On a recent morning in the park adjacent to Pierre Lafond in Montecito’s Upper Village, I met with Kristen Cramer, who, with her young daughter and dog was enjoying the summer weather. She was making floral arrangements for her new business.
One of Shelley Koury’s lead designers and display specialists at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond, a hot house for emerging designers and artists, Cramer was a standout in every way.
She recently went out on her own. I first saw one of her gorgeous floral arrangements from her company, Global Eye, in a unique container on display at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond. I immediately wanted to buy it. Instead I picked up her business card and we set up a time to meet so I could hear about her latest project.
Cramer is now working on an art-based business that starts with the concept of providing locally grown flowers in a handmade vessel. The idea is to provide a beautiful arrangement, grown locally, and support artists while providing a unique and handmade item that will last long after the flowers fade.
“I want this collaboration — between artists, farmers and people who love flowers and art — to grow into a larger concept in which featured artists, making the vessels for flowers, also can show their other art pieces in an online store,” she explained.
According to Cramer, the online store “will include all kinds of art so that it becomes a place to shop for you own home or for gifts.”
She also will continue to do interior design and is hopeful that the artists that she comes to work with can be involved in making custom pieces for clients.
After starting out in art school, Cramer earned a Bachelor in Arts degree from UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies. She began working as a floral designer while in school, loved it, and has kept at it for more than 15 years.
After college, she first had the idea to bring together many artists to form one company with its goal to empower artists and provide a space where artists could pursue their creative endeavors and make a living at it.
Cramer found she was good at running a business and wanted to help her fellow art students, so that they could all be successful together. To this end she earned an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu.
“For many years after graduating, I tried on many hats but could not find the right route for me,” she said. “I designed displays for stores, took and sold photographs as stock, built and designed websites, interior designing and even helped design gardens!”
With no shortage of talent, the young mom and Santa Ynez resident is focused on creating a family of ceramic vessels that are beautiful and useful. She hopes they’ll get used for her flowers and sell in her online shop.
Each week, she also sends out arrangements made from local flowers, many grown in her own cutting garden.
In her arrangements, which I watched her assemble effortlessly, she used herbs, fruits and even vegetables. Her home garden has become the base for many of her arrangements.
She then focuses on what is in season and grown by local farmers. She recently used black-eyed Susans grown organically by Finley Farms, with chocolate sunflowers and mint from her home garden. One of her favorite arrangements included lush hydrangeas from Rancho Sarel.
Cramer is currently sending out highly aromatic roses from Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria, whose proprietor, Danielle Hahn, recently received the highly coveted Rosarian of the World Award in New York City.
These latest arrangements will be placed in a series of pots that Cramer loves. The pots are tall, coated in a colored slip and carved. She then glazes them in her home studio in an opaque glaze that mutes the intensity of the colored slip and makes them look like a bit of a rainstorm.
Choosing to live in Santa Ynez with her husband, daughter, dog, a flock of chickens and many hives of bees, Cramer and her entire family love to garden and grow their own veggies, fruit, and grapes; lavender for their bees; and flowers for arrangements.
Global Eye offers a monthly flower subscription service, and bouquets, succulent garden plants, gifts, art and design services also are available.
Click here for more information, or call 805.259.6390.