Founded by Anna and Eli Peer, LA-based design house Flora Nero creates luxuriously crafted wares that center on cannabis, but it’s not a cannabis brand. While that might sound like an oxymoron, it makes perfect sense when understanding the Peers’ relationship: they are married, they cohabitate, and one of them consumes marijuana daily while the other never partakes. For the two high-design enthusiasts sharing a home, that disparity became an opportunity.
“Cannabis is part of his life and it’s a welcome part of our life together because for him, it’s his medicine,” Anna explains. “It’s what allows his brain to calm down enough so that his creative ideas can be formulated in a coherent way.” That said, Anna felt the way Eli stored his cannabis and the paraphernalia used to consume it were not aesthetically aligned with the rest of their lives. “These should not be things that are in a dusty drawer that don’t match the rest of our home and your style. These should be pieces that are out when we’re entertaining. Let’s have them be beautiful pieces that I will love to have out in our home when we’re not using them.” This discourse continued in their home for a while before the couple committed to making something better. “We can create something here that everybody will love to have in their home whether they consume cannabis or not,” Anna says.
Flora Nero—like the design process or the ritual of toking—is both simple and complex. “You have a vision,” Eli explains. “But it’s all about how you execute it.” Anna adds, “We got to fully create our own vision from the ground up. It’s not just something that fits into somebody else’s world.” The duo decided to take humble (sometimes simply ugly) products and rethink them in a way that elevated them to the level of luxury.
There’s this traditional way of approaching product design and manufacturing, but for a whole new era of products
“Our inspiration comes from the traditional heritage luxury houses of design where craftsmanship and quality and longevity are the main factors when creating products, not how quickly can we sell through this line to get the next one out there and the next drop, and the next drop, and the next drop,” Anna tells us. Flora Nero makes cannabis products that are poised to become treasured family heirlooms. “These are pieces that people will cherish, take care of and love in their homes. At the same time, there’s this traditional way of approaching product design and manufacturing, but for a whole new era of products and for a whole new enjoyment of indulgences that hasn’t really been approached in this way before. For us it’s that traditional meets modern, very classic artisanal craftsmanship, but with a very modern twist.”
This juxtaposition can be seen and felt in the collection of products that include table lighters, rolling trays and pipes—designed with the brand’s Creative Director, Marc Thorpe. They are all functional but elegant. “I like things that are tools,” Eli says. “They are tools of your craft, you have to take care of them. They are precious. I find that objects that you take care of and are important for you—you clean them, you open them, you cherish them… We believe in heritage, in slow-making, quality-making artisans and respecting the people we work with.”
While pieces in their collection are designed to be the right size, shape and material for a specific function, they can also be repurposed. The rolling tray and ashtrays can be catch-alls for keys, jewelry or trinkets; the lighters can be used for candles or incense. “Finding that mix between function and aesthetic and having it be multifunctional was really important,” Anna tells us.
Most of the pieces are crafted from anodized aluminum and are available in black, bronze or gold, and some also incorporate wood or handblown glass elements. And with them, not only is Flora Nero solving an aesthetics problem, but also a stigma. While it’s a new world of opportunity enabled by the growing legalization of cannabis, the pair believes it’s as much about our desire for rituals and to embrace a lifestyle.
Anna explains, “Growing up [there was] this notion that it’s taboo and needs to be put in a drawer, but your bar is fully stocked with crystal decanters and your favorite glasses for every type of drink and your humidor is full of cigars. That is part of your home. And cannabis should be treated no differently. This is part of your lifestyle, part of how you entertain, how you unwind, how you find those ritual moments for yourself and your friends and your loved ones.” She is quick to note that it also needn’t even be viewed as a vice, the way alcohol is. “It can be the same way you cherish your art room and your painting and your easels with love and care—because that’s a moment of ritual for you. Wherever you find that for yourself, it should be treated with care.”
Hero image and video by Jonathan Lennard for Flora Nero