Meet Marisa, the New Jersey native who has turned her fantasy hobby into her dream job.
Finding your career happy place is the ultimate goal for many—and one that Marisa Competello has nailed. After working in the fashion industry as a stylist’s assistant for almost a decade, Marisa decided it was time to change things up. Fast-forward a couple years, and what began as a fun hobby has now blossomed into Meta Flora, a highly coveted studio that creates bespoke floral designs specializing in utterly modern, sculptural, and surprising arrangements.
With some of our favorite Summer pieces in tow, Marisa showed us around Caribbean Cuts, one of her favorite shops in the flower district that’s known for its assortment of tropical flowers and foliage—and is, for all intents and purposes, a real-life botanic Narnia.
“I was initially drawn to flowers because they’re so quiet and lovely and peaceful. I wanted something to explore outside of work. At the time, I don’t think I realized how hectic it could get, or how similar it is to working in fashion; I’m still hustling, gathering, and schlepping a lot of things and rushing around. It’s ironic that as soon as I left the fashion industry, they were the people that appreciated my flowers the most, so somehow I have not left it at all. It’s actually where I’m most comfortable.”
“Ultimately, Meta Flora gives me freedom: I make my own schedule, and I’m my own boss. Feeling free has always been a goal of mine.”
“One thing that definitely influences my floral designs is dance. I’m a dancer—I do contemporary—so that plays a big part in the lines and shapes that I see and make.”
“In terms of the clothes I wear, I’m pretty particular with my palette. Red is honestly the only color I have in my wardrobe; in fact, whenever I want to feel more glamorous, I’ll put on red lipstick. I also do this if it’s a gray day in NYC, to add some color to my world.”
“To me, being healthy is a priority. As is home; especially living in NYC, it’s crucial to create a peaceful escape. I don’t keep a ton of plants at home—I’m very much a minimalist—but I’ll always have cactuses and one classic flower, like a lily.”