podcast

Ep 5: Jacki Buys Aurea Sanabria Molaei a Drink

By The ThirstyNest Editors

Episode 5: Jacki will interview Aurea Sanabria Molaei, founder of Flower Bodega, the hottest floral design studio in the New York area. She’ll chat about her background in event design and floral work, her creativity in designing her own wedding, virtual floral arrangement workshops, and wedding styling tips to those planning a wedding.

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Jacki Strum:

Hi there and welcome to Can I Buy You a Drink, a podcast from the Thirsty Nest team, where we interview our favorite wine and wedding folks about their meet-cute stories and what's in their glass right now. I'm your host, Jacki Strum, founder and CEO of Thirsty Nest, the first wine and spirits registry for the modern couple.

Jacki Strum:

I'm really excited to welcome my guest today. Aurea recently founded one of the hottest floral design studios in the New York area. Her work has been seen everywhere from adorable mini bouquets going viral on social media, to gorgeous gigantic floral installations for big brand partners at Flower Bodega. Thanks for joining me today, Aurea.

Aurea:

Thanks so much for having me, Jacki.

Jacki Strum:

Thanks. So how did you first get interested in flowers?

Aurea:

Yeah, so my father actually worked for a florist in the late '70s. It was called Flowers by Court and it was somewhere on the Upper East Side if I recall correctly. He always used to tell me stories about his time there. He wasn't an actual florist, but he worked with kind of cleaning and conditioning. And so, whenever we would be around flowers or plants, he'd have a lot of commentary about it. So I was pretty exposed to flower care very early on. My stepfather also owned a bodega in the Bronx. So the synergy between the name of my brand just kind of stems from my upbringing.

Aurea:

I've kind of also always loved hosting and entertaining. So I would dabble with flowers here and there, but still made a lot of mistakes. And I didn't really start to take them seriously until I started working in the event industry, specifically on like more fashion-oriented events and experiences like dinner parties, backdrop installations. We would hire florists for those gigs and I would just kind of observe how they worked. I would ask a lot of questions as the producer on those projects to just kind of get more information about the types of flowers they were using. Admittedly, I didn't know much about different types of flowers.

Aurea:

And so, it wasn't until I worked on an event in Miami for a big brand, like a fashion fragrance event, that our florist that we had brought in, she had to process like thousands of flowers in this hotel conference room. And so I offered to help her and I thought it was just really therapeutic. It smelled incredible. I had such a good time. She was teaching me a lot about just the different types of flowers that we were using. And then she let me style some of the flowers, including like the photo backdrop moment. So I got the bug-

Jacki Strum:

In that hotel room, it happened for you.

Aurea:

In that hotel room in Miami. I went to flower school after that. I took courses at the New York Botanical Garden and learned from some amazing instructors. I've been on flower shop tours. So learned how they work and [inaudible 00:02:55] floral studios also that are not like retail-based. And so started taking those learnings and applying them to the events that I was producing. And it just kind of took off from there.

Jacki Strum:

And so when you're taking these courses and everything, is it about like flower care, like growing your own flowers, almost like botany in a way, or is it just like the artistic and sculptural nature of picking flowers to build things out, like the things you're doing now?

Aurea:

Yeah, no, it was definitely not about growing. I didn't take any botany courses, though I think eventually I will be interested in just learning since sustainability is such a big topic right now and it's at the front of everyone's minds. But what I learned in those courses was more the fundamentals of floral design and arranging. I actually didn't learn any kind of installation work in the courses that I was taking. It was really just like the principles of design flower care and conditioning, how flower shops and floral studios work, pricing structures, things like that.

Aurea:

But I really learned as I kind of took on new work. With every new client that I received, some kind of mood board direction, I would do my homework and find ways to kind of make these designs happen through my point of view. It was a combination of my education, but then also learning on the job I think is where I gained most of the experience and confidence to create some of these larger installations.

