We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Ness and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have never been one to find comfort in working a 9-5 that has little to do with my life’s purpose or who I am as a person. The long list of part-time jobs helped me get to this point in my life, however; I always told myself that these jobs were temporary. I knew that one day I will work for myself and start my own business and since then I have persistent with that goal. The entirety of who I am thrives on using my creativity to its fullest potential. I started my own business / artistic career because I love what I do and I wanted to fully commit my time to my artistic expression. I create because I am called to do so and meant to share my expression with the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My company, Long Stem Disco specializes in artistic floral arrangements and event florals. My first projects started when I began to drape dance floors and venue stages with swags of greens, sculptures of tropical flowers, and walls of roses, when we got our start curating the decor of music events and capturing the aesthetic of the artist’s sound and persona of the guests. The design process always begins with a listening session, taking a dive deep into the narrative or ambience of the artist. Then processing that sound into color, then in the form of flora. I wanted to create arrangements that move and dance… Embracing petals and foliage that bounces with the beat and sway with the dance floor. Fast forward to the present, Long Stem Disco has expanded to weddings, photoshoot stylings, weekly custom orders, and so much more. I love thinking about flowers as a celebration of mortality as it is a celebration of life. Flowers represent milestones and reminders that we are traveling forward to a final resting place that also will be covered in flowers as we are laid to rest. Truly, flowers represent the moments of celebration AND loss, as life goes on to our inevitable return to the soil. Authenticy is important to my practice, and that every design is made with intention. The detail-level of each floral piece goes beyond craft. It is haute floral art, made to not only enhance the beauty of the room, but to also to capture the essence of the night or the persona of one through petals. The color play we use is not simple, coordinated colors – it is a palette of highlights, shadows and contrasts that show textures much like the vibe we are representing in any occasion or event. Aside from my floral business, I also am an artist working in jewelry. This practice like floral designing places focus on the details, in not only by working in a small scale, but in the theme of my work and the inspiration I find around me that makes me curious enough to create. I find it to be a satisfying balance between creating with a material that will eventually decay and one that can last long past our lifespan.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Nomad donuts, hike down to Black’s beach, drinks & dinner at Kindred, sunset cliffs for sunset of course! Whenever I have guests its the perfect excuse to embrace my inner beach bum for the weekend.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My business really took off just this year, which, unfortunately, took place during a pandemic. I was determined to survive this difficult time as a business but had so many questions on how to start a business the smart and legal way. Lately, the best resource in navigating starting a business has been SCORE. SCORE is a company with so many free resources, online webinars, and mentorship programs that can help anyone starting a business.
Photos 1, 6, 7 taken by me All other Images by Erica Joan