Boss FilesJul 3, 2024

Boss Files: Sophia Moreno-Bunge

Written by Kelsey Walker

Today we’re taking a seat with the floral designer and multi-faceted creative, Sophia Moreno-Bunge. Based in Los Angeles, she is the founder of ISA ISA — a floral design studio creating uniquely inspired experiences using seasonal flowers, branches, pods, and fruits. She is also a co-owner of Fig Tree Restaurant in Venice Beach, where her creative direction advises aesthetics and her florals bring the vision to fruition.

Keep reading to follow along with this special conversation as we learn more about Sophia’s creative inspiration, business, and even a thing or two about floral arranging! Without further ado, Sophia of ISA ISA


a conversation with Sophia Moreno-Bunge…

Let’s start from the beginning! Tell us a bit about the journey that led you to where you are now.

When I started to play around with the idea of working in the floral world, I was living in NYC and had been studying photography and a bit of sculpture. I was fascinated by plants and flowers, and was missing nature while living in the city; my curiosity led me to discover a sculptor-turned-florist whose work I loved. I ended up working for her for a few years, and I immediately fell in love with it. The rest is history…


What is the story behind the name of your business, Isa Isa Floral?

ISA ISA is named after my two Argentinian grandmothers, both of whom are called Isabel; it’s also my middle name. Both of my grandmothers are very inspiring women; gardeners, entrepreneurs, mothers, and adventurers. I wanted to pay homage to my inspirations and strong maternal lineage.


You studied art history and visual arts at Barnard College. How has your educational background shaped the creative direction of your business?

I spent so much time looking at art and imagery throughout my studies. A lot of my inspiration comes from artists I love, like Ana Mendieta — Many of her works she created outside. The colors, composition, and wildness of Cy Twombly paintings have influenced my style. And by no surprise, I am forever in love with Matisse’s work. I also studied photography and those learnings have continued to advise how I capture my work on camera. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with interiors, thanks to my mother’s extensive collection of World Of Interiors magazine — which I still have and love flipping through. Getting to design for beautiful spaces is one of my favorite aspects of the work I do.


You source materials from the Los Angeles Flower Market, local farms, your personal garden, and are even known to sift through recycling bins every now and again! What can you share about ethical sourcing and foraging of florals and other plants?

Do your research before you try foraging, pick invasive plants from the root, and don’t pick rare things! Pick a little bit from each plant, try not to decimate them.


Isa Isa Floral is known for the incorporation of unconventional elements in its floral arrangements — leaves, vegetables, weeds, and other plants found in nature. Can you elaborate a bit more on your design ethos?

My desire is to create emotive, weird, and uniquely-inspired environments using seasonal materials. I am so inspired by the nature that surrounds me. Here in LA, wild passion vines cover all the freeway passes and overgrown citrus trees hang heavy with fruit in the winter. I love the palm trees — their dates and palm inflorescences look like sea creatures. The Brugmansia trees smell insanely delicious at night and jasmine vines heavily line the streets. There is an abundance of inspiration around me that ignites my senses.


What does a typical day-in-the-life look like for you?

Every day is different! Whether it’s sourcing florals at the flower market, doing a site visit, being on set all day for a shoot, or spending time arranging in the studio, I love that it changes!


How do you seek to incorporate balance in your life?

I love to spend time at the beach — surfing, relaxing, and reading. I have a movement routine that I stick to — dancing and lifting weights (our job requires some muscle to lift heavy buckets and be on ladders creating installations!). These things keep me grounded and I can’t live with out them!


Do you have any floral arranging tips you could share with us?

Process your stems before you put them in water! This means picking off any leaves or petals that would be underwater when placed in a vessel and will rot the water more quickly. You just want bare stems in there! Recut stems at an angle before you put them in water and change the water of your arrangements every couple of days.






“Inspired by the vessels name, I chose smokebush for the arrangement. It’s accented with some passion vine and black hollyhocks, both of which are my early summer favorites. Smokebush feels so fresh and full, like the beginning of summer. There’s something about the lightness and the way that it floats and catches the breeze that reminds me of the shift in seasons.”

*An arrangement made by Sophia, featuring the Smokey Willow Vase.

Rapid Fire with Sophia…

Favorite space in your home?

I love my living room couch — it’s surrounded by windows.


Most-used tool in your studio?

Clippers! I love my Niwaki Shears.


One thing that’s always in your bag?

My clippers, ha!


Most memorable floral activation to-date?

Wow! There are just too many to name one…


Current floral or foliage obsession?


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