Rick Davis and Christopher Vazquez, shown with Hanna and Otto, create epic arrangements for A-list clients
Walking through the high-ceilinged, refrigerated flower vaults at Amaryllis is like taking a stroll through a botanic garden. Everywhere you look in the chapel-size space, you see buckets full of fresh stems, and co-owners and partners Rick Davis and Christopher Vazquez cast a practiced eye over the plants. “Those are local dahlias,” says Vazquez, pointing to a cluster of pink bouquets before moving down the row. “Mini green hydrangea, calla lilies, dianthus.”
These blossoms will be used for eye-catching displays and accents at luxe weddings, charity events, celebrity bashes, and parties as far south as Puerto Rico and as far north as Nantucket. The couple has a packed calendar this fall in Washington, including the Chefs for Equality fundraiser and the Starlight Foundation gala. They also boast an A-list client roster that includes chef JoséAndrés, jewelry designer David Yurman, and ExxonMobil.
Of course, this means their personal and work lives will rarely diverge. “We’re together all the time,” says Davis. “The saving grace is that I deal with social events and he does more of the corporate [ones], so our clients never merge. And we have separate days off.” Still, their business and personal relationships have blossomed since the couple began dating two decades ago. They now oversee a staff of more than 40 arrangers, carpenters, graphic designers, and fabric specialists. Their new 50,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Hyattsville, Maryland, boasts a 1,000-square-foot cooler to house flowers and a carpentry shop for building custom event props.
That’s a big step up from when Amaryllis first bloomed back in 1989 in the basement of Woodley Park’s Omni Shoreham Hotel as a three-person start-up. It can be stressful work, since their soirées routinely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. “If something goes wrong, it’s ruined,” Vazquez explains. “There’s no coming back next Saturday and doing it again.” So the duo focuses on making dreams come true for its patrons—whether clients want giant Fabergé egg-like sculptures covered in roses, a fantastical forest of towering trees with suspended chandeliers, or a menagerie of outsized moss animals. “If you want it, we can make it or find it,” says Davis. “It’s our job to make sure we create a perfect moment.”