People We Love: Tobore Oweh

Petal By Petal  

As unique and beautiful as her flower arrangements, Tobore Oweh’s destiny lay in floral design. Finding her craft through the obstacles associated with being an undocumented immigrant—moving to the United States from Lagos, Nigeria at the age of 7—Oweh soured above its challenges, finding the true beauty in the blossoms of the world.  

Discover how Oweh found her passion, the difficult journey that brought her thereher creative perspective on flower design and the exclusive arrangement she did for Banana Republic. We share Oweh inspirational words on the voyage that lead to her to floral fate.  

Oweh’s love for design came at a young age, first manifesting in the form of interior design. “I remember being in middle school and being so fascinated by design. My favorite channel was HGTV and Design on a Dime was my show! I loved every second of the transformations I saw happen. It was then I decided that I wanted to be an interior designer. (Oweh) 

Soon after middle school, Oweh discovered that interior design wasn’t in her cards and realized that her immigration status had more of an effect on her future then she originally thought. “I quickly discovered I wouldn’t be going to college. I was undocumented and FAFSA wasn’t (and still isn’t) an option for folks like me. My parents couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket, so I quickly had to put my hopes and dreams aside. I started researching other forms of design that I could get into without school and destiny brought me to floral design, changing my life forever.” (Oweh) 

Despite this set back, Oweh wasn’t deterred by this limitation and instead found a passion in something much more substantial, the earth. “Often times, we see obstacles in our lives as a bad thing; something that binds and limits us; neglecting to see it from a different lens...perhaps as light, potential, possibilities. There is always some sort of lesson or revelation within the experience.” (Oweh) 

Oweh didn’t only find a career but a purpose, one that gave light and love to the world around her. “Floral design for me isn’t just making a space beautiful or added decoration, they carry energy that uplifts any space, sweet messages through color and an array of blooms and act as constant reminders of how beautiful life is and how to live more purposeful and intentional.” (Oweh) 

With a distinctive approach on floral design, emphasizing color, texture and style with differentiating elements, Oweh’s arrangements are truly unique. With great gratitude, Banana Republic was honored to have an arrangement inspired and created for the brandOweh describes her piece and the reasoning for each bloom represented, speaking to the characteristics that embody the brand. “When I designed this arrangement, I really wanted to bring something unique and relevant into it; something that embodied the explorer spirit of the Banana Republic brand. Taking us on a trip to South-East Asia, I wanted to capture the banana flower as the focal point. So beautiful, one of a kind, sass personified and even used as a delicious & healthy substitute for fish. For the other elements in this arrangement, I wanted to incorporate colors and blooms that reminded me of the Banana Republic brand. Luxurious, adventurous and limitless with no boundaries. From the light pinks, to the range of blues, to the purples and oranges, to the plethora of texture and seasonal blooms, this piece was about surrendering to the world of possibilities. Exploring life, letting go of the “what ifs” and embracing the right now!” (Oweh) 

Follow Tobore Oweh and her company, The Petal Effect (@petaleffect), to discover the inspiring and refreshingly unique approach she has on floral design and add some blooms to your life with one of her singular, exceptionally beautiful creations to call your own.