Jacki Strum:

And so these classes and everything you were taking, you were doing the while you had full time work? Because I know you have a really interesting background in media.

Aurea:

Absolutely. So I was a full time event production manager and working on event programs like all over the country, full time and beyond. I mean, like a full [inaudible 00:04:46] event production work at a media agency is insane. You don't really work normal hours. So I could be in loading mode and still creating floral decks for clients for upcoming projects. There would be days where, after work, I would come home and work on flowers that I had picked up at like 5:00 AM that morning, dropped into the buckets, went to work, came home, designed them with 25 minute naps in between, and stay up all night so I could create them, deliver them first thing in the morning or whatever the case was, and then head back into work. It was gnarly. I did that for all of 2018 and some of 2019. It was intense.

Jacki Strum:

And is there anything about that that you kind of enjoyed, like the adrenaline rush, the building of it, the satisfaction of seeing something come to life, just like creating experiences in that way?

Aurea:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I'm a Capricorn too, so I think it's just kind of in my nature. I was even doing some cleaning here at home and found some old high school stuff and I was on the fashion show committee. I went to a vocational high school in Manhattan. It was called the High School Fashion Industries and I was assisting the director on the show. So I had several designs in the show. I choreographed. I costumed. I was really doing the most. I was also like the senior year book editor. I was just doing so much. And I feel like I've kind of always been this type of person that needs to have a million balls in the air to feel productive or worthy. I don't know. It's a little crazy.

Aurea:

And I've learned, especially in this quarantine, that I need to slow down. But yeah, definitely I think even the nature of event production, it's a little more involved than what one would consider typical event planning. It's like full scale production with fabrication and we're calling live shows from concerts, events. So it's very demanding to have that and then like the side hustle floral business. It started to definitely wear on my sleep and my health. I came to a crossroads, that's for sure.

Jacki Strum:

And is that how you decided to kind of branch out and do your own thing?

Aurea:

Yeah, it was like a combination of things. So I'd worked in the event industry for like 10 years at this point. I wasn't seeing a lot of growth internally at the company that I was working for. So there were like a lot of kind of workplace politics, roadblocks happening for me where I felt like I just wasn't in control as much as I had wanted to be or felt like I was working towards.

Aurea:

So I think Flower Bodega was kind of born out of the need to have a creative voice that was heard and kind of trusted in the field. And so just a combination of that and figuring out that it's got to be one or the other. It can't be both at this point because we were getting so much work for Flower Bodega that even my husband ended up working on it full time with me. So we really made the switch in 2019 to just focus all of our attention and put all our gambling chips on ourselves instead of somebody else's dream. So that was the big push for us, for sure.

Jacki Strum:

And at that time, how were you getting this work? Like just through your connections that you made through over the course of your career, just letting people know, them seeing your work at other jobs? Like how are you getting the word out?

Aurea:

Yeah. So when I created Flower Bodega, it was again through my work at one agency. I worked with a bunch of different producers who had other projects at the same company. So once they saw that I was getting my feet on the ground, they started asking me to do flowers for their events. So I was working on stuff for my peers and colleagues. And then once I decided that I didn't want it to just be what we were unofficially calling them Florals by Aurea, I was like, "We got to name this thing. And I want it to be more of a moment. I want it to have its own kind of aesthetic and branding and its own little thing."

Aurea:

As an event producer, I knew that there were little activations that people were really interested in. We would have like cute little cotton candy vendors or nail art vendors, things like that that can be engaging for attendees at events, especially geared toward women. So I felt like we were answering an RFP for a fragrance brand and we were talking about like taking over an ice cream truck, and instead of ice cream, handing out many bouquets of flowers.

Jacki Strum:

Oh, that's so cute.

Aurea:

And I was like, "Wait, that could actually be a really neat idea." I didn't know any vendors who were actively doing that at the time. And so, I kind of did my homework, had a photo shoot, made a website and was like, boom, it's Valentine's Day, we're launching, and I dropped off about 10 mini bouquets to a bunch of friends in the city. I had friends that like worked at Instagram and Facebook and [inaudible 00:09:44], just like all over Manhattan and was just like, "Hey, I just launched this thing. Happy Valentine's Day," and everyone started posting them on their Instagram channels.

