Catching up with a Floral Design Intensive Alum: Marcela Bonancio

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Marcela Bonancio

Marcela Bonancio (Photo by Martha Sascher)

Marcela Bonancio took a big step last summer, followed by a huge leap last winter.

A year after attending the Floral Design Summer Intensive in 2012, Bonancio decided to launch her own floral design business, The Lotus Blossom Atelier, using her business chops from her marketing degree and NYBG education as driving forces, in December 2013.

The Floral Design Summer Intensive laid the foundation for Bonancio’s successful business and floral design skills.

“In my mind, floral design foundations are very important, because without them being in place, all the beauty of flowers just falls apart,” Bonancio said.

The Summer Intensive program instructors are all working New York City-area designers themselves, with a variety of styles and skillsets that translate well to students with different reasons for signing up for Floral Design classes.

“Every instructor came from a different part of the business,” Bonancio said. “I had the chance to learn from designers who specialize in weddings, parties, and weekly arrangements for hotels and other commercial places, as well as floral shop work. And because they’re active in the industry, they’re always up-to-date on information and trends.”

Art in Bloom

(Photo by Martha Sascher)

But it’s not all about pretty flowers. Bonancio said the floral design business class covered subject matter crucial for students hoping to start their own floral design businesses someday. The class, which is a requirement for the Certificate program, covers calculating profit, cost, break-even, and other relevant business concepts.

Combining her NYBG education with her business and marketing background, Bonancio has developed a unique way to design corporate arrangements, including those featured weekly at The Out, a modern, minimalist boutique hotel in Hell’s Kitchen.

Bonancio designs unique corporate arrangements for several companies, and before preparing them, she analyzes the business’s “flower identity.” She aligns the arrangement with the company’s brand image, reflecting it’s style, ambiance, clientele, and colors.

For The Out, her arrangements complement the very minimalist design, using a lot of wood and birch to evoke a masculine feel. White flowers stand out from the painted black walls of the hotel lobby.

This April, The Out devoted its rotating gallery space to “Art in Bloom,” a four-week exhibition of work by Bonancio and her friend, Adriane Ayma, of Adriane Ayma Art + Interior Design.

Art in Bloom

(Photo by Martha Sascher)

The exhibit, Bonancio’s first, was a celebration of spring, reminiscent of a European art concept, in which floral designers translate paintings with flowers, mimicking style and color in a very literal way. The exhibition doubled as a fundraiser for Brazil Child Health, a nonprofit that assists Brazilian children with critical health issues who live in poverty.

The Out has commissioned Bonancio and Ayma to exhibit “Art in Bloom” again next spring, but until then, the hotel continues to purchase its weekly arrangements from The Lotus Blossom Atelier, Bonancio’s design business.

Much like guests remember a hotel for its signature beds or breakfasts, Bonancio wants guests to remember The Out for its flowers, which she says have become an essential part of the hotel experience.

And for Bonancio, Floral Design has become an essential part of life.

The Floral Design Summer Intensive begins Monday, July 14. In five weeks, students complete all the course requirements toward earning a certificate in Floral Design. Summer Intensives are also offered in Gardening and Landscape Design. Compressed class times are available for Botanical Art Illustration and Horticulture. For more information, visit our Summer Intensives page.

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