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•Friday, January 6th, 2017

Private Event at VIP Country Club

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There’s nothing we love more than the holidays — except for holiday parties, of course! Everyone's relaxed and in a good mood, the bubbly is going around like spring water and this time of year allows for even more sparkly and fun decor than usual — and sparkle and fun are part of the package when the Julia Testa team gets an invite.

Every year, we do the party decor for one of our favorite engineering firms in Manhattan. The owner gives us a ton of creative freedom and lets us work our magic on the whole scene, so naturally, we always look forward to working with them. Since they're an engineering firm, we wanted their party to have a constructed, purposeful look, and we ended up making two designs.

The first design featured custom-built boxes dripping with red sparkles. We filled the boxes with California manzanita branches and wet oasis flower foam so it looked like the box was so full of flowers they were cascading out. We topped the whole thing with a huge bow so it looked like a giant gift before weaving in more flowers, like juniper, incense cedar, hydrangea, roses and orchids, to the tops of the branches to draw the eye upward.

The second design started with a wood frame and chicken wire — much more sturdy than if we'd simply designed a dish. Plus, it let us weave in more flowers and oasis. On top of that, we elevated a smaller dish on top of the whole thing to give it a multitiered look.

We filled the chicken wire cages with red roses — made to look like a bed — green dianthus and noble fir to wreath around the bed, and spray roses and amaryllis to complement it. The poles that elevated the upper dishes were covered with sparkles to match the first design and tie the whole party together.

We love working with this client, and they were absolutely thrilled with the way the room looked come party time!



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•Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Masterpiece Collection at Tiffany & Co. on 5th Avenue

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Few brands are as iconic as New York's Tiffany and Co. The pale blue box, promises and futures tucked, gleamingly, inside, is a part of urban folklore as dramatic and recognizable as the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. Welcome to New York, the storefront seems to whisper, its voice cool and diamond-studded. We've been waiting.

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So you can imagine how thrilled the Julia Testa team were to receive a Tiffany gift of our own — an offer to work with them to debut their new Masterpiece Collection. The event, held at their 5th Avenue location, was meant to introduce potential buyers to the collection, one lavish piece at a time, while they considered the purchase of each. People could sit together and discuss the individual intricacies of each creation. There were private rooms for people to sit and collect their thoughts, as well as larger rooms for them to see — and be seen.

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Needless to say, everything had to be perfect. We color-blocked the rooms — 12 of them! — in deep fuchsia, dark red and deep purple to complement the jewelry and the screens set up along the walls. Tiffany and Co. had custom prints made up of the jewelry up close, and we wanted our colors to provide a lush backdrop for the stones and metalwork to shine.

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The project was monumental. It called for over 30 arrangements. It was exactly the kind of challenge we relish here. The entryway piece was seven feet tall and five feet round and stood on a mirrored table to double its punch. We had to make five other pieces on site, transforming Tiffany and Co. into our workshop. We started at 5 a.m. the first day and worked straight through every day for four days afterwards, setting up and maintaining the arrangements so there wasn't a wilt or a bud among them.

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The flowers we used were as high-end as the brand we crafted for. We used Anemone, Holland Hydrangea, garden roses, spray roses, ranunculus, scabiosa, Vanda orchids, calla, snap dragon, Cymbidium orchids and Phalaenopsis orchids (for those counting at home, that's three different types of orchids!) as well as seasonal dahlias of different sizes and colors.

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This was one of two huge events Tiffany and Co. throws per year, and to be chosen to set the scene for it was a Big Deal for us. Working with iconic brands like Tiffany and Co. reaffirms our love for what we do, where we are and the people we get to meet.

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•Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Julia Testa Speaks Up in Flowers for Africa

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We love New York City for all its color and culture, something we get the chance to explore and promote through our work. We really get to feel like part of the fabric of the city when we do events that promote cultural diversity and strength.

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That's the vibe we got from the event we did recently for Speak Up Africa, a charity that promotes international advocacy on the part of African nations, cultures and people. It holds governments all over the world accountable for consideration of African policy and concerns, including health care considerations and child care.

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Speak Up Africa held an event at the Upper West Side's very own Museum of Natural History, one of the biggest museums in the world and one dedicated to the preservation and accurate presentation of cultures and people the world over. The consideration the museum takes to educate New Yorkers and guests from around the world about the history and present-day characteristics of the world dovetailed nicely with Speak Up Africa's mission.

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They hired us to decorate the museum by giving a nod to Africa's natural beauty without taking it too seriously. They didn't want us to recreate the Serengeti, but they did want to give the event a sense of place. We used Manzanita and Camilla branches to create six-foot-tall treelike structures, which we lit softly with tea lights, and lit floating candles around the bases of the tree to create a soft, gentle effect. We created a special tree to hold the name cards to really get people into the feeling we wanted to create.

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The room was styled with orange votive accents, wicker plate-chargers, orange napkins, bamboo chairs and orange seat cushions to perpetuate the natural vibe while giving a nod to the bohemian and colourful accents of African traditions.

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We loved getting to work with a charity like Speak Up Africa. It gave us a chance to feel like we were making a difference and helping paint the Museum of Natural History with the rhythms of modern Africa.

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•Thursday, September 29th, 2016

New York Minute Films Features Julia Testa

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