Natalia is an experienced contributor to the fashion industry and Gosha has been studying, working with and teaching about flowers for years. The two have come together to launch a creative initiative, Gosha, which produces made-to-order untraditional arrangements of flowers: including fruits, herbs and vegetables.
By Olivia Melkonian
I am personally very passionate about artistic arrangements involving flowers and see flowers with anything. Sometimes, I arrange my dining table with a bunch of coriander – for me, everything is a flower, whatever is green, blooming and so on. It is a passion I’ve had for a long time as well as interesting ceramics, and arranging them in a very funny combination of things which is what I’ve always done in my house.
Two years ago I met with Gosha, a florist who is truly talented. His approach to flowers is very different and unexpected. I’ll tell you how he won my heart. My dad passed away earlier this year and as condolences, he sent me a bouquet made of orchids. They were fresh orchids and he made them die. He painted them by hand in a way where the orchids became sad. Being super fresh, they looked like they were dried, dead flowers. It was so unbelievable. The flowers were crying. He was teaching so many people, doing courses for others (he studied it for five years) and he is a florist who sees things very uniquely. Gosha is named after the florist designer but at the same time means hero or prime in several languages. Our dream for Gosha today is to bring artistic and design arrangements of flowers.
We don’t sell flowers, we sell art-related combinations of flowers. We never ask our clients what they want, we just ask them a few questions such as “who is it going to be given to? If it’s for your home, what does it look like?” It’s arranged by our team and there are never two bouquets that ever look the same. Our next step will be to offer a service where we will come and collect your flowers or you can bring them to the studio, where we will dry them and rearrange them again so you can keep them forever. Especially for flowers from special occasions such as for your anniversary or from the wedding, we will rearrange them and also create a new, interesting Gosha-style arrangement to be returned in a glass cylinder.
This allows us to be more sustainable with what we do and the materials we work with. We see what’s artistic and different and what will make you happy – it can be anything from cacti to cucumber to a carrot bouquet, or something with pumpkin flowers and garlic. So it’s more about the idea of seeing flowers differently.
Currently since it’s quite new, we’re all involved in the process of arranging our logistics but overall we receive our fresh cut every day around 9 AM and we go through our orders we’ve received that day. We’re currently serving around 27 stores in Dubai, always high-fashion. We sort out lots of orders from the day before to deliver to our corporate clients and after that we are also working on creating new content, which is for me personally the most exciting part. There’s a lot of newness coming out. We are also working currently on our studio because it’s a work in progress right now.
It’s a very entrepreneurial project for me personally, there are no investors involved or massive money, so it’s a normal, very healthy entrepreneurial venture which means that if I can afford to finish one wall of my studio then I’m finishing my wall. We are also serving a lot of the fashion-related events, but since they’re not happening face to face, the majority of the brands are sending flowers out so we are preparing different mood boards for different arrangements and campaigns. We are also working a lot right now with publications, as I’m coming from the fashion industry, the industry is supporting us a lot in terms of arranging combinations of flowers for a shoot, etc. So for me it means that I need to work on the art direction combined with coordination for flower designers, meaning we need to order the best flowers.
It’s not always easy because you can’t just get them from the street, so we need to work around what we have on the market. Sometimes we literally go to the garden centre and cut some interesting bunches if we need them, so it’s very artistic in a way what we do here. It’s not yet routine and boring – it’s super fun.
Yes. Dubai was always known for something – for many people who travel as much as I did before, I was always saying that Dubai locations and retailers in general don’t have heart because it never started from the ground, from basics. That’s why I was so passionate about being in Amsterdam or in Beirut because you know when you’re entering that it’s the owner’s place and their budget, and this is the only thing they can afford. So the fridge will be from his kitchen, and the floor will have a carpet from his old house – because this is how businesses are grown, right? Now when we start thinking of where we want to be located, we thought we want to be a destination, and at the same time, Al Quoz for example where we are, for me is Soho of Dubai.