Aurea:

And lo and behold one, friend handed it to the right person who had the right audience. And the very next day, Bergdorf Goodman emailed me saying they wanted me to pop up at their store. So it happened that quickly. And we were lucky to kind of take off on Instagram and really, just having a network of friends through 10 years of working my butt off to make these connections, everybody just remembered us. And we just had a very interesting point of view and aesthetic, and people wanted to work with someone new and exciting.

Aurea:

So we got lucky and just our reputation, and because I'm a producer, I also know what I expect of vendors. So I feel like I had that leg up in how to behave on site and to really answer the demands or the requests of the clients in a way that felt like they were being heard and seen.

Aurea:

So yeah, that was just the approach and it took off and we were able to build a really cool portfolio of work that we're proud of. And those photos and images that you see on our Instagram or our website open the door for new clients who find us just by way of Instagram or word of mouth. So it's been really amazing.

Jacki Strum:

Wow. That's like the dream when people say, "Oh, we just need to go viral," or whatever. And you're like, "What does that even mean?" But you essentially figured out a way to really capture that attention, which is so genius. And I'd love to hear about how, I feel like Flower Bodega has such a specific vibe and voice and vision, and how did you, I mean, your studio is at like IRL, so how did you come up with that, like the color palette and all that kind of stuff?

Aurea:

Just over the years, I've worked with so many amazing and cool creatives, from like video directors and art directors, that I picked up a lot of stuff. And also, working on the marketing side for these really cool brands, I learned a lot about what clicks. And when you have a cohesive brand message, not just in your logo, but in your photography, in your tone of voice and the caption, I think it creates this kind of unified vision and idea of who you are as a brand.

Aurea:

I'm also really inspired by fine art, by fashion, by [inaudible 00:12:21] and cinema, and you'll see a lot of those references in even the way we approach our designs. I also, for example, my studio, I've told a few of these stories on my social channels, but we have these beautiful like pearl, neutral-colored Venetian plastered walls in the studio. You've actually been there, so you've seen them in person, but-

Jacki Strum:

Yeah. They're beautiful.

Aurea:

Thank you.

Jacki Strum:

And you guys did it yourself, which is like way more impressive.

Aurea:

Yeah. We did all the renovations and the design ourselves. And it was very DIY, a huge labor of love, and we're so proud of it, but that wall was really inspired by one of my favorite florals that I love to use. It's a [inaudible 00:13:03] orchid, which comes in amazing colors, and that was kind of the cornerstone of a lot of the color choices that we made. We wanted everything to still feel organic. So nothing in our color palette is too out there. I am very inspired by like deep jewel tones, but then like earthy tones as well. So texture plays a big deal in what we do. So it all kind of ties in.

Aurea:

Furniture design is also really inspiring to me and I take an architectural approach to my arrangements, especially lately. So we just try to continue to push floral design and try to set ourselves apart from our peer set who are also really amazing florists, but it's important to have our own voice. And I try to do that through storytelling. Flower Bodega, above everything else, is a destination for kind of just bringing you into our world through the musical choices on our site. We have like playlist inspired by different moods. All of our florals are inspired by moods as well. So it's just a combination of things. I think of collaging when I'm designing.

Jacki Strum:

It's interesting that you actually don't bring up any other florists or any other floral designer. You get all of your inspiration from all other forms of art, it seems like, which might be one of the things that makes your designs so unique because they kind of look outside of your specific field.

Aurea:

Exactly. And I mean, there are things that are trending and you have to be aware of them. For example, pompous grass was having a major moment the past few years, dried florals now more than ever with quarantine happening and fresh flowers was very limited during the shelter-in-place orders. So I saw a huge surge in dried florals. We're actually one of the few shops who didn't take on the whole shipping dried floral arrangements. I think it was really important for me to not completely switch up my business model to answer the call for something that was a bit too trendy, in my opinion.

