LOS ANGELES—Maurice Harris is known for his vibrant floral designs—and even more vibrant personality. Both were on display at a recent event with Ketel One Botanical, which celebrated the Bloom & Plume founder’s new collaboration with the vodka brand.
The event, which took place May 19 at a private residence in West Hollywood, was tied to the new "Spritz Into Summer" collection, a curated, limited-edition online shop on TheBar.com comprising Harris’ favorite entertaining items. The new line, which launched on May 16, features dried bouquets and custom decorative towels designed by Harris, along with items like colorful glassware and cocktail accessories.
Ketel One Botanical is distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences, with three signature varietals: cucumber and mint, grapefruit and rose, and peach and orange blossom. So teaming up with Harris, whom Ketel One brand director Olivia Kupfer calls “a visionary in his field,” felt like the right fit.
“Ketel One Botanical approached me with an interest in collaborating in a way that brought to life the joyful nature of their products through my art form: floral design,” Harris told BizBash. “I’m excited to be able to give these spirits a personality and translate that into a sensorial experience. At my floral studio—and with everything I do—I aim to inspire joy, creativity, and individuality. Finding that same passion in a like-minded partner is what makes collaborations like this all the more fun and fruitful.”
The launch event itself was also inspired by the three signature flavors.
“We wanted to bring to life an immersive, live environment for guests to interact with," Kupfer said. "Not only were we able to do this—with Maurice’s help—but I think we captured the sensorial, light-tasting, and vibrant world of Ketel One Botanical live. The beauty of Ketel One Botanical is the three award-winning varietals and the real ingredients they are made of, so any opportunity to visualize each varietal—and what sipping a spritz feels like—through our ingredients is always exciting.”
Creative elements included a bouquet-building station, where Harris and his team walked guests through the process, along with floral-covered photo ops, a dining table setup covered in fresh fruit and florals, and framed artwork depicting the Harris-designed print from the collection. Of course, an abundance of floral displays—all designed by Bloom & Plume—created a lush, summery gathering space for guests to mingle and sip cocktails.
Other than the choice of venue, the event highlighted the “home entertaining” aspect of the product line through a series of signs featuring hosting tips from Harris himself.
“Don’t be afraid to bring edible garnishes into your tablescape as decor to help tell a full story. … Whenever there is something unexpected on your table, your guests are bound to bust out the camera phone and start capturing memories," said one sign. Another read: “Fresh flowers are a must whenever entertaining, and a variety of roses in complementary shades is the perfect way to add style and ease to your soiree.”
BizBash caught up with Harris after the event to get more advice for home entertaining and floral design.
What are your go-to tips for incorporating over-the-top florals and vibrant colors, without going too far?
"It's all about having a bold point of view and staying true to the things you love. When something feels authentic, you can't help but love it. For example, I love roses (especially for a varietal called Grapefruit and Rose) so for this party, we went wild filling the room with roses, and that made for such an opulent, over-the-top, but ultimately effective way to transform the space."
What types of florals and decor do you see trending for at-home entertaining?
"I don't do trends, but I think that as our lives are trying to rush back to what they were pre-COVID, a sense of ease when it comes to entertaining is going to be essential. So having an easy cocktail, an easy floral moment, etc.—things that look like that don't take so much effort (even if secretly, they do)."
What’s the biggest mistake you see with at-home entertaining?
"Trying to do too much! Getting overwhelmed and trying to out-do yourself when the key to a great party is fun personalities, a beautiful ambiance, and one delicious thing. If you get those three things down, the rest will be perfect. Do what you do well, and then move on."