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Pops of color have been a part of my story since the beginning. Having been raised in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, I was constantly exposed to great color palettes throughout nature: the dense green forests of the Cascade Mountains, all the berry tones from my grandparent’s farm in the Columbia River Gorge, golden Aspen trees in the fall.
I left the Pacific Northwest for Los Angeles to attend USC, where I obtained degrees in Mathematics and Communications, followed by a law degree from Pepperdine. My color story now featured crisp whites and beiges of the sandy beaches along PCH to the magenta bougainvillea of Palm Springs.
I spent the first year making arrangements in my living room and with a cooler in my backyard, but as things began to progress quickly, I relocated to a studio location in San Pedro. I’m proud to say Leta Verbena now has a staff of 4, a fabulous freelance team, and a warehouse of decor for our clients to choose from. We produce nearly 75 weddings per calendar year.
On the rare days and weekends I am not wrapped up in flowers and design work, you can find me at home in Redondo Beach with my husband of 13 years, Andrew, and our two daughters, Ada and Elliana. If I’m not arranging flowers at home for myself (which I still do), I’m usually in our kitchen cooking or have my nose stuck in a book. But every Monday or Tuesday you can find me at the LAX branch of my wholesaler, Mayesh, dancing around the cooler in a playground of color, living my best life.
After so many years in the classroom and a short stint in corporate life, I jumped into the wedding industry in 2014. Planning weddings struck a congruent chord with my best skills– organization, logistics, and leadership–but I always felt like something was missing. Flowers at weddings always caught my eye, and in late 2018, I dove into an intense floral workshop at home in Oregon to see if I was on to something. After 2 days of playing with a berry-toned palette and dried textures (as pictured here), I was hooked to the creativity flowers demanded. Leta Verbena launched in 2019, originally as a combination of wedding planning and floral services, but flowers became the sole focus in 2021. Running a floral design business has allowed me to put all of my strengths and passions into one basket.
Leta Verbena is the name of my great-great-grandmother - Leta Verbena Curl. Her granddaughter, Leta Lee, was my grandmother - she was a dress designer and interior decorator. Growing up, I was more of a nerdy-brainiac who could never draw inside the lines or beautifully to save her life. But Grandma Leta always encouraged my creativity and never gave up on me exploring that side. My business is an homage to her, her fierce and wild spirit.