She taught herself to be a florist by watching YouTube
Florist Mallory Browne’s work helped land her a spot on HBO’s “Insecure.” Known as “Mallory With the Flowers’’ on Instagram, Mallory Browne has virtually documented her journey as a self-taught florist.
This is part of our series PLANT PPL , where we interview people of color in the plant world.
Mallory Browne always said she’d be a florist in her next life, but why wait? Toward the end of 2017, while working a desk job focused on the analytical side of marketing, Browne said to herself, “I don’t know what it’s going to be but I need to use my hands for something other than typing.” Later on, during a walk with her boyfriend, she said she felt compelled to vocalize what her intuition was telling her: “I’m going to be a florist.”
Known as “Mallory With the Flowers ” on Instagram, Browne has virtually documented her journey as a self-taught florist who started by watching YouTube videos and designing arrangements with grocery store blooms. More than two years later, she has cultivated a portfolio demonstrating why she was called to be a florist: Her arrangements are as unique as fingerprints.
This year, Browne started the Flowers for Black Men project to support the Black men witnessing the unjust, highly publicized deaths of Black men ( George Floyd , Tony McDade , Rayshard Brooks , Daniel Prude and many more) at the hands of police. Since flowers are symbols of sympathy and love in times of tragedy, Browne encouraged followers to send flowers to the Black men in their lives, and she donated 100% of the proceeds earned to the change-making Minneapolis organizations Black Visions and Reclaim the Block .
She recently reached a crossroads in her floral career and has officially transitioned into being Mallory With the Flowers on a full-time basis. Her work landed her an appearance on an episode of Issa Rae’s HBO series “Insecure.”
There are so many creative pursuits that involve using your hands. Why did floral design stand out to you?
It just sounds like such an amazing career. You’re in a room with pretty things all day. I didn’t think about any of the back-breaking work that I now know goes into it.
I honestly don’t know why I said, “I want to do it now.” But it’s crazy because when I started doing it, my dad — [who] was a little apprehensive because he wants his kids to have a career in an office — told me that his grandmother in Barbados used to be a wholesale florist. He would deliver for her. And I had no idea. It was meant to be, in a way.
Your Instagram follower count is now more than 10,600. Why do you think your work resonates with so many people?
When I first started, I think what resonated was that I never tried to pretend to be this master floral designer. I’m always transparent: “I’m trying this.” Most of my followers […]