Monday, November 30, 2009

Williamsburg Florist Honored For Green Entrepreneurship

While growing up in West Virginia, Kimberly Sevilla (pictured at left with her daughter Lavender) frequently noticed non-natural gardening practices: plants lined up in rows, and the use of Miracle-Gro products, to name a few.

“Americans were never really taught how to garden and how to compost and use the world around them,” said Sevilla, who cultivated a passion for gardening as she traveled the world to study the techniques of other cultures, reading historical books on the subject.

Sevilla has always gardened for herself — she has a garden in upstate New York and one at her home in Williamsburg — but didn’t make it part of her profession until just over a year ago, when she opened Rose Red & Lavender, a full service florist in Williamsburg.

Rose Red & Lavender isn’t just a place to buy cut flowers. Sevilla offers classes in urban gardening to the community through the store. “We’re teaching people how to repurpose and reuse things that they may have already to grow [gardens].”

She showed children how to plant a variety of seeds — herbs and vegetables — in a five-gallon bucket to create a “meal in a bucket” and also teaches students at her classes to create planters out of old tires. “This was popular in the ’60s,” she said. “We’re trying to revive that.”

Sevilla started a campaign to distribute seed balls, which are balls of clay that have flower seeds in them that don’t need to be planted in the soil. “It’s a technique used by Native Americans,” she said, and the flowers can sprout anywhere, namely the number of vacant lots in Williamsburg.

During the summertime, Sevilla sources her flowers from local farms. She grows the lavender she sells at the shop on property in West Virginia. She composts all the waste from the flowers and recycles everything she can.

It is this commitment to educating the community and making Williamsburg a greener place that won Sevilla an award for green entrepreneurship by the Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network, an organization dedicated to small business development in New York City’s ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Entrepreneurs were selected for this award for their efforts to go beyond just recycling in their green businesses.

Sevilla wants the award to help her spread eco-awareness. “I hope that people will seek us out for advice,” she said. “Everybody wants to be green — I don’t think they necessarily know how to do it.

“People come to me and say, ‘I don’t have a yard.’ Well, you don’t need a yard,” Sevilla continued. “We could be growing food on the roofs, there’s so much wasted space on the roofs ... you have a wall, put hooks on your wall, use window boxes.

“There are a lot of things around us that we can use.”

For hours and information about Rose Red & Lavender’s products and services, visit For information about BOC, visit

Photo above by Amy Wise. Little Lavender came before the shop.

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1 comment:

flowers kuwait said...

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