Jacki Strum:

Yeah, you didn't want to like bandwagon kind of thing. You want to have like your own vision and voice.

Aurea:

Yeah. I'm keeping up with floral trends and try to incorporate them in a way that makes sense for my design point of view. So you won't really see me trying to just kind of emulate what somebody else has done. I'll always try to put my own spin on it, which gets tricky, especially when clients have very specific ideas. It's more of a collaboration at this point when they come to us for our floral designs because we do have a very particular point of view on how we approach florals. Even if we're working within guardrails of a specific type of flower request or a color palette or a central vibe, I'll still try to make it feel like Flower Bodega did it.

Jacki Strum:

And there was something I noticed in your Instagram that I guess you must feel very strongly about it, but you don't use any styrofoam, which I didn't even know that was a thing. So is that something that you consistently do not do?

Aurea:

The floral foam is actually so bad for the environment. I know there's an argument that it's biodegradable, but it's not reusable. And so in the beginning, during like my floral learnings, I learned how to use floral foam. I never used it for my actual arrangements, but once we got into the world of larger installations, it felt like it was an inevitable tool, especially when creating meadow type installations and sculptured things. So it stemmed from a lot of insecurity and not really understanding or having the resources or the time. It can be quite time-consuming if you're not working with foam.

Aurea:

Over the past year and a half, there's just been such a loud movement against it. And I did a lot of my homework on it and realized we have to not just be trendy about this, but we have to care a little bit more about, you know, the floral industry in itself is very wasteful, so what can we do to be a little more sustainable? I've seen florists use like boxes and boxes of the foam and that's single use plastic at the end of the day. I mean, it all goes right into the trash.

Aurea:

So we work with mechanics like floral frogs, chicken wire. We use floral tape, which we keep in place for vessels that we take back and reuse. And I know you've seen, we did this sculpture in LA. We've done it a few times. We did like this floral uterus sculpture. And then we actually made like a floral vulva for a brand in California.

Jacki Strum:

Oh yes. I did see that. Very cool.

Aurea:

That one was made completely out of chicken wire. And then for water sources, you just get creative in how you hide them. And there's so many more resources becoming available from other florists in the industry and floral instructors. So I'm so grateful that that's happening and it's educating everybody on just how to be smarter and more efficient with your resources, while having a better carbon footprint, I guess.

Jacki Strum:

That's really cool. And certainly in line with all the most modern kind of sustainable brands today, to try and think of how they can make the smallest footprint. So I think that makes a lot of sense. I did want to ask you, I can't believe I don't know this because we actually know each other pretty well, how did you Azad meet?

Aurea:

So I met my husband, well, I was talking to him about this yesterday, I'm like, "Do you know I've known you for 12 years now?" Yeah, he and I, we were actually friends for many, many years. We met through a mutual friend and he was actually living in California at the time and he was visiting New York. And I just thought he was really funny and kind of annoying. And so I would actually set him up on dates with my girlfriends when he was in New York, I'm like, "Oh, she's fun. She'll hang out with you." And I'd introduce him to friends at parties and stuff and kind of be his wingman.

Aurea:

That was in 2008 and he moved to New York officially in 2011. And I actually started to help him apartment hunt. And he knew I had a good eye for design, so I was helping him kind of set up his bachelor pad. And we started hanging out a lot more, realized we had a lot in common and wanted a lot of the same things in the future. And before we knew it, we were totally in love.

Jacki Strum:

Wow. And it's so nice to be friends first.

Aurea:

Yeah, definitely.

Jacki Strum:

Because then you really know each other.

Aurea:

Yeah.

Jacki Strum:

It's so funny. I did the same thing with my husband. I like tried to set him up with my friends for a while and then I was like, "Why haven't I thought of it? Maybe I should try dating him," after years of being friends. But that's really the best because then, I mean, you know that you like him once you make it official because you've already been friends for years.

