We've Got Her Back: Amelia Rose Posada of Birch and Bone
I first met Amelia Posada in March 2016. She’s the founder of Birch and Bone, a floral design company based in Los Angeles that’s known for its distinctly badass aesthetic. At the time, she was only a few weeks into the launch of her retail floral shop at The Ace Hotel. She had taken over the theater box office and filled it to the brim with fresh blooms and succulents. The living greenery and colorful assortment of sands and crystals from her DIY terrarium bar were a welcome addition to bustling streets of Broadway, where I interviewed her in between car honks and hotel guests wheeling luggage to meet their Lyft drivers at the curb.
Today, she greets me at her cozy Hollywood bungalow that she shares with her girlfriend, wearing her signature bright red lipstick that I remember from our meeting years ago. Amelia is now a little more than two years into her journey as a female founder. A lot has changed since the opening (and eventual closing) of her retail shop, and just from her cheerful disposition, I can tell it’s all been for the better. She leads me into her backyard, where she is midway through an arrangement due for delivery that evening. We chat in between her spray-painting palm leaves, and I watch with awe as her floral masterpiece comes to life, almost effortlessly.
I was fortunate enough to have met Amelia at the very start of Birch and Bone. Since then, she has shifted her business model completely from retail florist to floral designer. It was a major pivot, one that anyone would be terrified to make. But she knew it was necessary. “It wasn’t sustainable for me. I wasn’t happy,” she said. “When I launched Birch and Bone, coming out of a very successful business in a totally unrelated field – I had a butcher shop – I’m gonna do this because this is what makes me happy. I had spent years basically not living my own dreams.”
The butcher shop she’s referencing isn’t just any butcher shop, mind you. Amelia and her ex-wife were the duo behind the iconic Lindy and Grundy meat shop. Before closing in 2014, they had an A-list restaurant and hospitality clientele that included the likes of Soho House and The Ace Hotel. To this day, foodie media outlets like Eater still reference Lindy and Grundy and the void it left behind.
But rather than feeling like she had to come out from the shadow of her success with Lindy and Grundy, Amelia used it as a starting point to launch her next venture, Birch and Bone. She started with popups at The Ace Hotel and launched her storefront by taking over their box office. Eventually she setup shop in a proper retail space in Mid-City. It was there that she realized she needed to make a major change in her business model. “When you’re a small business, a one man show, a one woman show, or whatever it is, you get so caught up in the hustle and working job to job that you will just say yes and you’ll do it,” she said. “You forget what you originally set out for. What was your original goal? What was your creative vision? And sometimes you’re just like ‘shit, the rent’s due, and this is due, and that’s due, and I just gotta say yes.’”
I resist the urge to repeatedly shout “Amen!" as she speaks so clearly to my heart. And I know I’m not alone. For most female founders, that inner dialogue is all too familiar. Running your own business usually means seesawing between feast or famine, and making intentional, bigger picture decisions can feel downright impossible in that mindset. But in order to grow Birch and Bone into the business she truly wanted, Amelia had to do what she does best, which is to be unapologetically herself. As she gets to this part of her story, where she faces her fears head on of leaving floral retail behind and boldly sets a new course for her business as a custom floral designer, I see more of the woman who proudly said to me, “I’m queer and Mexican and I like making sure everyone knows that.”
Like any major life change, this didn’t happen overnight. “We all as creatives understand the necessity of bringing a paycheck in, but there comes a point when you have to, for your soul and just as human being, be like ‘okay let’s take a step back and it’s gonna suck for a little bit to say no. And boy am I in no position to turn down business.’ But you have to make that change. You have to get rid of that certain clientele that isn’t good for you in the long run, and make that plunge.” While taking that plunge meant taking stock of what wasn’t working, it also meant getting clear on what she wanted. “I want bigger clients,” she said. “I want people who can afford to pay me my worth for design. We’ve been socially conditioned to undervalue ourselves as women. So it’s scary to tell someone, especially someone you admire or you’d love to work with ‘oh this is my rate.’”
Scary might just be an understatement. But to my relief, she shares that she didn’t do it alone. She emphasizes the value of a supportive network that includes friends, loyal clients, and an investor who trusts her creative bones implicitly. “It’s so important to ask for help, but that doesn’t mean you have to second guess yourself.” And even though she’s surrounded by some of LA’s most successful artists and CEOs, Amelia is adamant about listening to her own instincts – in between the occasional bouts of self-doubt of course. “Sure it’s great to ask other successful people for their advice, but they’re not you, and they can’t really answer for you,” she said. “I’d say biggest weakness, as an entrepreneur is that I do tend to second guess myself when in the end, I’m always like ‘oh shit, I should have just done it like I thought from the start.’”
I look at her now complete floral arrangement, bursting with contrasting vibrant colors and textures that are unexpectedly perfect together. Throughout our conversation, she’s maintained momentum, moving seamless between rooms and her raw materials. It may have been stop and go at first as she arranged the first few stems, but somewhere along the way, she hit her stride. And now the finished product before us was much like its maker: bold, confident, show-stopping.
“No matter what it is that you’re selling or doing, someone out there could possibly be doing it better than you,” Amelia said. “So always keep that in mind and stay humble and grateful. You have to believe in your brand so much that people feel it and feel defensively obsessed with your brand. And that is the case with any successful brand. People are diehard for them. That’s how my butcher shop was, and how Birch and Bone is.”