The world is full of contradictions and paradoxes that make the world a complicated but beautiful place. Smoke from the bellows of a power plant next to an ancient lake that continues as far as the eye can see; a quiet mountain tipped with snow as a noisy airplane flies over it, there are many sights that don't often make sense. Sometimes these sights can induce disgust, others pleasure. The latter is the case for Pistil Flowers in downtown Toronto, a somewhat oasis in a concrete jungle.
Standing on Bay Street, the towering office buildings and the clatter of busy suited workers is often irking. There is something that is perhaps slightly unnatural about the level of urgency buzzing around the area and as such it feels instinctive to dive into the nearest building to seek solace. Brookfield Place offers an immediate soothing ambience, but the noise of the buzz is still disrupting. The need for further comfort leads the tired feet to Pistil Flowers. From the outset it is clear that the space can offer the necessary respite from the fracas outside. Once over the threshold, the smell and beauty of the florals are immediately soothing.
Pistil Flowers has the sense of a spa rather than the average florist. The calming whites and greens of the floral arrangements and store design, and the striking layout indicates that this isn't your average florist. Yvonne Yang is quick to point out the contradictions and contrasts of her design. The whites of the store are cut by flashes of black, and the calmness of the store is questioned by the piece of street art by a local artist. "This is a male friendly florist" Yvonne points out, "around 80% of our custom is from men, so it was important for me to make sure the store design was a comfortable place for both men and women." It is striking that Pistil is addressing the feminist connotations of a florist, and making sure that their business is marketed to both genders. This is an important and ingenious piece of design by Yvonne, as it not only questions gender stereotypes, but also encourages their target demographic, men, to purcahse from their stores.
This sense of contrast is something that Yvonne wanted to focus on. Their marketing drives reflect their edginess, and avoid the too often 'girly' approach to Valentine's Day and purchasing flowers. They offer the gift buying male an alternative place that they can browse comfortably. This year, Pistil's tagline is Make it Rain, focussing on the splendour that rain can bring to the beautiful blooms and bouquets, and reminding us of the importance of water to this industry and the world.
Visiting Pistil Flowers is a refreshing experience, not only for the amazing arrangements and services they offer, but simply due to the layout and design of the stores. In a complicated concrete jungle and a forever more confusing world, so this type of sanctuary is always welcome.