Where Taste Meets Nature
By Alison Cederbaum
Walk into any palace of fine living. A beloved restaurant, bejeweled hotel lobby, friend's penthouse. If the flowers inspire awe, chances are good that you›re gazing at one of Alix Astir›s creations. New York›s duchess of floral design, the CEO of Trellis Fine Florals is building an empire out of exquisite taste: one arrangement at a time. She and her fleet of designers craft impeccable arrangements for the city's elite, including iconic names in hospitality and retail, and dozens of noteworthy socialites.
Among her Park Avenue clients, Alix is right at home. She has a face that you might find on a magazine cover; and beneath, incisive wit and a shrewd business mind. "I understand my clients—their tastes, needs, and expectations—I listen and anticipate, then instruct my team to get it right," she says.
In the Trellis studio, Alix has a focused intensity. Her range is astounding—from arrangements that cascade like a southern belle's ringlets to modernist pieces that conjure sound and fury to dense, lush, in-vogue designs. Each Trellis arrangement seems to mirror Alix's multifaceted personality: glamorous, edgy, and simultaneously nostalgic and modern.
"My personal aesthetic is rich, stormy, romantic—it's all about abundance," Alix says. "I'm inspired by French, English and Flemish styles." The formally trained florist was initiated at the Ecole des Fleurs at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, and later at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. Trellis designs are by no means limited by Alix's personal style: every Trellis designer undergoes a thorough initiation to expand her capability and stay far ahead of trends.
From sultry gold-flecked orchids to tightly packed bouquets and nosegays to potted plants of all sizes, Trellis designs blend seamlessly with their environments, the clients' visions, and the allotted budget. As head floral strategist, Alix works alongside notable restaurant and hotel managers, event hosts, and the occasional bride. "We treat every client with respect, dignity and care, no matter the size of the engagement," says Alix.
Subscription services make up the bulk of Trellis› business. A hotel or luxury retailer may call for a custom floral motif; a Manhattanite might request a pink palette one week, and all roses the next; a law firm office manager might need an on-brand, on-budget arrangement for the client reception area. Fresh flowers arrive weekly, and each subscription client is assigned a Trellis account associate to address questions and issues as they arise.
For one-time deliveries, clients call the Trellis office or submit their order online. In addition to flowers and plants, Trellis offers luxury gifts like French macrons, fine candies and chocolate covered strawberries. Trellis is partnering with a boutique baker on Connecticut to create a line of branded floral-themed cookies.
Beautiful flowers and gifts aside, Trellis's unparalleled customer service puts it at the head of the pack. "For us, customer service means having the freshest, more astonishing flowers," Alix says. "And if we miss, then we replace the arrangement: no questions asked." •