To refer to Maurice Harris as just a florist would be a disservice to him. The owner and operator of the LA-based Bloom & Plume is an artist first and foremost, specializing in magical, larger-than-life floral sculptures for high-end events and big-name clients. At once delicate and powerful, meticulous yet organic, his work, much like himself, is an exercise in contradictions. At its core, Maurice’s work is all about embracing his own identity and sharing it with the world.
I’m looking for chaos and balance, simplicity and too-much, all at the same time. The more I embrace who I am, the freer I feel and the more I am true to my practice.Maurice Harris
Maurice’s journey to becoming the sought-after artist he is today began early in life. From first watching his grandmother work as a florist, his creativity has since flourished. “I’ve been decorating my family’s house since I was seven. I’ve always been drawn to creativity. It’s a means of survival.” His work is an embodiment of the masculine and feminine coexisting in a single form—an expression of his identity.
Since his humble beginnings, Maurice’s career has blossomed and shows no signs of stopping. He recently opened a coffee shop adjacent to his flower shop. Unlike more traditional coffee houses, Bloom & Plume Coffee is curated with Maurice’s unique floral style that is undeniably his own. When designing the location, Maurice imagined the sort of place he’d visit. “I’ve always wanted a place I can walk to and hang out at,” he says of the café, where the motto is “Thirst come, Thirst served.”
“My love of beautiful things comes from not always belonging or being kind of a weirdo. And my way of figuring out how to express that was through creativity.”
- Maurice Harris
But Maurice’s art isn’t just about self-expression. When asked about what he wants his art to achieve, Maurice is driven by his desire to move people. “When people engage with my work, I want them to feel loved. To feel like there is a space for them.”
People are literally and figuratively at the center of his work, whether they are the subject of the piece or the inspiration. “I’m really drawn to people’s idiosyncratic details. People’s personalities. I really like to watch how people move throughout a space, how they take up space and how they style themselves. I think that we’re such interesting creatures.”
From starting out as the family decorator to arranging the window displays of retail stores to creating for celebrity clientele, much of his success is due in part to his skillful artistry—but also marketing. With over 140,000 followers on Instagram, Maurice has been able to masterfully brand himself with beautiful images of floral arrangements, often portraying Black bodies in a context that traditional forms of media have not.
“I want to inspire other young Black people to live their best lives and be their best, fullest selves.” It’s a celebration of beauty and Blackness itself.
Where Maurice’s journey will take him next is anyone’s guess. But to understand what’s gotten him this far and keeps him going, look no further than what inspires him. “Everything kind of can be inspiration. Keeping your eyes open and just seeing what there is to see, you know?”