Meet Whit Hazen!
Q: How did you get started working with flowers?
A: Before living in LA, I lived in Washington, DC. While there, I tried on a few different careers: barista, gardener for a food justice non-profit, and co-owner of a dog-walking collective—all in an effort to figure out what I wanted to do.
I turned to dog walking after getting burned out from foodservice and non-profit work, but really missed the creative outlet that growing food gave me. Walking the same route with dogs, day after day, made me start to notice flowers and their cycles and I kinda became obsessed. I worked briefly with a florist in DC right before I moved out to LA, and from there, I decided to take a bet on myself and dove into the world of floral design when I landed in Los Angeles in 2015. I freelanced with a lot of talented people to learn and then launched my own business in 2016. I continued to freelance while building up Whit Hazen, and 2020 was my first year of doing my own thing full time.
Q: You told us coffee is your first love, tell us about that!
A: I worked as a barista for five years, and it was my first foray into the work-world after graduating college. I always worked for local small businesses, and doing so really planted the seed for me to start my own business.
I just love coffee! From the ritual of making coffee at home to start my day, to experiencing the unique ways that shops curate their menus and spaces as an expression of coffee shop culture. Visiting different shops is one of my favorite things to do when I travel—and I love being in a big city like LA where there’s an abundance of new shops and cafes to visit.
Q: What inspired the Coffee + Flowers images you created for the postcard set?
A: Coffee and flowers are both special in that they are an expression of time & place through their seasonality. I really love the color palette of the Perennial box and used the bright red, periwinkle blue, turquoise, and white in the design to inform my color choices. I created these images during spring and chose my favorite flowers of the season, such as poppies, sweet peas, and passionflower, to play with color and texture, along with palms to play off the fan-like kaleidoscopic vibe of the box design.
Q: All proceeds from the postcard sales are going to summaeverythang – why did you want to support this LA non-profit?
A: Summaeverythang Community Center was created by local artist Lauren Halsey. Over the course of the pandemic, SCC has distributed over 25,000 free produce boxes to families in South Central & Watts. South Central and Watts are historically iconic and complex communities in Los Angeles. People around the world know of these neighborhoods because of the music, art, style, and culture that has been created and shared, yet residents continue to experience systemic obstacles to basic needs like healthy food. I was a fan of Lauren’s work as an artist and how it’s been rooted in community before, and became even more inspired by this additional dimension of her work.
Food justice means a lot to me and is a cornerstone of building vibrant & thriving communities. I want more people to know about and support Summaeverythang Community Center’s work because it inspires and uplifts people in so many profound & tangible ways.
Q: How do you see Whit Hazen continuing to evolve?
A: As an artist, I see myself creating larger, more immersive installations to push myself to take up more space with my art.
For that to happen, I see Whit Hazen evolving into a design studio with a diverse, wildly talented, and dedicated crew of artists who create beautiful and awe-inspiring designs for people to engage with, share, and enjoy.
I’ve also always wanted growing flowers and food to be a part of my journey and definitely see that being a part of Whit Hazen down the line.
Q: What is your favorite coffee?
A: I feel very nostalgic about Blue Mountain coffee and make anyone who tells me they’re going to Jamaica bring me back some beans. Otherwise, I’m typically drawn to Central American coffees.
Q: What is your favorite flower?
A: I’m pretty basic and love working with all usual suspects like peonies and dahlias, but I made lilac simple syrup this spring when they were in season and it gave me a new appreciation for them.