Maker Story: Interview with Viscera by Ricci Cande

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MEET THE MAKER

I had the pleasure of answering some questions for Viscera, a design house in Downtown Oakland that carries our plants and wreaths - we also make exclusive products for their Downtown Oakland location like sachets, palo santo bundles, and bouquets.

Tell us a little about yourself, what's your story?

I went to art school and studied for my BFA in photography, specializing in portraiture and conceptual photography. I am an artist, and am forever finding ways to execute the feelings, ideas, and the noise from within outward. Sometimes I am a photographer, sometimes I am a floral designer, or a business owner or a gardner, or a painter. But always an artist. Flowers were always prominent in my photographic practice, so flowers were somewhat of a natural transition.

What did you do before the small business hustle?

I moved to the Bay Area after college and was so broke. Like, brown rice and black beans, three retail jobs (two of which were $8 and $9 an hour) kind of broke. Through the years I moved through small business retail in management and sales (I feel lucky that I've worked with so many brick-and-mortar business, and I attribute many smart business moves I've made on my own to these experiences). I had a coworker that had started a floral design business that needed help on the weekends, and I happily obliged for the extra cash. I really fell in love with it. I saved whatever extra money I had to take classes to learn the basic elements of design, buying the cheapest flowers possible for the classes, taking flower buckets and supplies back and forth on the bus after work, to and from class. It was a real hustle that I look back on and feel so grateful for. 

Afterward, I wanted to fully immerse myself into flowers, so I worked as the manager for the flower shop at the Fairmont Hotel, doing high-end floral design for Fairmont weddings, as well as managing the shop full time. 

How did you start Rust & Flourish? Where did the idea come from?

After working for so many people and executing their work, I wanted to have creative freedom in my work, and starting my business was the way for me to achieve that. I believed in my product and in myself as an artist, and as a people person. So I had $600 to my name and ran with it. The first two years were fucking brutal, but I pushed and had tremendous mental and emotional support from my partner and peers to keep me going. I am entering my third year and feeling the best yet. I came up with the name in 2015; "Rust & Flourish" is inspired from the Warsan Shire poem "Residue". 

Are you from the Bay Area? What about the places you've lived inspire you?

I am not, but I do love to call Oakland home. I don't think it's the places I've lived but the people I encounter that inspire me. I'm inspired by the hardworking people in the south, and every New Yorker that matches my warm directness. 

What's your favorite product/design/item?

Anything I get to make with fresh soil, and my smudge sticks. 

Read the full article here <3

An Ode to Begonias by Jess Valentine

Thanks to these plants, you never have to suffer from a dull living space ever again. Say hello to the famous un-killable plant. These diverse plants vary in size, shape, color, and texture. With upward of 900 different species, this plant has much to offer - especially for those of us who have trouble keeping things alive. They tolerate shade well, so therefore are perfect for indoors or patio spaces. In exchange for a little bit of water here and there, the beautiful colorful patterns are sure to liven up any space.

Just living is not enough, one needs sunshine, freedom, and pretty flowers.

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We had an event that called for a tropical-like touch. I wanted to use the colorful leaves of the begonias to accent the already tropical centerpieces, so we added these sweet little 2-in begonias to the tables as an accent - but as you can see, with how colorful the leaves are, even the smallest plant really makes an impact!

If you have to re-pot the plants, do it with the gentlest touch. Make sure to keep the soil intact, you want to be careful not to rip the roots out. Place fresh soil in the new pot, be wary of the fact that if you fill it up too far the watering process will be difficult. Hold a thumb gently on the plant so that it stays centered as you fill in the edges. Delicately push down on the soil to compress it, and voila - your new potted begonia.

Be wary of overwatering however, you will literally drown these beauties in your affection. Make sure to keep them in lightly damp soil that has good drainage. Some species of Begonias go dormant in certain seasons, simply keep them cool and dry and they’ll be ready to roll when the right time comes around.

Welcome these beauties into your life. These are perfect for beginners, being easy to manage, as well as easy to revive. The pops of gentle color is enough to bring a little personality into any room. Happy planting <3.

The Thoughtful Gift Guide by Jess Valentine

Embrace intimacy and don’t be afraid to share some love. Instead of the usual chocolates and teddy bears, Rust and Flourish is offering to spice up your gift game on a more thoughtful level. On top of pre-made floral arrangements, we have put together a host of other options! Whether it’s for a significant other or a friend, these gifts will show how much you care for those you love.

It isn’t about how much we give, but about how much love we put into the giving.

These smudge sticks embody the “Good Vibes Only” trend. Herbs, sage, and florals combine to create a tool for one to make a safe space around them.

Words are one of our greatest assets. Write a little note of appreciation, a message of intimacy, an inside joke, or simply an “I love you” in one of our original note cards.

Words are one of our greatest assets. Write a little note of appreciation, a message of intimacy, an inside joke, or simply an “I love you” in one of our original note cards.


Ignite the senses with these floral sachets. Filled with lavender, clove, and star anise, this romantic blend of smells is the manifestation of warmth and adoration. Coupled with Palo Santo incense sticks, this bundle will be sure to bring in ta happy mood.

Ignite the senses with these floral sachets. Filled with lavender, clove, and star anise, this romantic blend of smells is the manifestation of warmth and adoration. Coupled with Palo Santo incense sticks, this bundle will be sure to bring in ta happy mood.

