We are proud to announce the latest installment of our Kith Community initiative - Love Thy Community. This program continues to shine a light on minority-owned businesses, amplifying their voices in new ways. We’ve partnered with Vault by Vans on this new installment to continue giving back to our communities. Together, we will highlight six of these businesses over the span of several months.The first installment features Brooklyn Blooms - a local flower shop located in Brooklyn, NY founded by LaParis Phillips. Phillips opened the shop in 2017 and has since become the pinnacle of flower shopping in Brooklyn with her shop’s one-of-a-kind floral assortments and welcoming atmosphere.
Who is LaParis?
Wow, that’s such a introspective question, but in short I’m a vessel, a creation who is always looking to be the light. Being light for others brings me joy. But I’m also style, a demander of the room. I take up space. What should people know about her? People should know that I’m just getting started…I have a lot to say and to share.
How did Brooklyn Blooms, bloom?
Seeds for Brooklyn Bloom were planted in me early whether I was aware of them or not. Roots were grounded and a stem was growing throughout my years of being in NYC. I would say that I “bloomed” when I got fired from Forever 21, 2015—that was when the chains fell off. I was free to bloom where I’d been planted, Brooklyn. It was go time from there!
Flowers have always been a part of my life. My family had a balloon and flower shop growing up. I always gravitated toward flowers, my Grandmother told me. I adore them, they have always been my saving grace. Flowers have brought me so many opportunities that fashion never did or could. It’s something about working with nature that is humbling, I’m always in awe.
What did this collaboration mean to you?
This collaboration is a full circle moment for sure! Being that I came to NYC to pursue fashion, not being seen like I’d hoped, to now designing my own sneaker… I’m proud. Proud to have remained true to myself and seeing myself while the powers that be catch up.
How does it feel to have your own shoe?
It’s sort of surreal, like wow! I am really looking at myself in the mirror in amazement. Thinking, “Girl, you came from the south side of St. Louis, now look at little ol’ you with two stores in BK and now a damn shoe?! Yous a bad B!t€h!!”
Can you tell us more about the t-shirt and slip-on Vans?
This pack is special and a challenge because I wanted to represent many parts of myself. So I did this with subtle details. From the the backs of the shoe reading STL & BKNY, to the mudcloth print, the handwritten tagline, even down to the behind the green Vans tag, there are surprises everywhere! I love to show my personality when ever I get the chance!
What is the meaning behind your design choices?
The mudcloth print is a motif that I always used to paint my foliages. It’s a print that I’ve always seen and loved throughout my life. It’s also a reverence to my ancestors. As a St. Louis native I’m always looking to represent where I’m from and where I’m headed, hence the STL & BK. The surprises I love about the shoe are the green Vans labels boasting the two names of my shop’s streets, Nostrand and Fulton, on the backside—IYKYK.
How has the community impacted Brooklyn Blooms?
The community has made Brooklyn Blooms a neighborhood staple. If you want the best florist in Brooklyn then you go to Brooklyn Blooms, and you send your friends there too because we are the go-to and highly recommended floral company. It’s not only because we create beautiful work, but it’s also because of the community that spreads the word about BB. My flower and color compositions keep people excited and curious about flowers, making it easy to want to share with others. I am forever grateful to my community for always speaking my name in places that I have yet to be in!