A Conversation With: Puni of Puni Petals


Meet Puni of Puni PetalsStepping into her space is stepping into a world bubbling with art, color, whimsy, and personality. We chatted with the Thai born, Los Angeles based florist to discuss following her passion, cultivating joy and connection, and creating through intention and intuition.

Tell us about yourself. Can you share more about your background? What drew you to floral design and starting Puni Petals?
Hi Fuggiamo! I’m Punika but most people call me Puni (rhymes with “George Clooney”) and I’m the flower girl behind Puni Petals 🌼. I’m originally from Phuket, Thailand and I came here in 2010 as a foreign exchange student and by a streak of resilience, persistence and a dash of good luck, 13 years later and I’m still here! I started Puni Petals in 2022 as one of my many creative outlets and decided to put it up on Instagram to keep track of my progress and she’s been flourishing ever since. What drew me to floral design is the immense amount of beauty that you are working with, and unlocking more as you work with it. It feels like a collaboration between human and nature. It’s also so instantly gratifying! Making something beautiful out of something that is already beautiful makes my heart want to burst with joy.
How do you like to set the tone for your day and space? 
I’ve always wanted to be an early morning person long before I started my floral journey. There’s something about the silence around sunrise time that is so distinct and peaceful, I really try to take that in when I first leave the house. When I come back there I will always pick a playlist for a day in the studio as I work, depending on my mood that day.
What music do you like to play and listen to while you work? 
My go-to lately has been Alabaster DePlume or Japanese House. It’s such a good ease into the unfolding of the day. If I want something a little bit upbeat and fun, I love shuffling and discovering new songs by Mulatu Astatke. 
Do you feel especially connected or drawn to a specific flower? Is there a flower you feel is underrated? 
I absolutely love orchids. There’s so many beautiful varieties, and each stem is a work of art. Jasmine also has a special place in my heart because growing up in Thailand there would be jasmine everywhere, the smell of it reminds me of home. I don’t know if they are underrated per se but I adore sweet peas. It’s the one flower that is my staple buy and I’m always shoving it into people's faces asking them to smell it. It is truly my favorite scent! 


Do you have a particular event or holiday you consider your favorite to create for? 


I’ve been getting a lot of bridal bouquet requests for civil ceremonies or elopements and it does something to my heart! It feels so special. I get to really put my soul into it and be intentional with the design without worrying about the scale and responsibility of a whole wedding event, which could turn into quite the production.


Your bouquets and arrangements play with color in such a joyful way. What is your relationship with color?  Do you find that any cultural elements from Thailand pop up in your practice? 


I do love experimenting with colors, a lot of it comes from all facets of art: films, paintings, fashion, food. I think the cultural element that seeps through is my approach to it: Playful and in harmony with nature. What I miss about Thailand the most is the way people live with such fullness and vibrancy there, I try to let that show in my work. It’s called “The Land of Smiles”, I always loved that.

"Intentional floral design is a journey that involves your body, your mind, the practice of impermanence, letting go and gratitude for ephemeral beauty."



Does scent play a role in your arrangements? What elements guide your process? 


I try to give time to each stem, study the curves, look at the textures, and let them tell me where to place it. I just do the placing. I give a lot of importance to form and textures. It’s very much inspired by the Ikebana school of floral design. I love “sculpting” with my florals, building interesting shapes woven together with textures that are unexpected. I’ve been slowly studying the practice of Ikebana but also learning where it is I can break the rules and play.


What do you love most about what you do? 


I love how philosophical it can be if you let it. Intentional floral design is a journey that involves your body, your mind, the practice of impermanence, letting go and gratitude for ephemeral beauty. You realize you can’t control it all, you have to work with what nature has given you, the unique shape and colors that each element has while you arrange and realize no one arrangement is going to look the same even if you try.


What has been inspiring you as of late?


Happy mistakes! I’ve been trying to challenge myself with little creative prompts of things that are out of my comfort zone with florals—creating a safe space for myself to make mistakes and let them teach and inspire me.



What does community mean to you, and what do you love most about your community?


I always credit everything I have to community. Embracing community over competition is the important ingredient to grow individually and collectively. When I first started out, I was so warmly welcomed by the people in the floral community in a way that gave me confidence, support and safety to grow. I will never forget that and I find a lot of joy and pride in paying it forward.



What do you like to do to unwind and recharge? How do you nourish yourself?


I adore cooking, for myself and for others. The ritual of craving something, going to the store to specifically get those ingredients, (the experience of looking for the perfect tomato or a baby carrot bunch is so fulfilling to me!), coming home and taking your time to make it exactly how you want it feels like the most tender form of self-care you can give to yourself. Always feels like a cozy hug to me.



Fill in the blank for us. What is your favorite… 


Cafe: Gjusta on the westside, All Time and Sqirl on the East and Highly Likely for somewhere in between. For wine, I love Lolo’s, Gigi’s or the patio at Cafe Stella.

Scents for the body and home: I’m a floral girl through and through! I’ve been wearing Diptyque Ofresia on myself, a gorgeous floral scent I can’t get enough of. My favorite candle is Lola James Harper’s Surf Shot of Stephane and I recently bought this beautiful Incense Set from my friends at Space of Time and also psssst! Puni Petals is coming out with her own candle soon as well! Stay tuned!

Place to shop for home decor: I love Dreams in Atwater and Prelude & Dawn in Highland Park. My favorite rare book store, Untitled Books, in Echo Park is also a wonderful shop to peruse around as well. You can never have enough beautiful books.

Museum or art gallery: Helen J. Kim Gallery always has the most wonderful exhibitions by Asian artists locally and internationally. Another great spot is Marta in Echo Park. I also love checking out what is showing at the Hammer Museum, they always have the best exhibitions. Adore that place!

Place to escape to in the city: The Hollywood Reservoir has a tiny off shoot trail that overlooks the water and is so beautiful and picturesque, it’s my favorite place to go clear my head. 



Can you tell us what’s next for Puni Petals?


I am definitely looking forward to expanding Puni Petals into the community space! Think events and workshops focusing on connectivity, collaboration and growing creativity in a playful environment.




Tulle Top in Brown by Mundaka Studio 

Tulle Pant in Brown by Mundaka Studio

Georgina Vest by Toit Volant

Alina Pant by Rita Row

Garcon Pant by Rita Row

Moira Tank Top by Diarte