Nassi Soofi of The Wild Bunch
If you’ve wandered through Gastown lately and stopped at The Birds and the Beets for a coffee, it’s likely you caught a glimpse of Nassi Soofi’s whimsical and wild bouquets. Back in July of 2015, Nassi teamed up with Matthew Senecal-Junkeer, the owner of The Birds and the Beets, to bring her unique floral flair to his café. Since then, Nassi’s floristry career with The Wild Bunch has (pardon the pun) bloomed in a big and beautiful way. We sat down with Nassi to learn more about her approach to floral design, what inspires her, and the wellness rituals she swears by.
Tell us about the early days of The Wild Bunch. When did you start, and what sparked the decision to start a flower business?
The Wild Bunch was born in April of 2013. Prior to that, I worked in various roles in both marketing and hospitality. Through all of these different jobs, I always found myself creating custom flower arrangements just for fun. It was a ritual that I always found comfort and inspiration in. Flowers keep me interested and engaged, so I knew this was something I wanted to pursue more seriously.
How would you describe your approach to floral design? What is The Wild Bunch aesthetic?
My designs are freestyle, and always determined by what is in season. I love to experiment with flowers and found materials, while still leaving everything in its natural state. The Wild Bunch is all about finding beauty in unexpected combinations, and always foraging to find the best stuff.
A king protea bouquet by The Wild Bunch
Who is the florist you admire most?
I hugely admire and respect the work of Constance Spry. She is a floristry pioneer, and opened up design to what we now know by using unusual materials and fluid lines. Of the many contemporary florists, Yasmin Mei is also a favourite. She is constantly pushing the envelope in terms of her ingredients (mushrooms!) and combinations. She has a great eye for fun, and colourful yet simple design.
What is your favourite plant or flower?
Grasses and garden roses are constants, but really this changes weekly and seasonally!
What is the most rewarding part of your job? The hardest?
I love interacting with people, and I find relating to them through flowers very rewarding. That said, floristry really is a labour of love. The grunt work is heavy and incessant. Washing buckets and glassware, loading and unloading vehicles, and driving are the parts that you don’t always love, but are very much required to do.
How do you unwind and stay centred when you aren’t killing it at the floristry game?
I love taking breaks in the day to visit the park with my dog. I also always make time to see friends and family, enjoy food, drinks, and music.
Arranging with care @the_wildbunch
What natural beauty and health rituals do you swear by?
Sleep, first and foremost—getting enough of it, in clean sheets, is key. I also love face oils and rose water sprays.
Is there a quote or mantra that you turn to when things get tough?
My partner, Matthew, has turned me on to Taoism of late. There is a principle of "wu-wei,” meaning doing by not doing. I am trying to adopt this in work and life by letting things happen naturally, and almost effortlessly—not through force or exertion, but through a balance of intention and timing.xoxo