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Storefront Report: New York flower power arrives in Silver Lake with an all-white shop

Spruce’s new Silver Lake floral shop/Courtesy Macias Media Group

Most flower shops feature interiors bursting with colorful blooms. Not Spruce, Silver Lake’s newest floral shop, where a nearly all-white interior greets visitors. Spruce, the offshoot of a New York City florist and designer Gaige Clark, opened this month in the former Silverlake Flowers shop at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue.

Clark, whose arraignments have been displayed on television shows and written up numerous magazines, explains why her new Silver Lake flower shop took such minimalist approach:

“Architecturally, and in terms of space, I felt I could build a flower store unlike one anyone had ever seen in the world. I held with the intention of deconstructing everything the public knows about flowers and starting from the ground up with a blank palette. The result is an entirely white store from the floor to ceiling. Elements of metal add an industrial feel that suggests turn of the century industry and unlimited potential.”

The custom floral arrangements in the new Los Angeles shop combine locally grown flowers and plants with  recycled wood crates and glassware.



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11 comments

  1. Silver Lake resident

    This place is an absolute joke.

    Silverlake Flowers was an affordable, family-run business that myself and many of my friends frequented. The prices made it an accessible place for the “hipster” types as well as long-time, less affluent residents. Now, instead of reasonably priced bouquets and arrangements, we’re given the option of one stupid little plant in some trendy vase for triple the price of what Silverlake Flowers charged for a bouquet of roses. Spruce would have been better off taking their overpriced, New York-style pretension to Beverly Hills — not a neighborhood where 80.6% of the children at the nearby middle school qualify for free lunch.

    The upside is that I rarely see anyone inside except for shop employees. I don’t think Spruce will sticka round much longer.

    • sl resident. did you read your post, it seems you’ve put zero thought into this. you are free to buy your flowers from any florist in the eastside, here is a list of 25 or so in the immediate area: http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=florist&find_loc=silver+lake%2C+Los+Angeles%2C+CA&ns=1&ls=26f65b92d9747d1f#cflt=florists,flowers&l=p:CA:Los_Angeles::[Downtown,Echo_Park,Griffith_Park/Los_Feliz,Koreatown,Silver_Lake]

      if you know what is so good for the neighborhood why didn’t you open a shop when silver lake flowers went out of business?

      In case you haven’t noticed, upscale establishments on the eastside have been doing quite well (L&E, covell, little doms, etc), as I suspect so will Spruce. With more and more upscale businesses being installed the need for quality flower arrangements rises as those businesses become clients. And their success proves the end consumer is there for higher priced luxury flower arrangements. If your beef is solely with luxury items you would be better served to not use that as a guise to attack legitimate, small businesses in the neighborhood.

      i’ve never been to spruce, but their website looks cool.

      • “if you know what is so good for the neighborhood why didn’t you open a shop when silver lake flowers went out of business?”

        Pretty lame rebuttal, busta. One does not have to open an alternative shop to have the right to be turned off by the Brentwoodification of Silver Lake. Are you a relative newcomer to the ‘hood? Because some of us have been here for DECADES. Silver Lake used to pride itself on its one-of-a-kind, funky, organic-to-the-NEIGHBORHOOD establishments. Now it’s being overrun with uber-trendy, this-could-be-anywhere chains and precious gift shops. (Ironically, the one thing we’re not getting is superb restaurants, but that’s another thread.)

        And btw, the website may look cool, but as for the shop, sometimes white is the color you use when you don’t have any ideas. But we’ll see what kind of arrangements Spruce turns out. I’ll form a final opinion about it and defend it AFTER I’ve been to the shop … and it survives for a few years and contributes to the neighborhood.

        • PS:

          “Architecturally, and in terms of space, I felt I could build a flower store unlike one anyone had ever seen in the world. I held with the intention of deconstructing everything the public knows about flowers and starting from the ground up with a blank palette. The result is an entirely white store from the floor to ceiling. Elements of metal add an industrial feel that suggests turn of the century industry and unlimited potential.”

          This palette and style has been done a million times in Los Angeles since the 1970s. How embarrassing for Gaige Clark to think this is unique to the world.

      • Silver Lake resident

        @ busta: I’ll try to respond to all of your rebuttals as best as I can.

