Anushka the Explorer

This Denverite travels the world curating a magical patchwork of petals and handmade goods
Store Front Travel

Travels | Visiting with indigenous dried flower artist Immortal Flores (left) and scoping out local treasure in Oaxaca with Irene Salas and Astrid Schumacher from ASIS design. Photo courtesy of Bloom.

Beauty is always the through line with Cherry Creek businesswoman, floral artist and jewelry maker Anuschka Pashel. Born in Germany to Czech parents, Pashel became a global traveler starting at age 18 as a fashion model after she won the Ford modeling contest. Eventually Pashel settled in New York City, and it was there she decided to dedicate herself to floral design, waking daily at 5 a.m. to purchase flowers at the floral market and then apprenticing throughout the day. She brought her skills (and her work ethic) to Denver in 1998, arranging stems in a friend’s garage and creating designs that wowed. Word of mouth sparked a buzz, and from there a business grew. It’s difficult to ignore a stunning 5’9” blonde with a German accent carrying the most gorgeous flower arrangements you’ve ever seen.

Pashel’s passion for the extraordinary didn’t stop with bouquets. Ten years in, she expanded her business into a boutique that includes worldly goods not previously seen in Colorado. Her search for all things handmade, unique and beautiful has taken her around the world and then some. To walk with Pashel through craft stalls in Mexico City, the fields of Turkey, the bazaars of Marrakesh or even the flea market in Long Beach, California, is exhausting. She’s a modern-day treasure hunter without a map, led by her insatiable curiosity, aesthetic instinct and great eye. A tremendous amount of schlepping and negotiating is involved, but that’s just part of the adventure for Pashel, who is a fierce defender of craft. “These processes are passed down over generations,” she notes, “and the only way to keep these arts alive is to support the artisans.

Store Front Store

In-Store Tableau | A large slice of Bloom with paintings from local artists (l to r) Madeleine O’Connell, Matti Berglund and John Woods as well as Turkish alpaca poufs, Brazilian crystals, an African beaded chair and oodles of Bloom candles and flowers. Photo courtesy of Bloom.

Store Front Jewellry

Wearable Art | Pashel models a Oaxacan handmade beaded necklace with silver hand pendant and ornate earrings, all bought directly from the family of makers that produce them. Photo courtesy of Bloom.

Pashel’s frequent flying saves us all the trip. Her crates of goods arrive in Denver and are immediately arranged on the shelves and in the spaces of her Cherry Creek store. Handmade napkins and ceramic candelabras from Mexico, artwork from the Czech Republic, pillowcases from Uzbekistan, carved marble and textiles from India and flowers from Holland and South America—they are all a part of Bloom by Pashel’s ever-changing curation. Even on vacation, she cannot resist: “We were in the South of France with the family. I really made an effort not to shop, but then I snuck away because I can’t help myself,” she says. “Beauty is everywhere, as is the inspiration. I just can’t stop searching.”

Store Front Vessels

Floral Explosion | Bloom’s design team create artistic flower arrangements with novelty flowers from around the world. Photo courtesy of Bloom.

Store Front Dress

Pretty in Hot Pink | Pashel strikes a pose in her garden of Anabelle hydrangeas donned in a handmade Kyrgyzstan felted wool on silk, one-of-a-kind dress and thrifted rodeo queen hat. Photo courtesy of Bloom.

Pashel credits much of this to her roots. “My mom was always knitting, quilting and crocheting. I think it is in my DNA that I really value the work. I recognize when something is handmade versus machine-made, and I realize how much work goes into it.” she says. “The imperfection, the stitch-by-stitch sewing, the knotting. The soul goes into these things. It’s a meditative process for the people who do it. I do it myself with the flowers and the jewelry, so I understand how much heart and labor goes into it.” Next is a trip to Japan, where it’s certain that many boxes will follow in her wake. “I find things everywhere. It doesn’t necessarily have to be some exotic place. I’ve found amazing artists here in Colorado as well. I don’t look for something specific. I wait for something that sparks my interest, something I have not seen before, and I’m constantly blown away.”

As featured in CHL’s May/June 2023 Issue

Categories: Art