Sibyl Sophia Floral Design is a Los Angeles floral studio owned and operated by Sophie Ballmer.
"I am inspired by the personal connections I build with my clients and my designs are driven by the moments these flowers will create for them."
As a child, I spent my summers in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. There, nestled in the heart of the valley, my Grandparents ran a large inn and restaurant. My summers were filled with fields of wildflowers, raspberry jam simmering on the stove, feeding apples to the donkey, and gardening with my grandparents. My grandmother grew rows of flowers, for drying and arranging, and had over 100 varieties of day lilies. Right before dinner, she would send me into the garden to pick the prettiest ones.
At the same time, I was always creating and crafting, encouraged by my parents, both children's theatre directors, I loved taking different materials and seeing what I could build. I loved art and crafting, but, to be honest, my work wasn’t that good. I remember wondering why everyone else’s art looked so different from, and better than, mine. But while everyone else grew out of arts and crafts, I didn’t. I kept at it, and while my work still didn’t look like everyone else's, it became something that was truly me and others appreciated.
Four years ago, I found myself following the man I loved to Los Angeles. After a series of creative and odd jobs, I landed the position of Hospitality Coordinator at a downtown tech startup. The job gave me the chance to combine my creativity with experience I had gained starting and running a Bed and Breakfast with my mother in Iowa (which is another story!). One day, I offered to pick up flowers and arrange them into a bouquet for my manager’s sister, who had surprised everyone by declaring that she’d be getting married at the courthouse that day. I had never met the couple, but I knew it was a day they would always remember and I wanted the little details to be there for them. A few days after the courthouse ceremony, the bride emailed me to ask if I would do the flowers for their wedding celebration! I said yes!
Over the next six months, I planned their florals, ordered succulents, took classes, and practiced at home. The day before the wedding I worked so hard, at times wondering if I’d gotten in over my head. I finally finished the arrangements at 3:30 AM. The next morning I packed the car and drove to the venue. When the bride saw her wedding bouquet and started to cry tears of joy. At that moment, I thought . . . “maybe I can do this.”
After a year of going to the flower market before work, arranging at night and doing weddings on the weekend, I left my job to take my floral business full time. With the encouragement of my partner, I bought a floral fridge, turned our garage into a studio, and started Sibyl Sophia Floral Design. I arrange with intention and I try to find the perfect spot for every bloom. I draw influence from every part of my life, from the freedom of my Grandmother’s garden, the whimsy of crafting and children’s theatre, and the grace and hospitality of the bed and breakfast. I am inspired by the personal connections I build with my clients and my designs are driven by the moments these flowers will create for them.