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On The Edge


Robert Gonzalez is living an extraordinary life

He's gone from South America, to a successful modeling career, to becoming one of the most accomplished and well-known florists in the international floral industry today.

As a celebrity floral designer, Roberto Gonzalez has gotten to know and work for the likes of Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston, he's decorated movie sets for Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, and his work regularly brings beautiful homes and high-profile corporate events to life.

"I never would have thought in a million years I'd be doing this, coming from the slums of Venezuela," he says.

In 1995, when he was only 18, Roberto came to the United States all alone in search of a better life. Through hard word and determination, that's exactly what he achieved.

He says he "found flowers" by coincidence- and he channeled that chance meeting into an extraordinary career as a floral designer. As a former model, Roberto is not shy of the camera, but he says the life of a model and all the travel it demanded wore on him. He was looking for more balance and flowers gave him that. "My work," he says, "is inspired by my past."

Roberto remains inspired by fashion visionaries such as Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana and he can draw creative motivation from something as simple as a nicely dressed woman or the brilliant color of a garment. He equates the principles of bodybuilding with those of floral design - considering symmetry, balance and density paramount to building a strong body and a spectacular arrangement, ideas featured prominently on his robust online platforms.

These days, Roberto pours much of his endless energy into social media. He has more than 25,000 followers on Instagram. "My presence and what I post on there is very honest and is extremely important to me," Robert says. "I'm very conscious of where I am and what I'm doing."

He sees social media as the best way to engage with the modern world, especially younger florists and floral designers. "They're all on there," he says of the next generation. "We need young people. We need more young people to go into the business."

Ultimately, Roberto's goal on social media is to "inspire as many people as possible."

"The intention is to showcase the balance between work life and your personal life," he says. "As florists, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. It's important to live a balanced life."

Roberto's life is balanced, but it's also very impressive. "If you're strong enough to take care of your body, you can do anything," he says. "Anything is possible."