This is where the majority of entrepreneurial businesses eventually will flourish. That’s why we took over from one of the photo studios and we’re building our studio here. We are in the heart of Dubai, it’s kind of funky outside, it’s full of trucks and here we are selling flowers! It feels so natural to me, I would never want to change this to find for example a place where everything is shiny and glittery and in a way suits the look of a mall. I think this is how you can lose your identity, so I think that it’s important for us to be in this kind of “meat-packing” district of Dubai!
The majority of people are mainly focusing on flowers but we try to bring quite a different approach to flowers. But I think such a product exists in London, Australia, definitely in all Scandinavian countries, but it’s super new for Dubai. We don’t yet know if Dubai is ready for it – if somebody is going to receive a bouquet made of carrots on their 45th birthday, I don’t know if it will be received as fun. So that’s our job, to make it iconic.
Everyone receiving something from Gosha should not expect anything normal. So I think it’s very new for the market, but it’s not new in general. That said, I want people to see our offerings as the same as artists who are doing their art, as painters or poets – as a poet, everyone has their own style and their own vision – that’s exactly what we do with flowers. We create an art piece made of flowers or carrots. I think that the idea of it needs to be shifted – it’s not just peonies, it’s a floristic art piece.
I have trained my eye for arrangements and styling through the years I’ve been in the industry. For the past several years, I’ve been following the majority of top florists – it was a topic that I was personally passionate about and I was trying to do it in my home. My strongest experience from working in the fashion industry is the combination of prints and colours, and also understanding how things combine in a way where they still look different. My contribution to the project comes from my fashion knowledge as well as doing marketing and branding, I’m looking after the business part of it and I’m also sourcing all the vases for the production of our White Label, and everything else is Gosha.
And, you’re hearing this first, we are also offering very specific, one style of furniture that is coming out and I’m super excited. Something that you can have from our studio at your home, and it’s our signature product which we will reveal very, very soon. This is what I’m working on right now with my husband who is taking care of the production part of it.
The difficulty we have here, where we live, is that I can’t go and pick field flowers, I can’t go and pick a bunch of raspberries from the bush, I can’t go and get a blossoming cherry bunch. We are very limited to everything that is imported into this country as there are no farms here, there is nobody growing flowers here. So, our limitations right now are obviously what is arriving to the country, we know what’s arriving through our different distributors so our fresh cut consists of what we pick up today from the distribution. We are very much limited to seasonal offerings, and also the availability on a specific day or a specific week, so it’s not so easy. It’s another big dream – maybe one day we will grow our own!
We are quite new, but from the past projects which I’ve done before and which Gosha is super passionate about, is offering for events. This is where we feel we can be the most creative because we are given, for example, a dining table and we need to create a floral arrangement for both people to tell the story of what’s happening through the colour palate and give a mood to an entire table. It’s not a plate or glasses or even the food that dictate what experience people will have at the dinner, it’s sometimes the floral arrangement because you can use very light field flowers and everything will feel like a day-time, happy story or you can also use white roses and make chandeliers which will create a much more formal arrangement as well.
That’s what we are passionate about and this is where you can apply the majority of your creativity, it’s probably the most exciting part. Gosha himself is also extremely passionate about hotel arrangements and he looks forward to it each week, because we are serving three of the major players right now, and it’s always his kind of creative dream.
We are always trying to touch your soul with what we do. We always have specific symbolism related to specific flowers; for example dried flowers seem Scandanavian style in terms of home styling, but now everyone has tried to use dried flowers in slightly different ways in their home. It’s very new and the trend is changing. The wedding bouquet used to be very specific looking but today it’s a fantasy between the bride and her Pinterest board and a florist’s dream as well, but it’s no longer one directional which is amazing. I think what we want to do using artistic arrangement is to touch your visual happiness, with everything that we do.
So it’s not just about flowers but the way we see them and we hope you will see that too. It’s no longer taboo for specific flowers, it can be anything. Right now we are combining fruits and vegetables together with dried and flowers, using plants and planting fresh flowers around them or sending plates with just one flower. We are aiming to achieve a Japanese way of looking at things: just admiring the beauty of one object.
Discover more about Goshá, here