes), love yourself, learn how to cope, and sleep. Try to be aware of yourself (your habits & patterns etc) , and get to know yourself really well ! Also swim in the ocean and relax and spend down time alone and with friends! A lot.
FAVORITE QUOTE? So many! One that I read recently and loved by Amy Poehler: "I am a firm believer that every few years one needs to shake one's life through a sieve, like a miner in the Yukon. The gold nuggets remain. The rest falls through like the soft earth it is." Love this woman.
WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR? EVERYTHING!
WHAT MAKES YOU GLOW? All of the abooooove!
Photography and video by: Sasha Young