Mayesh Design Star Featured Designer: Daylen Rivera
Before we jump right in and introduce our next Mayesh Design Star, we just wanted to touch on our previous designer! You may have noticed that Akiko's second video has not yet aired, and that is just due to some scheduling conflicts with her videographer. It is still on the way and will go live as soon as we have it in hand. So lucky you - double the Design Star content this month!
So let's get into it, shall we?
Without further ado, we give you...
We couldn't be more excited to introduce Daylen Rivera, who will be bringing you a fresh new perspective that we've never covered in our previous Design Star videos! While Daylen is a brilliant & talented designer with his own unique style, he has built his career as a Freelance designer, most recently joining the Sweet Root Village team. Freelancing is arguably one of the most important roles in our industry, and we're thrilled to talk more about it over the next two months.
We would also be remiss if we didn't mention that Daylen was just featured in Florist Review's 35 Under 35, and for good reason! He's in good company with some amazing designers, including a few other Mayesh Design Stars... we know how to pick 'em!
We'll get more into the freelancing of it all with his first video, but to kick things off let's learn a bit more about Daylen!
Daylen loves french press coffee, brunch culture, and art that stops people and becomes a conversation. He is a serial chips-and-salsa-eater, a positivity engager full of witty one-liners, and a pastryoholic. He officially joined the Sweet Root Village team towards the beginning of 2020 to design and dream up fantastic installations! Dancing for over 15 years, he has performed for crowds of over 30,000 people in 30 different states. He grew up in a small Wyoming town nestled in the heart of the Sinks Canyon State Park, his family has a pet llama named Punky, his favorite flower is bougainvillea, and he prefers mint chocolate chip ice cream in any way, shape, or form.
Where it all began:
You don’t pick the flower life, the flower life picks you. So as you can imagine, The journey to get to where I am now is anything but typical. Honestly, I never would have imagined that flowers were going to be a part of my life in the way that they are today.
I grew up on a sheep farm in a small town in Wyoming - population mostly cows. As soon as I turned 18, I moved across the country to pursue a career as a professional dancer. I can truly say that my time as a dancer has fundamentally shaped the way that I design. I approach building and installation the same way I would like creating a ballet - each element on its own is BEAUTIFUL, but the real magic comes when everything moves together. I would definitely consider myself a self-proclaimed flower choreographer.
When I lost my mom in 2017, I stopped dancing, and I felt a part of me go missing. So I started searching for something that really filled me with that spark again. I guess it was an inevitable direction of my life that I would find a career in something that married my love of movement with the deep appreciation for the beauty that the world has to offer. I know she would be proud that I found it.
How it all started:
I can VIVIDLY remember the first time I got to use flowers as a medium. I volunteered to help at the Design Sanctuary floral workshop hosted by Sue Davis. I had planned to just kind of schlep buckets all weekend, because at this time I had ZERO legitimate floral experience.
One of the educators there was a licensed therapist, and I remember having this existential breakthrough moment when she talked about how floral design was so healing - so I opened up to her about my mom, and she asked me to create this installation to channel those feelings - so you know I hiked into the woods and collected all these foraged materials that were really speaking to me. And I created this beautiful freestanding organic structure - (ugh, I can still feel that composition in my bones) - and it just felt right. It was the same feeling I had when I danced. It was in that moment that I knew this was something I had to do for myself.
It’s unbelievable, the adventures that this CRAZY FLOWER LIFE has provided. I have since built my career as a freelance designer. I think what I love most about freelancing is getting to work with such beautiful people who also love flowers. If there is anything this work has taught me, it's that there is something to be learned from everyone.
I’m just at the point in my life where I think I’ve really found my voice. I just want to create art that stops people and becomes a conversation - and honestly, I’m ready for the world to see it.
I’d say that I am a recovering Maximalist. Large-scale installations are my jam! I just really love creating an atmosphere or something experiential that people can interact and be involved in. When people look at my work, I want them to feel it in their bones.
What do you want to be known for?
I've never had aspirations to own a company as a wedding or event florist. The world is saturated with so many talented designers that already do that. Instead, I want to find connection with other mediums and artists (dancers, sculptors, painters) and find ways to push the community by blending them together. To help people understand that flowers as a medium can be so much more than they ever expected.
Stay tuned for Daylen's first design video! We hope you enjoy getting to know this amazing designer over the next couple of months.