Aurea:

Yeah.

Jacki Strum:

And how long did you guys date before you got married?

Aurea:

So we dated 2012 to, we got married in 2017, so we were dating for about five years before we got married.

Jacki Strum:

Oh, okay. I feel like you guys just got married. I guess not.

Aurea:

No, we got married three years ago now. We celebrated our three year anniversary this year.

Jacki Strum:

Wow. Congratulations.

Aurea:

Thanks. Time flies.

Jacki Strum:

Yes, very much so. And so what was it like planning your wedding after you've done like millions of events and you've seen everything under the sun? Was it a walk in the park or not really because of all your family being involved and everything?

Aurea:

Well, it wasn't a walk in the park, not because family was involved. Actually, I was the captain of my own ship on this wedding.

Jacki Strum:

I'm sure.

Aurea:

We were also the funders of our wedding. So it's totally different when you're working with a big brand budget versus your own sad budget for your wedding.

Jacki Strum:

Right. Yeah.

Aurea:

So definitely we took a DIY approach, but I guess because of my background, I was able to cut corners and cheat things in a way that still felt really elevated. I pulled some homie favors. So we were able to kind of realize our vision within our budget and still kind of also have the honeymoon of our dreams. But for the actual wedding planning, I built, I think it was something like a 75 page Keynote deck with all of these mood boards and color stories. And everything about the experiences I create, either through like my own personal parties or Flower Bodega stuff, it's all based on a mood and it's inspired by music.

Aurea:

So the north star for our wedding, believe it or not, was this song I Only Have Eyes For You by The flamingos. And it's such a haunting kind of like... I don't know, it's just like a consuming song. And I was like, "This is what I want the wedding to feel like." And I was like, "I see jewel tones. I see haze."

Jacki Strum:

Yeah. It's actually even in a scary movie that song. I know it's like a romantic song, but I think it's... I'll have to look up which one it is, but when I hear it, I sometimes think of this movie. I'll send it to you later.

Aurea:

Send it to me.

Jacki Strum:

Yeah. Because it does, like you said, like haunting, but also kind of sweet and very vintage. Yeah.

Aurea:

Yeah, very vintage. I wanted it to feel like old New York. So I wanted a venue that had exposed brick, felt very industrial. I knew I wanted a raw space because, being an event producer, I loved bringing in my own furniture and really designing it.

Aurea:

So we did all of that. We rented from really cool places like Patina and like brought in our own stuff that we had made. Like Azad made these navy velvet benches with like hairpin legs for people to sit on. We had these beautiful [inaudible 00:22:58] pillows. I was also just taking things from previous events that were just going to get thrown out. Again, the event industry is so wasteful. So we had a storage unit just filled with like bits and bobs from previous events and kind of pulled it together that way.

Aurea:

It was just really neat. It was such a cool vibe. And I shared this deck out to everybody and I made a mood board on our wedding site to give guests an idea of the vibe they would [crosstalk 00:23:24].

Jacki Strum:

Oh, that's cool. So they knew how to dress maybe even?

Aurea:

Exactly. So they'd know how to dress, what colors. I included a little playlist. I do these things even for like my birthday parties that have themes. I'm like, "Just so you guys know, this is the vibe."

Jacki Strum:

Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And I'm sure the photos were amazing then. Like I never thought about if all the guests kind of had an idea, how that would translate into photos.

Aurea:

Yes. So with our photographer, we were grateful enough to get a wedding photography and videography package through our mutual friend, George. So we were going to originally work with their photographers and videography team from their wedding, but right around the time of our wedding, maybe a month before was when there was that travel ban in place. And it turned out like some of their team members couldn't get visas from Turkey. And then, I think there was something where they had to cancel the videography services.

