My last year in NYC I was engaged and working for VERITAMO, a tech startup focused on the luxury market. Part of my job was to visit 5-star hotels, top restaurants, and luxury fashion boutiques and learn the special perks available for VIPS and high net worth individuals (rich people).
I visited luxury hotel suites overlooking the park, the Shibui Spa in the Greenwich hotel (it’s insane, look it up), the exclusive Valentino Penthouse! ... the top floor of Valentino on Madison Ave is a private penthouse apartment complete with a coffee bar and balcony to accommodate celebs during their fittings. Swoon.
My day-to-day was pretty glamourous and I was seeing the best of the best in terms of design. So when it came time to plan our wedding, I had Veuve Clicquot taste on a PBR budget. I wanted our wedding to be elegant, reflect our story as a couple, bring our families together and not look like every other wedding.
There were trend-setting florists in Manhattan and Brooklyn doing amazing modern work and offering gorgeous rentals of vases, votives and cake stands but I wasn’t finding this in Maryland. (The florist I previously worked at closed.) So I headed down to the floral district and bought samples of all of the votives and vases that I liked. Then I picked up my favorite flowers- creamy white garden roses and some seeded eucalyptus to make mock arrangements.
I was too cheap to take a cab home so I schlepped my haul on the subway. Standing on the platform waiting for the train, my hands were burning from the rope handles on the heavy bags and I struggled to balance the huge bundle of flowers under my arm. At that moment I questioned, Am I crazy? No, I thought. I knew the look and feel I wanted at our wedding and I didn’t want to settle.
Then I realized that if I was willing to go through all this to get the right vases and look I was after, maybe other brides are feeling the same struggle. And wouldn’t it be more affordable and enviro friendly if they could rent these items instead of buying them?
It was at that moment that Love & Luster was born. But first I had to move back to Maryland, get married and learn how to drive again...