NEW YORK A Meditative Journey: Southern California native Garin Baura moved to New York in the late 1990s with a graduate degree in Japanese and Chinese art history and ambitions of working in a gallery. “I was making no money,” he says. “And on the side, I really loved flowers.” Baura went on to study floral design with florists Elan Flowers and Ronaldo Maia Ltd., calling it “floral boot camp.” His expertise earned him positions with Roberta Bendavid, the florist for Gramercy Tavern, and event design firm Avi Adler, where he worked for three years. Baura also started doing weddings for friends and developed a roster of clients that allowed him to start his own event design business, Baura New York, in 2006.
Focused Artistry: His aesthetic is influenced by his studies in Japan. “It’s about the editing process—scaling down an idea and having one thing that carries the theme of an event,” he says. For a 2007 holiday event at Long Island City’s Arris Lofts, he used a mixture of leather, antique mercury glass, and numerous candles to transform the lobby of the converted factory into a relaxed, minimalist “wonderland,” according to Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group’s Jennifer Cohen: “He made it an event rather than just sprucing up a lobby. People walked in and were blown away.”
Rachel Gross, senior director, corporate events and community relations for AOL, L.L.C. says Baura is her go-to person for creative event branding: “His style is fresh, elegant, and edgy and he is a complete joy to work with—always willing to go the extra mile to ensure our programs are the best.” For an AOL event at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton in October, Baura juxtaposed moss green linens with green snake gourds, and magenta cockscomb that spilled out of black urns.
A Sweet Deal: In October, Baura partnered with Eleni’s Cookies to create buffet tables for events that combine his designs with the company’s custom sweets. In addition to running this offshoot of his business, Baura would like to continue to design large-scale events. “In the end it’s all about creating environments,” he says, “I want to create a bit of fantasy.”