        Why didn’t I open a shop when Silverlake Flowers went out of business? Because there was no notification the shop was going out of business whatsoever. The shop was open one day. The next, it was painted black — but still open. Then, several days after being painted, the shop was gutted and “SPRUCE IS COMING” was put on the signs. I tried Googling “spruce,” but as you can imagine, it’s a hard thing to Google. We all assumed that a “hipster” type flower shop would be going in, but we had no idea it would be this extremely upscale, minimalist crap.

        I don’t need your pandering to find another flower shop. I’m well aware there are other shops in the area, and I assume others who aren’t as happy with Spruce know where else to get flowers, too. That’s an irrelevant point and you know it.

        The upscale establishments you list? Some have been around for many years, and many of them are in LOS FELIZ, which is known for being more upscale/whitewashed. Again, the fact that there are “nice places” is irrelevant to my initial observations — a well-liked family store was shut down for overpriced flowers that no one seems to have bought. Again, I dunno what “success” you’re referencing — but I can see Spruce from my house. I have yet to see anyone in their parking lot, or anyone purchasing flowers for that matter.

        Like I said: Spruce picked the wrong neighborhood to open up. They are better suited for the West Side, or even Hollywood/Mid City. Not here.

        • i am so glad that “Silver Lake resident” doesn’t get to decide which flower shops get to operate in Silverlake. i never went into Silverlake Flowers but after reading these comments i took a quick look at yelp to see what their former customers thought. wow! two stars ! you have to really suck to average only two stars. ( 5 one star reviews in a row ) with comments like “HALF THE PETALS WERE MISSING!” and “SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME AND GO ELSEWHERE!”

          if you really loved this place, you should have gone there more often. like every day. perhaps you are to blame for them going out of business. 😉

          clearly Spruce is not your style and since you can see it from your house that must really get your panties in a twist. oh well, guess you’ll just have to move . . .

          • Echo Park resident

            Those Yelp reviews were from the previous incarnation of the shop. It’s always been Silverlake Flowers, but it was sold to new owners sometime in 2011.

  2. This place may not have to rely on as much ‘retail’ store biz….as this florist/’designer’ has magazine and tv show support, there can be an underlining business account support already set for the entertainment biz…so perhaps the product is being delivered, etc.

    • Then why use valuable retail space if you’re only catering to private clients? This place doesn’t really serve the community; it’s more of a vanity project? I stopped by the other day thinking it was a juice shop (the sign said to “come in for a glass of Spruce juice”) and was sorely disappointed to find overpriced flowers I could never afford instead of the advertised juice.

      • Guessing that some high end clients might still want to go to a ‘showroom’ and be shown multiple options of product, etc. And that this biz owner wants a showcase store, etc.

        Either way, just ‘cos you might be a successful business owner now, it doesn’t mean all your future decisions are smart/successful.

        Heck, I laughed when LAMILL opened, but it’s still here….so whatta I know!

  3. It seems that in a world that is always evolving, whether be it in New York, Texas, Minnesota, California, or where ever, there will always be haters. Especially here in Los Angeles where anything you could possibly want is easily accessible, you choose to rip on someone’s success, or in your perception, the lack there of. Obviously you know nothing of the floral industry and it’s amazing ability to power almost anything, silverlake resident. Silverlake flowers became a victim of their absurdly low prices, hence they are no longer in business. Now you can fight the fact that silverlake is changing, but until you come up with your own grand plan to keep it the same, there’s nothing you can do, but write how much you despise it. If you step into Spruce yourself you will find that fresh cut flowers can be purchased in the same manner as any other flower shop. The arrangements also start at $20-$25 on up, taking labor, vase price, and flowers into cost consideration. Double phalaenopsis orchids dressed start at $30 which is unheard of considering most places sell them from $70-$85. What you’ll find at Spruce is a brand of style and offerings. It may not be for everyone, but there is a market for what they offer. I personally have worked at several flower shops from Pasadena, Hollywood, Manhattan Beach, to Seal Beach, in my experience you can’t put a price on a feeling which flowers bring. The one true thing in nature that will always make you feel good. I suggest the grocery store option for anyone who has yet to learn how to respect the flower and it’s ability. And for those trying to keep it “real” pick your own flowes and design them yourself and see how that turns out. Floral design is an art and not everyone can be a designer. Many may think a monkey can do it, but its a type of sculpture and it takes an eye to see it through to the final product. Give Spruce a chance! New York and LA are different worlds it takes a little time to find what works and what doesn’t..

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