After a stressful day, Jara Scileppi loved to pick up a bouquet of flowers on her way home from work in her native New York City. “I lived above a store that had flowers and it was just such a way to de-stress,” recalls the UA journalism graduate and former ballerina. Though she didn’t know it then, the now Tucson-based beauty had tapped into a creative passion that would eventually fuel the innovative floral design company she launched three years ago, Urban Stems.
“When I moved here, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do…but then I was helping friends with flowers for their weddings and a few parties and my friends were asking me, ‘Why are you not doing this?’” Now, with a growing online presence, Scileppi is finding her stride, working with regional wedding planners to add a modern sensibility to formal affairs. Her designs showcase not only lavish florals, but also bold pairings with succulents for a subtle desert nuance.
“I always want to do bigger and bigger weddings,” says the stylish new mom. “I really love working with brides!” To that end, Scileppi provides an artistic vision board with every proposal, offering up her inspiration for the event whether it’s from a piece of fabric, a fashionable image or an inventive design. “I like to offer a full vision of everything you are going to get and a sense of what the actual event might look like,” she says.
It’s a nod to her journalistic roots that she is constantly researching new floral trends and flower types. And though she’s a sucker for the lush, feminine peony, she always has the perfect backup flower at the ready. “I just want to do the best work I can.”