Studio tour: Sullivan Owen

Name: Sullivan Owen
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Company: Sullivan Owen floral & event design

What do you do? I am a floral & event designer, my studio designs everything from bridal bouquets to hand dyed & embroidered table linens to custom props and sources vintage furniture in addition to daily floral deliveries.

What is your aesthetic? We don’t subscribe to one style of design, preferring to get to know the event hosts and tailor a design specifically for them incorporating elements that they love. We love to mix modern, vintage and antique elements to create designs that communicate the personality of the couple or the lucky recipient of a floral delivery.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? The studio décor is a mixture of modern, vintage and antique industrial pieces mixed with a few family heirlooms to remind me of the talented family I come from. The studio is packed with carefully chosen pieces that speak to the attention to detail we maintain when designing an event.  The color palette is understated allowing the flowers to pop since they are the heart of the business. The front of the studio is a welcoming consultation area in front of a giant General Store cabinet from the 50’s that holds a fraction of the huge collection of vases we own. The workroom is designed for maximum efficiency and is super organized so that we can crank out the dozens of designs required for large events in addition to our daily orders.  My office is designed to be a bit more serene with lighter shades and plenty of storage to keep me organized.

Favorite part of your studio? I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite, the whole studio is so personal to me. If I didn’t really love something, it wouldn’t be here in the studio. Even the building we are in is special to me as I lived on the 3rd floor when I met my now husband. I walk in the door every day so happy that I get to work in a beautiful and functional space doing a job that I truly love.  Nearly every person to step foot in the studio says that it’s such a lovely place to work.  Not to get all new-agey but it just has a great vibe.

Where do you go for inspiration? I am primarily inspired by fashion. I love finding ways to incorporate the upcoming trends into an event design in a tasteful and thoughtful way.  We keep several inspiration pin boards filled with fashion or home décor images paired with flowers and change them frequently. We are always looking ahead similarly to the fashion industry for new color combinations, new floral varieties and especially new containers.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? Florist’s knife and our giant walk in cooler which we just got but it is already indispensable

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I would love a teleportation machine, Star Trek style that beams me to both the NYC and SF flower markets each day but barring some serious technological advances or hiring a guy named Scottie, I’d have to say central AC in the studio. With summer just around the corner, it looks like staff meetings will be happening in the cooler.

Anything else we should know? As for the studio, we’re not content with just providing exceptional floral & event design. We don’t love the rental options currently available in the market so we’ll be launching our first collection of limited edition linens for Spring 2012 which is incredibly exciting. They’ll be available for rent for events across the US and the collection is focused on providing a more understated and elegant option for table linens in a sea of bedazzled, sparkly and shiny.

As for me, I’m married to another entrepreneur Tim Owen co-owner of Jade Tree, a seminal independent record label he started with a friend at age 19. Tim was the one who encouraged me to start my own studio after working for other designers and he continues to be my biggest supporter as well as my sounding board for new ideas.  We live with our 4 rescue cats just south of Philly in Wilmington, DE.

Have a great studio you want to share?  Send it over!  We'd love to see it!  Email brooklynbride [at]!

[ Images by Lorraine Daley and Sullivan Owen ]