Spotlight: Élan Flowers

Because this site focuses on news, the businesses that have been around awhile—and that make this neighborhood special—don’t get the coverage they should. Spotlight attempts to make up for that.

Élan Flowers has a unique relationship to Tribeca: it was founded here 40 years ago on Duane, then moved to Franklin in 2015, then to Grand Street in Soho in 2017, and now back to the neighborhood, to 1 Worth at Hudson. Owners Christine and Patrick Hall, who bought the business in 2015, will move their home here in the near future as well. Patrick is the floral designer and an advocate for small business in NYC; he was recently honored with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce’s Best in Business award. Christine is a choreographer by trade and also handles Élan’s marketing.

How did you get started in this business?
PATRICK: I started working in the floral industry when I was still acting – I have my master’s from NYU. At the time, my “survival job” was working in events and floral design. It eventually became a career and I was an event designer for 10 years. But my favorite part was always the flowers. It’s the pure beauty. It always makes me smile and makes me happy. Plus I love having a team of like-minded creatives.

CHRISTINE: Patrick thought he could spread his wings a bit more if he owned the business. He’s amazing. He’s a real advocate for small business.

When did you open the store, and why here?
PATRICK: Élan Flowers had been in Tribeca for most of its 40 years. We wanted to be back here and bring our artistry and industry back to the neighborhood.

The original Élan was on Duane Street for 20 years until they lost the lease and moved the business to Franklin. We moved to Grand Street when we lost that lease on Franklin.

This is the whole saga of small storefronts in Tribeca. It’s largely about losing leases. What happened to Élan Flowers over the years is typical. We are really happy to be in our forever home since we bought this place. The business started here with 750 square feet, and at Grand Street we had 1200 square feet. Now we have over 6000 square feet.

This space was the former Xeno Lights – they rent lights and equipment for the film and television industry and had been here for 30 years, since the building converted to a coop. We bought the commercial unit – two floors and the basement.


CHRISTINE: Patrick’s dream was always to move the business back to Tribeca. But when I saw this space I said no way — it certainly wasn’t pretty. It was so filled with equipment when we closed on it, you couldn’t even see the back of the space. When we saw it empty for the first time, we were like oh, so this is what we bought!

PATRICK: Believe it or not, the curb cut in front was very valuable to us. It means there are not placard cars parking in front of the store and blocking deliveries and pickups.

What are you known for?
CHRISTINE: Our high quality flowers. For example, on Valentine’s Day, we placed our order for red roses last February because they are incredibly special. They are called heart roses because the petals are shaped like a heart. Not many florists can get them. They are just stunning.

Then there is the level of care our designers take: every stem is placed individually. We are known for really exquisite design.

PATRICK: Of course we do a lot of weddings and events, but we do have a perennial bestseller and that’s our Dusty Whites arrangement. It is just so beautiful – it has white whites with creamy whites plus silver brunia and Dusty Miller and black-eyed anemone, which set off the whites. It’s very textural and perfect for any occasion.

What’s the most satisfying part of what you do?
CHRISTINE: Sending flowers is always an act of kindness, even if it’s a sad event. No matter what the circumstances are, no one orders flowers because they bear ill will.

It’s also delightful to see what people choose to write on their card. Sometimes it’s in French or Italian! Some of the funniest ones over the years have been apologies.

PATRICK: I love being a part of these special moments in people’s lives. I especially love being a part of engagement stories. Thirty years ago, I proposed to Christine in the middle of Times Square dressed as Prince Charming with a white horse. I rented the horse from the opera – he was in a stable on West 40-something. I was a concierge at the Hilton at the time so I had some connections.

CHRISTINE: I was not dressed as Cinderella. I was on crutches and didn’t want to wear a dress so I grabbed an old denim short out of the laundry. It was not my finest moment.

Tell me a good customer story.
CHRISTINE: We have a customer who subscribes to our weekly floral arrangement delivery. A few years ago she ordered a weekly subscription for a friend – 52 weeks of flowers, which is so generous and so lovely.

We also have one man who orders frequently for his wife and I just want to meet these people. He orders for her all through the year. It makes me think they are the most precious couple. It’s also fun when a celebrity in the neighborhood has a birthday and you see multiple arrangements going out. Oh and we had a woman receive ‘I love you’ flowers from two different men on the same day.

PATRICK: Another gentleman said he would send flowers every day until she said yes. He still sends her flowers. We also had a guy who rented the flower shop during the pandemic to propose to his girlfriend. Of course we loved that idea.

Where do your flowers come from?
PATRICK: We order a lot from farms and growers all over the world directly — farm to vase, basically. But we also buy from the wholesalers on 28th Street. We love that that is still a resource in the city.

Where do you eat/drink/shop around here?
CHRISTINE: Patrick loves the Square Diner and I love Gotan for lunch. We haven’t had a chance to eat at One White Street but I get things all the time at Rigor Hill Market. And since we were floral sponsors for Dinner on Duane, we met [the chef] Austin Johnson and ate the meal that night. I still dream of his harissa carrots. And we are big fans of Duane Park Patisserie. Madeline is a friend and we get cakes from her for all our staff birthdays. Another favorite place is the Roxy for live jazz.

Tribeca has obviously changed a lot since Élan first opened here. How have the changes affected your business?
I didn’t realize what a family neighborhood Tribeca has become. [The couple raised their now-grown children in Chelsea.] We never thought there would be a lot of people coming by – and certainly not with children and dogs. It makes us so happy.

What does the future hold?
CHRISTINE: We need to refurbish the facade but that has to be approved by the Landmarks Commission and done in cooperation with our neighbors upstairs. [The building was designed by McKim, Mead & White and it is in the Tribeca West Historic District.] Patrick has already moved so many mountains just to get us here, but there is a lot more to do. Most of it is fun and we just love the space.

We plan to do a grand opening party with a multi-day happy hour and posy making workshops and a jazz trio — a real celebration.

If your business is like ours – mostly done by phone, online or email – you don’t have to have a storefront presence, but we really believe in the retail experience. I don’t want to walk down the street and only see banks and drug stores. I love cool shops. That’s why it’s particularly gratifying when the neighbors stop in. One mom and her little girl have come in a few times, and it makes it all feel worth it, worth the investment.

My hope is to become a place where people feel like they can come in just to smell the flowers.



  1. What a lovely interview! I’m so happy they’re back in Tribeca.

  2. They provide flowers for our office and personally for my home. Just wonderful.

  3. Wonderful people who put care and artistry into even the smallest composition (prom boutonnieres for kids who grew up in Tribeca)

  4. They bring little bursts of color to our building lobby each week, always new. It’s fun to do the botany–three or four different flower types, interestingly mixed.

  5. Welcome back!! Looking forward to visiting your new forever home (and your flower arrangements are stunning!).

  6. So lovely and inspiring!!!

  7. What an excellent story on the history of your local store. It’s nice to see small businesses thrive long term. Excellent photography also.
    I’d love to see the names of the artists depicted also captioned under the photos so they get some of the credit they deserve. Overall an excellent write up. Thank you.

  8. here, here to all of the above!
    welcome back to our town. what a great asset you are!
    and- i ‘m not sure if you even remember but i have been a customer since 1998!

  9. I LOVED your Grand location. I always order from Elan on my daughter’s birthday. Their arrangements are simply lovely.