Josette Brose-Eichar has lived as many lives as she has talents.
She received her degree in fashion design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1979, and the next thing she knew, she was a San Francisco banker.
“I like to say that I drove off to Los Angeles in my pickup truck one hot summer day in 1979 and woke up 17-years later working for Visa Credit Card in San Francisco,” said Brose-Eichar.
However, her love for the natural world and artistic pursuits won out. After studying the basics of floral design at City College of San Francisco, she opened Lavender Country Garden Florals, a full service floral shop in San Francisco.
“Weddings were the most wonderful and magical elements of the business.”
In 2002, she and her husband moved into a hilltop home in Sonoma, and Brose-Eichar brought Lavender with her. Today she specializes in weddings, special events and the good life.
Sonoma Patch: What brought you to Sonoma?
Josette: September 11, 2001. I had the floral shop in SF and was working around the clock. I felt like life was just zooming by. My husband said, “Why don’t we move to the country now, and not wait until we retire.” So we did.
SP: What inspires your floral designs?
Josette: The natural world. I look at how everything works in nature and find the patterns and flow. I studied Ikebana, which frees you up to observe nature, rather than tie you down to a style or formula.
SP: What’s your favorite native flower?
Josette: I like the tiny wild iris that blooms all over hillsides and out by the coast in spring.
SP: Do you always have fresh flowers in your home?
Josette: No, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with them anymore.
SP: What’s the worst bride experience you’ve ever had?
Josette: It really was not the bride herself; it was her future mother-in-law.
SP: What’s the most significant thing you’ve learned from living in Sonoma?
Josette: Slow down and look around.
SP: What do you value most from growing up in Minnesota?
Josette: Liberal values. I grew up in a culture that was about putting yourself in someone else’s place and asking, “What if that was me?”.
SP: What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Josette: The back deck at the end of a long day of doing flowers, with a good glass of Sonoma wine.
SP: What do you do when you’re not working?
Josette: Read novels and write short stories.
SP: Who are your favorite novelists?
Josette: Annie Proulx for the now and Edith Wharton and Henry James for the then.
SP: Do you do anything with your degree in fashion design?
Josette: No, but this year I’m planning to set up a sewing machine in the back room for the first time in 20 years and see what happens.
SP: You were in the tech world for 17 years. Are you still into technology?
Josette: No, I know how it all works and that’s all I need to know. The real world is much more interesting than the virtual one.