Fresh Cut Flowers. It's a contemporary lifestyle brand, a floral studio, and an inspiration.
Curated by our friends Trey Hales (Founder, Designer) and Cody Shulund (Floral Director), Fresh Cut Flowers uses nature-focused storytelling to paint a picture of a world we all want to inhabit with thoughtfully designed products and captivating floral work.
As a creative team anchored in all things floral, working right down the street from our Main HQ and Roastery in Portland, Oregon, they were the perfect partner to help us bring our Vivid Bloom coffee and campaign to life. Not only have we collaborated with them on the design of the coffee bag and campaign materials, they’ve designed and produced a limited capsule collection of apparel for us, and have created unique floral installations in all our cafes.
SCR: Can you talk about the creation of Fresh Cut Flowers and how it has evolved?
T: I founded Fresh Cut Flowers in 2018 with a close friend of mine Brendan. Originally, it functioned as a just-for-fun catch-all where art projects, zines, and apparel can all exist harmoniously. I was doing a lot of client work at the time and felt like I could build something through storytelling that stood on its own. I’ve always designed things that incorporated floral imagery, so the name fit naturally with my unique graphic language. In 2020, I was running the brand solo and pivoted to being hyper-focused on how floral imagery is expressed on apparel and objects. At the time we didn’t do any floral work because I hadn’t met someone who had the same force towards flowers as I do toward the product—that was until I reconnected with Cody.
C: I was living in New York City and every time I’d visit Portland, I’d be sure to visit Trey and make some flower arrangements for a photo shoot for Fresh Cut Flowers. After I moved back to Portland and was finding where I wanted to be in the floral community, Trey asked me to do a major installation for our LOFT pop-up. This is where my floral work and the clothing coexisted in the same space for the first time. From there, it just felt right and made sense for us to continue the partnership.
SCR: You can tell in your company that you have a deep connection to flowers. Where do you think that comes from?
C: The connection to flowers and nature was deeply embedded in me by my grandmother Janice who was an avid gardener. I would spend hours with her in the garden pulling weeds as she quizzed me on flower names and insisted I smell each variety. Flowers have the ability to heal and divert from the hardships of the world, and that was something I connected with more and more as I got older. Synthesizing my love of color, texture, movement, and nature by creating installations, weddings, and events that mimic how flowers and foliage interrelate in the wild is a healing expression for me. I owe a lot of my personal growth and strength to working within this realm of florals and feel a lot of that is due to it bringing joy and beauty to others.
T: Although my first job was on a Dahlia farm at age 14, I think there is something to be said for being connected to nature when you grow up in the Pacific Northwest. For me living here pulled me back and made me look at the bigger picture on a daily basis. That feeling of being so small in a big beautiful world. Part of the reason the brand is called Fresh “Cut” Flowers is to answer the question; How do we take these reminders with us? When we bring fresh cut flowers into our homes, we are inviting nature into our living spaces. Sitting in a vase, showcasing the beauty that nature provides; as-is. Unforced, organic, and beautiful. This helps us feel like we can function the same. Our whole purpose as a brand is to tell stories like this through our product and floral work.
SCR: You’re working on this collaboration with Stumptown Coffee Roasters. What does a partnership like this mean to you?
T: Cody and I agree that, first off, Stumptown is a legendary company in Portland and in the coffee industry. Two things that I personally ride for pretty hard. So the meaning is truly humbling to be seen by the things that have inspired us. Reaching out not to work together on a single facet of our company but all of them. We function as our own creative agency, floral company, and brand. Stumptown truly wanted this collaboration to meet all those together and add even more for good measure, haha. Building these meaningful stories through honest relationships and making it look fucking sick is exactly the type of thing we want to be doing with FCF.
SCR: This collaboration has elements of multiple floral installations, apparel, and a coffee bag design. What was different in your approach?
T: Really the most important thing here was, what story are we trying to tell? Something that was floral driven, true to Stumptown, had references to Portland, and could be designed through all these things seamlessly. When we jammed on these things, we told different stories that we’ve experienced.
C: Exactly. The story that stuck out was when spring hits. I love to bike on the Portland waterfront. All the trees are at their peak bloom time and truly showing off. One day I was biking, and the wind was particularly strong, creating a blunder of cherry blossom petals.The sight was breathtaking, and it felt as if I were in a cherry blossom tornado. This inspired this project, and it’s been so exciting to turn this memory into an experience for others to enjoy through our work.
T: When Cody told this story, we all had our own versions that aligned. From then on, it was pretty clear we needed to focus on the floral installation technique first then design backwards from that. For me, this was the first time operating this way.
SCR: Looking ahead, what do you want for Fresh Cut Flowers?
T: We want more: more knowledge, experience, research, collaboration, growth, life, and opportunity through this brand. Being a small, nimble business means we get to direct Fresh Cut Flowers where we think it can thrive and where we, as individuals, will feel happiness and fulfillment.
C: I’m happiest when I get to play with shape, volume, color, movement, and texture to draw people into an emotional connection through our brand. I practice by something someone told me when learning floral work early on: Respect the material and disrespect expectations. By discovering and testing new and exciting material to work with and to then endeavor it into the fold of our projects is what I’d love to be able to continue to do with Fresh Cut Flowers. Our robust network of industry friends, suppliers, growers, and community makes this all the more possible and enjoyable, so I want to continue to work with those people and brands we’ve grown to love.
T: Exactly that. For me, happiness through this work is the feeling like you’re building something outside yourself, open to interpretation and inspiration. Whether we're putting a flower in your hand, on your clothing, or in your line of sight, we really want to inspire.