Jonathan Cohen’s Sweet Way to Celebrate Mother’s Day From Afar During the Pandemic

by Charles Manning

Just in time for Mother’s Day (it’s Sunday, May 10, by the way), New York-based designer Jonathan Cohen has launched a line of virtual bouquets. The bouquets are drawn by Cohen, include a personal message of the purchasers choosing, and go for $20 ($45 for a one-of-a-kind original). Thirty percent of the purchase price for each bouquet will be donated to one of four charitable organizations dear to Cohen and his team: A Common Thread, Bowery Mission, Feed the Frontlines NYC, and No Kid Hungry. And just for Mother’s Day, Cohen is offering three limited edition bouquets for $35 each with 30 percent of the purchase price going to Futures Without Violence. We caught up with Cohen to find out more about his latest charitable endeavor. 

Why virtual bouquets?
With so much fear and uncertainty in the moment, you really can feel the emotional toll it is taking on everyone around you. During this time, it’s important that we stay in communication with those around us and stay as connected as possible. Knowing that many were anxious about deliveries (myself included) I began to send these illustrations of floral bouquets to friends, family, and people within my industry. It was a stress-free way of saying, “thank you,” “I miss you” etc. Whenever I would send an arrangement, I would receive the most loving messages in return. It was a way to connect with one another. Sarah and myself began to talk about how we could take this concept and have it live on our site. We also saw it as an opportunity to help organizations, which were not only part of our community, but also needed our support more than ever. We called it “Our Flower Shop” because we wanted it to be a place for everyone, and to bring a community feel, even if it lives in the digital space. It’s a place to connect with one another, even if we are separated by distance.

How did you choose these particular charities?
There are so many organizations that are making amazing contributions during this difficult time, and it was important to us that we support them in any which way we can. While having to stay at home can feel helpless, there are ways to help your community even if at a distance. This is why “Our Flower Shop” and the organizations we partnered with are so important to us. We really wanted to focus on charities that affect our community. The Bowery Mission is across the street from our studio, and they help so many people on a daily basis. A Common Thread helps fashion companies, like ours, during this difficult time. When we kept reading about the domestic abuse issues that were happening around the world during quarantine, it really disturbed us to our core. Futures Without Violence helps the vulnerable in these situations. These are just a few of the charities you can make a choice to donate to on the website.

What is your favorite flower?
I love anemones. They have such beauty and depth to them and they always just stand out in the bunch. A few years ago we did a dinner to celebrate our Fall 2017 collection that was inspired by Grey Gardens. Lewis Miller did these incredible arrangements with the Anemones. Inspire by Grey Gardens, he did all the arrangement in found objects that we imagined you would find around the little and big Edie’s house; left over cans from food, spray bottles etc. The contrast of the anemones with the “trash” was incredible. Since then, I always smile when I see anemones.

What is the best Mother’s Day gift you’ve ever given?
Like most of the world, my mother loves Celine Dion. Her birthday is close to Mother’s Day. When Celine first started her residency in Las Vegas, I joined her fan club so that I could get front row seats for my mom as a joint birthday/Mother’s Day gift. She was so happy.

What’s the worst?
Probably just the years I can’t be with her, because of work and because I live in New York and she is in San Diego.

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