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Sophia Moreno-Bunge

Sophia Moreno-Bunge is an artist and florist based in Los Angeles, where she is the founder of floral studio ISA ISA. We catch up with Sophia to discuss family heirlooms, the colors of spring, and employing the power of plants for medicinal use.
Shaina Mote — Sophia Moreno-Bunge

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?  

Lately I have been gravitating towards very light and airy feeling palettes, materials and textures. I think because it's spring, and everything has been feeling so heavy lately, it's been helpful and balancing to connect with these sensations. Sitting outside listening to birds, walking around Malibu where my dad's house is, foraging materials at his house to use for our floral deliveries - these are the things that are keeping me feeling healthy. I've been really into pastels - lavender, pink, butter yellow, blues; something about spring and these colors popping up everywhere. I've been foraging a lot of grasses - milky oats - to use for our bouquets, and also to admire - I love how they dangle and are moved by wind - and hopefully to make into a tincture/brew soon (they are good for anxiety).





What is something you have loved for a long time?

My brother.



Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.
A drawing my grandfather made in the 70s of the Venice Boardwalk, right when my parents immigrated to the US from Argentina. My grandparents came to visit sometime after my parents moved and also fell in love with the bohemian spirit that my parents were so drawn to. The Venice boardwalk is now the home of our family's restaurant and hotel, so this drawing feels very special, almost like an omen.







At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
With close friends and family that make me laugh and inspire me to be goofy, with no plans, by the ocean, swimming, cooking, eating.



What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?
I feel deeply connected to rural landscapes by the sea - especially if there is some sort of farm nearby, and lots of wild flowers.











Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?

I have a couple rings that belonged to my mother. I love them - they make me feel connected to her, and to my roots, and I appreciate her sense of design. I love knowing that she got them in South America, that she designed some of them; something about wearing her rings makes me feel close to her even though I am not physically.










Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

I have a pranayama practice I do in the morning that makes me feel calm and refreshed. It's hard to stick to but I am making a big effort and notice a huge difference in my mood and how I am able to experience the day afterwards.





What is something you have recently rediscovered?

Making potions! I always did this as a kid, and recently I've been studying medicinal uses of plants and brewing teas using nettle, lemon balm, hops, echinacea, among others. This arrangement has a lot of plants that can be used medicinally - milky oats, mallow, and rose.









Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?
Oven roasted vegetables with olive oil and salt. Vongole and bolognese are my go-tos.





What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?

Right now I am reading a memoir a friend recommended - Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls - it's wild. I recently read Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala which was heartbreaking and beautiful, and I loved it.









What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?
I love Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost, and lots of her essays. I also love Maggie Nelson, particularly Bluets.

I am really excited for Molly Wizenberg's The Fixed Stars, out in August. I've really enjoyed and connected with her 2 other memoirs so far - she explores grief, cooking, food, family, and sexuality - and I just love following along her journey.





What music is in rotation for you this month?
It's been a very quiet month, but I have been listening to Angel Olsen quite a bit - she played a live set that was available online and it was INCREDIBLE.


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