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Fleursbella Celebrates New Yorkers With Flowers

A desire to bring beauty to the people typifies the work of Bella Meyer and Fleursbella in the city that never sleeps
bouquet of flowers on top of a pay phone
A pay phone with a hit of floral happiness from Bella Meyer of Fleursbella in 2009. Photo by Monte Burke Photos

Recent coverage of Lewis Miller’s New York “flower flashes” reminded us of a 2009 Flower magazine feature about Bella Meyer. At the time, Bella, founder and creative director of Fleursbella, created her own floral street art.

Here’s an excerpt from the 2009 article:

On cold and rainy mornings in New York City, when the grey, dawn sky seems destined to drain the day of its color, Bella Meyer (a.k.a. “the flower vigilante”) strikes, performing what she calls ‘flower graffiti.’

With a legion of coworkers, friends, and volunteers, Meyer spreads her art around the city, placing tiny bouquets in cracked sidewalks and walls and fastening them to the sides of trash cans. She lays flowers across the jagged edges of broken windows, under grimy public telephone booths, and on the windshields of cars that have parking tickets.

“I like the idea of someone finding a flower or an arrangement where they least expect it,” says Meyer, the granddaughter of the artist, Marc Chagall and owner of New York Design studio Fleursbella.

After sprinkling the city with blossoms, the vigilantes wade headlong into Gotham’s hurried, harried, and ill-tempered tide of rush-hour commuters and hand out bright flowers to “give a little bit of pleasure to someone when they might need it,” says Meyer.

Nearly a decade later, the Fleursbella team still takes to the streets. Now armed with camera phones and Instagram to document and share the joy and playfulness evoked by flowers.

fleursbella, #holdthese
A shot from Fleursbella’s Instagram feed, spring 2017. Construction workers next door to Fleursbella studio were asked to #holdthese. Photo by Fleursbella

fleursbella, #newyorkerswithflowers
Another spring 2017 photo from Fleursbella’s Instagram feed, hashtagged #NewYorkersWithFlowers and captioned “This one was sent as a welcome to the neighborhood.” Photo by Fleursbella

We asked studio manager Liz Grenier about the hashtag #holdthese, found on many of their photos. “Yes, those are actual arrangements that customers have ordered. We do our best to document every piece that goes out. We like the juxtaposition of everyday New Yorkers holding a lovely bouquet in an unlikely setting. It brings a smile to their faces and to ours.”

Give the hashtag #NewYorkersWithFlowers a quick browse and you’ll smile too.

Many flower lovers make a pilgrimage to the fantastic Fleursbella studio and shop at 55 East 11th Street in New York. Until you can visit in person, follow Bella and her designers on Instagram @fleursbella.

portrait of Bella Meyer
Bella Meyer of Fleursbella

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