Valentine's Day: An Interview with NY Florist Christa Akers / by Anthony Michael Contrino

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I sat down with local florist, Christa Akers, to get the scoop on how to wow with flowers.   

Photo by Kevin Quigley

Photo by Kevin Quigley

AMC:  First things first, how did you get into the floral biz? 

CHRISTA:  I guess you can say that floral design kind of found me.  It took being laid off from my 9-5 (job) to discover that I had a talent I never knew existed. While I was laid off I was dog sitting for a friend and would often pass Flower School NY.  Being the curious person that I am, I signed up for their summer intensive. From the moment I walked in I was hooked.  I felt a connection to this type of artistry and knew that I wanted to explore all outlets and opportunities involving floral design."

AMC:  What's your inspiration while building an arrangement?

CHRISTA:  I take a lot of inspiration from the person I am designing for. It's important to incorporate each individual's vision into my own natural design."

AMC:  How long does an arrangement take to make?

CHRISTA:  The length of time definitely depends upon the intricacy of the design.  Another factor is the variety of blooms and foliage used in each design.  Each piece is as unique in building as the next."

AMC:  What's the deal with roses?  How did they become the go-to flower for Valentine's Day?

CHRISTA:  Roses have a long history and are connected to many different emotions and feelings.  I believe that certain roses have become scapegoats for expressing affection during the St. Valentine's Day season and therefore have become hot commodities in the market, rising prices throughout."

AMC:  So if I wanted to give something unique, what are the alternatives?  

CHRISTA:  That's both an easy and personal answer; your loved one's favorite flower.  There's nothing wrong with getting the traditional red rose for your lover on Valentine's Day, if that happens to be their favorite flower.  But if your girlfriend or boyfriend prefers, say, tulips or ranunculus, why would you not get them an arrangement featuring that flower?"

AMC:  If your man were to get you the perfect bouquet for Valentine's, what would it be?

CHRISTA:  Anything but the norm.  Whether it be provided by a floral designer or hand-picked by him, I would love out-of- the- ordinary blooms and lush foliage."

AMC:  When should a V-Day order ideally be placed?

CHRISTA:  To insure good quality and time for sourcing exactly what you're envisioning, a week out is a great time frame for ordering.

Looks like it's time to place that order NOW!

CHRISTA AKERS is a New York based Florist and owner of A Pedal to Peddle, a place of floral design inspiration.  Connect with Christa on Facebook at or on Instagram @apetaltopeddle.  For inquiries, contact

Photo by Kevin Quigley

Photo by Kevin Quigley