Aurea:

And so I was just like, "Okay, we just kind of need to step back and get scrappy on this." And because of my time working on video teams in the past, I tapped into some of my friends who like shoot music videos and commercials and was like, "Hey, would you guys be interested in shooting my wedding? And I want it in like eight millimeter film and [crosstalk 00:24:45]." And they were able to just jump in. They were also wedding guests, so it's like the perspective in our wedding video is pretty funny because it's like through the lens of good friends.

Aurea:

And the photographer was like a friend from work who kind of heard me on the phone freaking out and was like, "Hey, my friend shoots for The New York Times. I'm sure he'll help us out." And so between him and his friend, they shot our wedding. And it was also I think the environment. Like I made it a point to make sure that my bridal suite was someplace with good light and like fit the tone. So I rented a suite at the Beekman Hotel downtown. It was also right near the Brooklyn Bridge. We got married in Dumbo and like the locations we chose for our photos. It had rained that morning, so it was kind of a little overcast, which just added to this moody vibe that we had going on that day, very New York.

Jacki Strum:

Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that's perfect. You really lucked out. That's great.

Aurea:

Yeah.

Jacki Strum:

And so I guess, do you have any tips for other people planning their weddings with floral? I remember for me, it was so overwhelming, and anything I tried to give with direction, I was just kind of making up. So I guess like where do people start, would you say, if you can give them any kind of advice?

Aurea:

I think always start with the mood.

Jacki Strum:

Oh yeah, that's true.

Aurea:

Like for me, that's where everything starts. What is the vibe you're trying to set? Are you going for something a little more kind of deeply romantic and moody, like what I went for, or are you going for something very cheery, happy, rustic? Think about those things. Think about what the music is, think about what the songs you want are and how do you make it personal to your guys' story, and then take it from there.

Aurea:

So even when I work with wedding clients, it's really important to understand a little bit more about them, even if they're just like, "We want it to feel very tropical," okay, but why? Is it to follow a trend? I think if you can always find a way to incorporate something personal, it'll always make your wedding feel that much more special and it won't always look like the next wedding that you see online.

Aurea:

We had a wedding client, a gay couple, Dave and Marco, Marco is Mexican from LA. So we found a way to incorporate Mexican pieces into their general kind of like Brooklyn vibey wedding celebration. So they had an amazing graphic illustration friend who created these lottaria cards that ended up becoming the table numbers. And they had a pet parakeet that had passed away. His name was Bentley. He was blue, white and black. So I got a bird cage and did this floral installation in blue and white flowers for Bentley as a tribute.

Jacki Strum:

Oh, that's so cool. Like he was there with them kind of.

Aurea:

Yeah. And it's finding those personal touches and then thinking just what does that look and feel like to you, and what colors that you want to work with. That's usually the direction I'll go.

Aurea:

And then also when, you're thinking about your venue, there's only so much you can do if you're getting married at like a traditional hall or at a golf course, it's really hard to try to transform it if you don't have a major budget. So pick the moments that you want. If the photos are important, try to find moments within your venue that are going to feel really special in photography, and then really blow those out.

Aurea:

I'd also recommend not going overboard on your tablescapes. I think bud vases with like tea light candles really bring those colors in a really creative way and you can add height and dimension and it can still feel really incredible and beautiful, but then like the light bouncing off of the vases just makes everything feel alive and magical.

Aurea:

I think choosing your big flower moments are also kind of a good [crosstalk 00:28:50]

Jacki Strum:

So it doesn't have to be like every single thing, you blow it out.

Aurea:

Right.

Jacki Strum:

Because then your budget is just crushed. Yeah.

Aurea:

Your budget is crushed and the flowers don't last. What we did at our wedding, at the end of the night, we broke down all the arrangements into mini bouquets, which was again like the inception of the Flower Bodega mini bouquet, and we had a roll of craft paper and a PA onsite who basically deconstructed everything and wrapped them into smaller bouquets for people to take as like a takeaway.

Jacki Strum:

That's a great idea.

