My friends Katrine Hildebrandt and Peter Hussey introduced me to Rose Mattos and Erin Heath of Forêt this past summer but we didn’t actually meet in person until this month. I biked over to Union Square on a wet Tuesday afternoon to chat with them and take some pics of their space for the blog. When I arrived Rose and Erin welcomed me with open arms into their amazing studio at Fringe Union. After showing me around a bit, we dove right into talking about their successful new business – although there was a good dose of us being silly and getting sidetracked with fun chitchat. Read on to see some pics of their studio and to learn more about this dynamic duo.
Q. How did the two of you meet? And succinctly what made you decide to start working together?
A. We met working at Anthropologie – we were the visual team for the Anthro in Chestnut Hill. Once I hired Rose to be my “partner in crime”, we instantly became best friends and working together was seamless.
Q. What was the turning point from doing Forêt in your spare time to pursuing it full time?
A. We got to a point where we couldn’t maintain working full-time and running Forêt - essentially Forêt became the full-time gig.
Q. Do both or either of you have a background in floral arranging/design?
A. Rose worked for a high-end floral and event design company for a year after she left Anthro. We like to think that it is not about formal floral training that makes our arrangements special but that our combined backgrounds in painting and sculpture provide us with the skills to create from an artistic mindset.
Q. What’s the process of say doing floral arrangements for a wedding, from the drawing board to installation?
A. We typically meet with a client and ask them to bring any inspiration they may have collected to the table. This than gives us a starting point to begin thinking about color, scale, and texture. We look to find what’s in season and purchase elements that fall within the vision of both the client and our aesthetic. Then, we create!
Q. You have a studio space at Fringe. How do you and the business benefit from that surrounding and from being in Somerville?
A. The network and support of working with other small businesses is incomparable. Being in Somerville allows us to have an amazing large studio in our favorite square (Union Square, of course) and be a part of community that’s full of artists, risk-takers, and those on the edge of creating brilliance.
Q. As a relatively new business, what are some of your hopes/dreams for Forêt in the next 5 years?
A. One dream we have is to grow some of own flowers (on the roof), and develop our relationships with other local flower growers. This idea of cultivating something from start to finish and with other locals feels meaningful and less wasteful.
Q. What makes your business different from other more traditional floral businesses in the Boston area?
A. I think that our background and our approach make us different. We throw out the rules in order to create on instinct and to embrace what occurs naturally in the wild.
Thanks again to Rose and Erin for letting us take a tour of their amazing space and telling us about their business. Looking forward to seeing Forêt blossom and grow (pun intended)!