Hello, My name is Kara Natalia and I own and operate Apotheca Design a small floral and botanical design studio on San Juan Island, where I use my 25 plus years of experience to create elegant and original works of art inspired by nature, fashion and my own travels.
Flowers and plants have always been my medium, my gift and way to express gratitude. I took my first floral design class in 1992, where I learned the mechanics and care involved in floral design and my first HAKU (Floral Crown). My instructor was a Pacific Islander. Her instruction was easy and relaxed. She was a natural mentor and she shared her Aloha with everyone she met. I am eternally grateful for her kind guidance and hope to share that same gift of SPIRIT with those I meet along the path.
I landed my first big design gig with Joseph, at M&M Flowers in Oakland, CA. He held many of the accounts for the large business tower lobbies, banks and hotels surrounding the Oakland A's Stadium. He taught me how to apply floral design to larger scale installations and gave me my biggest opportunity as a designer. Every week, as I hand delivered my designs to the Wives Club of the Oakland A's. I felt so much nervous excitement presenting my design to a group of women, who were not obligated to LOVE my work helped inform my style and up my design game. It was thrilling and hard work to continuously invent fresh designs that they would find stunning and distinctive.
In a leap of faith, and in the name of continued education, I moved to Japan. For three years I took every opportunity to explore and study the nuanced culture and tradition as I enjoyed the status of Sensei (English Teacher) with my age diverse students. Wild extreme of FORMALITY and childish INNOCENCE nourished the seed of deep respect for quiet and purposeful acts of creation and the ritual renewal of life through ART. Having to quietly take in the world around me as a participant observer, made me keenly aware of the absolute need for an individual to be cradled and celebrated by community and family. I loved every minute of my time in Japan and it changed me in more ways than I can express. I arrived a girl adrift through life and left a woman who moved with purpose and intention.
I joined my husband in 2012 and moved to this little island on the edge Pacific Ocean we call home. Here I started my own garden of intention to celebrate and contribute to the wonderful community of San Juan Island. We now have two beautiful daughters, with their help and curiosity. I custom grow my collection of heirloom and uncommon flower varieties that I would like to share with you.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me
I look forward to hearing from you,
Kara Natalia Navra