Aurea:

Yeah. So I always find that it's important to recycle. It's so, so sad when you just have to throw things away at the end of the night.

Jacki Strum:

Yeah, especially flowers because they're just alive and beautiful like looking at you.

Aurea:

Yeah.

Jacki Strum:

Wow. That's such a good idea. Well, so I guess right now, I know you've been doing some workshops. Do you want to tell us about anything you have coming up?

Aurea:

So we actually hosted workshops in our space and we've also gone in to other places, like hotels and stores, to host these creative workshops with flower arranging, from either like vessel arrangements or bouquets. We were hosting them at our studio and had a full schedule announced and then, of course, coronavirus hit. So we were the first to pivot to this workshop kit where we essentially delivered flowers, flower tools, the vase, everything, and a Zoom link to join me online live. And we've been doing those workshops once a month since March, and those have really kicked off.

Aurea:

So we're actually going to be announcing some July workshops. We took the month of June off just in solidarity of everything that's been going on. And so it didn't feel too appropriate to host anything in June, but we're going to be relaunching some workshops in July, working with tropical flowers, which is really exciting and a bit different from what we were doing in the spring. And then I'm also going to be announcing a youth program that we're launching for inner city girls of color-

Jacki Strum:

Oh. Very cool.

Aurea:

[crosstalk 00:30:51] it's going to be like floral design, photography, speaking with different mentors. I'm really, really excited about it. That's going to be kicking off in August, but we're going to be accepting applications mid-July. So more on that.

Jacki Strum:

Wow. Well, I didn't know about that. If there's anything we can do to help you out, let me know. That's so cool.

Aurea:

Well, that would amazing. Yeah, absolutely. So I'm excited about that. I've been like really working out the structure of it and just doing all my homework in terms of how to work with kids and then also in this nonprofit part of the business. So just doing my homework, and we're going to be announcing some cool stuff and getting our lineup of talent on the docket.

Aurea:

And then once we enter a phase where people can meet in spaces again, we'll be hosting this for real quarterly. And for students to join, they'll have to apply and submit a portfolio, just creative work. It's really to foster creativity. I went to a pretty amazing high school I mentioned earlier, and I just think it's so important, especially for teens in the city, to know that there are things they can do in the creative space that aren't just limited to painting or photography. And there are ways that you can incorporate all types of mediums through florals. So I'm so excited about it.

Jacki Strum:

That is so cool, Aurea. Well, congratulations. I'm looking forward to seeing it come to life.

Aurea:

Yes.

Jacki Strum:

I always know you're going to have something very interesting on the horizon. So keep us updated and thank you so much for joining me today. This was really fun.

Aurea:

Thank you so much for having me. Yeah. I love it.

Jacki Strum:

Well, good luck with everything cheers.

Jacki Strum:

Now's the time in Can I Buy You a Drink where I like to share my favorite drink acts for your bar cart adventures at home. Here are my top three surprising ways to chill wine this summer. So the first one is, of course, chilling wine in a hurry is easiest in an ice bucket with a little water, but what you may not know is that a big handful of salt actually lowers the freezing temperature of the water, which then makes your bottle chill down much more quickly.

Jacki Strum:

The next one, which I always love to do is using paper towels. So I like to take paper towel, douse it in water until it's wet, but not falling apart, and then I wrap that paper towel around the bottle and place it in the freezer. The additional wet surface area will chill the bottle down far faster than putting it in dry. And 15 minutes later, you'll have a perfectly chilled bottle to pop open.

Jacki Strum:

And the last one is one from my friend Tyler [inaudible 00:33:21] of Rose Mansion who taught me to use frozen fruit. Ice is fine for most drinks, but with wine, it waters it down a little bit and it might not taste just as good. So we prefer to take frozen fruit, either berries or grapes, and drop them in. Not only does it make for a lovely garnish, especially in rose with like raspberries or blueberries, but it will chill your wine quickly and make for a refreshing snack at the end. That's it. Have a great summer and happy drinking.

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