It was in her native San Francisco that Sara Ekanger first fell in love with plants, which filled her childhood home and backyard. She knew at a very young age she wanted to do something creative with her life, and her interest in nature combined with her artistic instincts gradually evolved into her career as a floral designer. Ekanger started Antigua Floral years ago and now designs floral arrangements for a variety of events, from weddings and banquets to private homes. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and their dog Indie.
Bon Vivant: How are you navigating the COVID-19 crisis (in business or personally)?
Sara Ekanger: Business – Thankfully, we’re still in operation. We are still booking, sending proposals out, phone-meeting and creating contracts. As far as designing with florals, it’s come to a little break at the moment. We’re looking forward to this fall and continue celebrating our couples. They’ve been more than amazing!
Personal – At first, I went into fight mode and buried myself into the business — problem-solving and navigating dates for our couples. Three weeks into it and things have slowed down; I’ve found myself in the garden more and giving a bit of love to my plants. Giving myself the permission to relax and take things slowly during this period.
BV: What creative methods are you discovering in order to continue to serve clients?
Ekanger: Really, just being there for our clients — to encourage and cheer them on, through email, phone calls or social media. I’ve even made a few floral design videos to share with my clients during this time as well. We would love to provide a little floral therapy for anyone, any day.
BV: Who or what is inspiring you right now and why?
Ekanger: Our home — been spending lots of time here. I usually work nonstop and live in the studio but being at home has taught me so many lessons. I love how the sun hits our hallway during the early light and the harsh shadows in the backyard against the neighbor’s palms. Being around plants, propagating and repotting them has taught me so many lessons. Especially on patience and growth.
BV: What is the most helpful piece of career or life advice you’ve ever received, where did it come from, and why was it so impactful for you?
Ekanger:“Un dia a la vez — one day at a time.” My parents would always repeat this to me. In life, you need to take things slowly and enjoy the chapter you are in. To be present and thankful for where you are. When I say slow, I would always think of soft and weak, but really it means to be easy. Easy on yourself. Giving yourself the grace that you need each day. Take it one day at a time.
BV: Guilty pleasure?
Ekanger: I downloaded TikTok and tried to do a dance challenge. Enough said. Ha!
BV: If readers did only one thing to enhance their interior, what would you suggest?
Ekanger: I would say a good house plant would bring so much love to the space! Plants would boost productivity, [bring] creativity into your home and are pretty therapeutic. As well, plants will bring a little bit of life into a room.