Thursday, May 23, 2024 May 23, 2024
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Twelve Thirty Four Boutique is Blooming With Arrangements and Local Art

Patricio Rivera has found a place for his floral service to blossom.
| |Photography by Elizabeth Lavin
Patricio Rivera Twelve Thirty Four
Rivera sees great promise in his shop’s up-and-coming neighborhood near Baylor University Medical Center. Elizabeth Lavin

Florist Patricio Rivera moved to the United States at the age of 13, but he says it was his childhood in Honduras that inspired his floral career path. “I’ve always been around nature,” he says. “I always felt like nobody understood me as a person, as a kid. Flowers did. Plants did. I always felt like this hug from nature. So I want that for people, because I think that plants can truly heal you in ways that other people can’t. You don’t need to have a conversation with them; they just do what they do.” 

Rivera wanted his first solo brick-and-mortar shop to feel like a hug, so he draped the interior of the historic 1920s Swiss Avenue storefront in green velvet and painted the walls the color of fresh moss. Square pedestals, made of Texas hardwoods by local German artist Barbara Harvel, stand in the center of the space, providing an artful display for the day’s arrangements. “It took me three years to get into here,” he says, “because the landlord is very protective of who comes in and what they want to do with this space.”

After moving to the United States from Honduras early in his teens, Rivera got a job working at Sissy’s Southern Kitchen in Dallas as a busser. Thanks to his keen eye, he was quickly promoted to the restaurant’s visual director. In 2016, he launched his floral service, Twelve Thirty Four, and his creations quickly graced downtown department store Forty Five Ten as well as Greenville Avenue restaurants, Bishop Arts shops, and weddings all over town. His new boutique, which opened in February, features the works of local artists alongside his own arrangements. “The goal is to have things that are all by different artists to showcase things made by hand, things that are not just quickly done,” he says.

Set in front of the large front windows are glass vases filled with cut camellia branches about to burst into bloom. Along the wall are small pots of Christmas cacti and ferns that Rivera says students from the Dallas Theological Seminary purchase to spruce up their dorm rooms. Sprinkled throughout are various treasures by Dallas creators: hand-forged knives, also by Harvel; candles made in collaboration with Le Sol House and Fount Board and Table; jewelry by Elizabeth Hooper Studio; reversible denim hats by Crescente Patricio; clothing and accessories by Simonett.

Vases are everywhere: one-of-a-kind pieces that were hand-pinched by Giselle Hicks, hand-thrown by Chase Gamblin, or slip cast by Brooks Oliver. Rivera has always had an unusually direct relationship with the people who create the vessels that hold his arrangements. “I have been working with Brooks for more than 10 years now, and then Chase going on seven,” he says. “We keep evolving, and we’re always testing new things. We have a bunch of new projects coming up. I want to grow with them and vice versa.

“The way I see it is I am representing artists in the world of clay work and then also creating art with them. Not everybody’s ready to make the purchase, but some people are really looking for those pieces that are unique and nobody has. And then they’ll buy it, and then we’ll do flowers throughout the year in that piece for them. They’ll have it for a lifetime.”

This story originally appeared in the April issue of D Magazine with the headline “The Petal Pusher.” Write to [email protected].


Kathy Wise

Kathy Wise

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Kathy Wise is the editorial director of D Magazine. A licensed attorney, she won a CRMA Award for reporting for “The…