Interviews With Friends
Louis Gagliano & Stefan Handl
Member Spotlight is a feature in Studio magazine and on the web that takes a look at the lives and livelihoods of some of our diverse and spirited members.
Names: Louis Gagliano & Stefan Handl
Level: Contemporary Friends
Occupations: Owners, Harlem Flo Floral Atelier
Members since: 2009
You are relatively new members of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Why did you decide to join Contemporary Friends?
We appreciate the arts and enjoy providing an opportunity for local artists to present and sell their works in our store, Harlem Flo. After our first visits to the opening events at the Studio Museum, we were impressed with the collection, the diverse exhibitions and the eclectic members that attended.
Harlem Flo is practically around the corner from the Studio Museum. Why did you decide to come to Harlem?
After working for a number of well-known floral designers and event planners, we decided to take the next step in opening our own store, and Stefan saw an opportunity to connect with the Harlem neighborhood through opening a business close to his home. We enjoyed becoming a destination store and being able to provide services as well as employment opportunities to the community.
Has there been a particularly exciting day at Harlem Flo you can tell us about?
There are so many small excitements, but we really enjoyed our first Valentine's Day in 2008. It was exciting to see how many people had noticed our store and came to purchase flowers for their loved ones. While waiting for their bouquets to be designed and wrapped, customers shared stories and told us how much they appreciated the store.
What do you envision for the Studio Museum in the years to come?
We would like to see the Studio Museum inspire galleries and design-related stores to move to into the area, providing more opportunities for local artists to exhibit here where they work and live. We would love to see more limited-edition Artist-in-Residence prints available to younger collectors. We are excited to partner with the Museum in providing floral decor for events, as well as helping them raise funds for the future of art in Harlem.
Interview by Jen Weinar, Development Coordinator
Studio Museum members receive a 10% discount on in-store purchases at Harlem Flo.