Eleven years ago, while working for a nonprofit organization in New York City, Jessica Sparzak, founder of Denver–based Pickletown Flower Co., took on the role as default in-house floral artist for her company’s fundraising events. “Our office was only a couple blocks away from the Flower District in New York, and I would just walk over there all the time,” explains Sparzak. “So, it kind of became a side hustle.” Little by little, friends and people connected to the nonprofit would ask for help with floral design, and her innate knack for flowers sparked the idea for a potential full-blown career after her daughter was born. A year later, she decided to pursue design courses at the New York Botanical Garden and was in the process of enrolling in the program when her husband received a job offer in Colorado.
After relocating and later being hospitalized after the birth of her son, Sparzak had a life-changing moment after suffering a severe health condition. “It was very scary and intense,” says Sparzak of the rehab process that spanned nearly four years. “During that time, I was able to consider what I wanted to do with my life, and our vision within our own lives becomes very sharp. I knew that I wanted to do something in florals, but I knew I didn’t want to do weddings [it wasn’t my passion], and I know my personality, and I knew I wanted to create something where I could make flowers accessible and bring them out to people.”
In 2017, the busy mother of two decided to launch a mobile flower truck instead of a traditional brick-and-mortar. “At the time, flower trucks weren’t really a thing yet,” says Sparzak. “It was interesting trying to explain it, and now it’s like old news.”
So, she bought a truck off Craigslist in 2018, completely gutted and transformed it, and officially launched in June 2019. “The truck gave me the freedom and creativity I was looking for, and the concept was [and still is] to expose people to the diversity of beauty in flowers and there’s so much out there you don’t get to see,” says Sparzak who sources flowers from approximately a dozen local farms spanning Arvada, Brighton, and Boulder in the Colorado growing season, and imports select blooms from Holland, Italy, and Ecuador. “I believe flowers are nature’s art, and we specialize in unique and everlasting [dried] product, but approachability and accessibility.”
Since then, Sparzak has opened Pickletown Flower Co. in Denver’s Free Market complete with a dry floral bar with a large assortment of dried florals, and works with numerous businesses, hotels, hair salons, and restaurants. She’s also gearing up for the debut of a flower bike, or pedicab, that’s been completely overhauled and converted for flowers on-the-go. Her online arrangements range from the long-lasting Florence bouquet, (named after her 98-year-old grandmother, once a nurse in World War II), with Proteas and dried elements, and the Colorado bouquet with locally-grown blooms from April to October. But, at the core, Sparzak believes Pickletown is about creating floral experiences. “It’s about bringing you something you would never have,” she says.
Here, get inspired to decorate for fall with a step-by-step tutorial by Sparzak featuring a quick, asymmetrical wreath project:
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