Liven up someone’s life with one of our potted plants. In hand made bowls these plants are a long term reminder of your appreciation.

Liven up someone’s life with one of our potted plants. In hand made bowls these plants are a long term reminder of your appreciation.

Bring clarity into someone’s life with these propagation viles. They serve as a reminder to centre, and be gentle with oneself.

Bring clarity into someone’s life with these propagation viles. They serve as a reminder to centre, and be gentle with oneself.

Email us to order any of these, they are also available at https://www.bay-made.com/ and https://shopviscera.com/ .

Every gift from a friend is a wish for happiness.

Where to find us for Valentine's Day 2019! by Ricci Cande

Can you believe that it’s already February?! Every Valentine’s Day, I’m trying to find new and innovative ways to use flowers that don’t scream (alliteration aside) “baby’s breath bodega bouquet”. As you know, I absolutely love supporting my local Oakland community (and fellow female business owners!), so here are some places you can find us over the next few weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day! We’ve got lots of options for budgets across the board.


Bouquet Workshop at Viscera - $100

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Join us at Viscera for a Valentine's Day bouquet workshop! In this workshop, we’ll make handheld bouquets using more contemporary big blooms and colors of reds, white, pinks, with lots of textural accents. All materials will be provided for you to make your arrangement and take them home, as well as snacks and drinks :) And 10% off workshop attendees!

Click here to reserve a spot, seats are limited!


Centerpiece Arranging Workshop - $125+

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We had so much fun in our winter tablescape workshop, we hope you can join us for this festive Valentine's Day centerpiece design one as well! In this workshop, we will be creating a lovely tall arrangement, perfect for a table, or as a gift for someone you adore. If you haven't made tall arrangements, this is great opportunity to challenge yourself! We'll be working with beautiful flowering branch material, tall stems like roses and mums, and more! Plus gift bags, cocktails, and pretty bites to go with our holiday theme. Check out our blog post to see photos from our previous workshop!

Included in our Valentine’s Day workshop: two full hours of centerpiece design, all materials provided for your centerpieces, and beautiful take away bags. Small bites and drinks (alcoholic and non) will be provided as well.

Check out Eventbrite to purchase tickets here! We have some early bird tickets left for early attendees <3


Plant + Flower Pop-up at Bay-Made

Come stop by Bay-Made on February 13th to grab some gifts for Valentine’s Day! We’ll have pre-made arrangements, lots of plants and plant accessories, spring smudge, and more! 1-7pm at Bay-Made on Lakeshore in Oakland!

Don’t have time to stop by? You can always pre-order arrangements as well, we’ll be doing local deliveries + pick-ups the 12th-14th of Valentine’s Day! Email hello@rustandflourish.com to schedule a delivery :)

Winter Tablescape Design Workshop Recap by Ricci Cande

Happy New Year! We ended 2018 with such creative energy - this workshop brought together a lot of my favorite local industry people that let me run with all my moody hues and dark palette desires. I’ve always been drawn to darker palettes and the sensuality in deeper crimsons, mauves, blacks, reds, you name it - I think these tones carry a weight that the lighter tones can’t touch. So for our winter design class, I wanted to do something that wasn’t so light and fluffy (or christmas-y), and I always love to challenge myself as an artist, and others as well. So for this year, we did a gorgeous mix of black crushed velvet (why not black?!), with silvers and forest greens to bring in the christmas vibe, without being too shockingly “ho ho ho”.

We had so much fun in our winter design workshop, with a full day of florals and tablescape design! The first part of our workshop, we went through the basic elements of a floral centerpiece, starting with mechanics and structure. We used ceramic footed white bowls (great neutrals that can be re-used for any table palette) for an 8ft table. Instead of foam, which is admittedly an easier base structure, we used chicken wire. Again, I wanted others who maybe hadn’t used it to challenge themselves, and approach the design in a different way - I feel chicken wire celebrates the flowers and their natural shape more than foam.

We had our workshop in Viscera, a design house and boutique located in Downtown Oakland (we also happen to sell some of our products there, so definitely stop by and check them out!) - Ari the shop owner has hand painted a mural in gorgeous purple hues over a black (swoon) wall, so I chose our floral palette to compliment the mural. The mauve, lilac, and purple tones went so well against our wintery moods of forest green, silver, black, and gray. Very sensual (maybe a theme?), very romantic, classic, and modern.

In our second half of the class, we created a full tablescape design, using linens and runners from Party Crush Studio. We had a crushed white linen that was a little stark against our table decor, and Courtney (our photographer) also pointed out wasn’t photographing as well. It was a great exercise in how to read all of the elements in the room when pulling together your tablescape. We chose a silvery gray and forest green cotton runner, paired with the different table decor elements of plates, tumblrs, tapered candles, (black, so sexy!) and gorgeous acrylic name cards and stationary from The Bright Line Studio. We talked about how to pull things together to create a cohesive look using all of these different elements, based on texture, color, and basic elemental design - the end result was sleek, and had a festive holiday vibe without being overpowering.

Here are some photos of our workshop, including some student work, detailed design, and the gifts and goodies from our favorites like Herbs + Oils Bath and Salt Point! Courtney Y of Photoflood Studio came in to photograph our workshop, and she did such an amazing job! Thank you to all of our partners and friendors that were involved, we always love working with you <3

We hope everyone had a Happy Near Year! Feel like you missed out? We have another workshop coming up for Valentine’s Day, you can check it out here! See you there <3