Patricio Rivera Reconnects with His Roots

Dallas florist Patricio Rivera has his work all over the city, but it's more than visually appealing centerpieces. They're quality products deeply rooted in personal stories.

We all come from somewhere, due to a line of lineage. People of our bloodline have paved ways for us, provided us with opportunity, and ultimately made it possible to be existent at this exact moment in time. A truth that could deserve a moment of acknowledgment and immense gratitude. Dallas based florist, Patricio Rivera brings forward a reminder that it’s time to express that appreciation for what stood before us, including what remained before himself.

Born in Honduras, the entrepreneur has never disregarded how his own beginnings came to fruition. But he’s recently reconnected with those roots on a new spiritual level, finding a connection to one family member in particular – his great grandmother. He recounted a part of her story, “I think it all starts here,” Rivera said. “She worked on the banana fields, feeding all the workers.” Further explaining how her hardworking attitude was unquestionable. It was just the way of life that in return, granted him access to his own journey. “She was the beginning of being a hard worker. A beginning of creating opportunities for our generations." Pausing, he held his hands away from his chest as if he was placing his soul on the surface in front him, “I feel like she’s the wind beneath my wings.”

That wind has picked him up, drifting him into a multitude of opportunities over the last five years. Beginning at Chipotle, he then moved up to becoming a Visual Director at Sissy’s Southern Kitchen, and currently, is the owner of his own business, Twelve Thirty Four. You could venture into a business in the Dallas area, and find his pieces sitting on tables and countertops. Except, that's not the finish line. His work has been requested by fashion accounts like Versace and Louis Vuitton. And now, he's developing a project that will accompany a music act on stage. It’s an admirable story of opportune advancement, one that an outsider might ogle at as they wonder if they can execute it themselves. Rivera had a simple answer, one that carried on that same perseverance of his great grandmother,

“I am being blessed, but it’s taken a lot of time, a lot of work, and self-sacrifice.”

Adding that his high-energy personality contributes to his non-stop work ethic, “I’m 28, and see all my friends out all the time. I have to work, I have to run a business, and still be creative. It’s great, it’s teaching me a lot of life lessons.”

While it might seem like he’s missing out on those jocular weekend festivities, he showed no bitterness because his art is living out moments of its own. There’s more to his arrangements than simply piecing what appeals to his eye, Rivera is telling the story of his client. Describing the process as "dating", he explained that he wants to know everything about who he's creating for. “When people hire me, I want them to see it as an investment of a lifetime.” The result is uniquely meaningful, a product that will withstand decades in someone’s mind as a memento from a special occasion.

Someone could observe an arrangement and think of it as something with a limited lifespan, however, Rivera tries to defeat that preconceived notion. He wants to create timeless products, an attribute all good art forms should have. There are no altered leaves, dripping in metallic paint. It’s not just a “Pinterest fad" - as Rivera would say. Everything is natural, “It all starts with being authentic," he reiterated. “I try to incorporate that in everything I do; in regards to standards, and what my products need to look like.” That authenticity remains as a constant reminder of the outdoor environment that filled his childhood. In Honduras, he was surrounded by lush greenery. This introduction to nature’s beauty has turned into the foundation that his work is built on. No matter the assignment, each design begins with a strong base of materials like elephant ears, foxtails, or ferns. He found his own signature look that honors his roots and childhood.

“I keep getting promotions because I know in my heart, what I am doing is not for my name, it’s because I am supposed to be inspiring other people to do something for themselves too” he assured after reciting his praiseworthy resume. If he had any doubt regarding his reverence to his family’s previous fortitude, there would be no reason to. The legacy of hard work is being carried on, and so is the inspiration that he found in his own great-grandmother's story.

This story will appear in Issue one of Emerald Magazine , August 2019.

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