A floral designer and Stephens alumna who has graced the pages of Bon Apetit, Ebony, and Harper’s Bazaar and has even been featured on a billboard in Times Square, was the keynote speaker at the Academic Opening Convocation at Stephens College.

LaParis Phillips ’10, a St. Louis native, earned a degree in Fashion Marketing from Stephens. Her love of flowers and creating started at her family’s balloon shop. While at Stephens, she continued developing her design and business acumen in the classroom and working at My Secret Garden, a floral shop in downtown Columbia. 

Phillips credits her mentor at My Secret Garden, owner Ruth LaHue, for teaching her the elements and principles of floral design, while remaining true to her creativity and personal style. The Stephens Fashion program helped her build her personal brand and afforded her opportunities to study abroad and in Chicago.

“I will always appreciate the Stephens Fashion program because it gave me the tools to run a business,” Phillips said.

After graduating from Stephens, she moved to NYC to work in the fashion industry as a visual merchandiser. Though she was seemingly living out her dreams, her heart wasn’t in it, and in 2015 she started Brooklyn Blooms in her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment.

Phillips’ floral designs have been featured in national campaigns, countless weddings and events, and thousands of daily orders. Her business is so successful that she has recently expanded to two locations.

“Flowers always got my back,” Phillips laughed. “Flowers got me on a Times Square billboard!”

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