At the beginning of the pandemic, I co-founded a company committed to helping underrepresented and global majority employees feel seen by their employers. To deliver on that mission, my team and I did a lot of things that didn’t scale. We put in thousands of personal calls to see how people were doing mentally and physically. We personally matched people with therapists and professional coaches. We encouraged people to take the time they needed to recover from stress. We took note of a lot of birthdays, and we delivered lots and lots of wine and flowers. While our business is a little different today (we don’t send out as much wine), I’m still obsessed with giving flowers.
Traditionally, flowers are given as gifts to show the recipient how important he/she/they are to the giver. The tradition can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Egyptians who saw flowers as symbols of life and beauty. The ancient Romans used flowers to express emotion and status. The ancient Greeks crowned winners of contests with floral crowns to signify success and victory.
Personally, giving (and receiving) flowers are a core part of my gratitude practice. I started practicing gratitude a few years ago because personal experiences led me to believe that some small changes in my perspective could make a big difference in my life. After some digging and further research, I learned science supports what my own experience taught me. Gratitude is good for health and well-being—both mental and physical—and stories are a core feature of effective gratitude practices. Good news, right?!
The challenge is it's hard to find ways to practice gratitude in the community. So I asked myself what it would look like if we put rituals around gratitude and flower-giving? What if we put more intention around honoring people now, today?
The answer I developed became Flowers & Crowns. It’s a light-hearted podcast that lovingly gives everyone from creative, cultural icons to unassuming, community leaders their bouquet of virtual flowers while they can still smell them. Each podcast episode centers on a Flowers recipient—someone who has made a name for themselves in their given field and is on their way to cultural iconography. We begin in dialogue with the guest about their path, pivotal moments, and influencers. At different points during the interview, they give flowers of their own to those they admire and respect.
The first three episodes, made in partnership with McKinsey, celebrate Black leadership, genius, and creativity by honoring Steve Pamon (former President and COO of Beyonce’s management and production company, Parkwood Entertainment), Misty Copeland (New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and American Ballet Theatre principal dancer), and Tamara N. Houston (founder and managing partner of ICON MANN and The Pavilion of the African Diaspora).
If you want a consistent reason to smile and celebrate, join us:
- Subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts
- Give flowers yourself on our website
- Join an upcoming McKinsey LinkedIn Live session where we discuss Flowers & Crowns (the next one will be Feb 9 at 12:30pm)
About the Host
Bryan Lattimore is a father, husband, serial entrepreneur, creative, investor, and lover of people. His work lives at the intersection of provocation and passion, helping build moments, teams, and organizations that create impact in the world. He created Flowers and Crowns to be a collaborative project that centers and celebrates the generosity of the human spirit.
He’s the founder of Wynne Studios, an Atlanta-based venture studio and creator house that partners with high-influence individuals to build products and companies for a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous world. Early collaborators include Sky High Farms and Universe Contemporary. He’s Co-Founder of WITH Wellness, a private wellness club that helps employers reduce burnout and boost morale. Prior to building companies, Bryan spent time at Emerson Collective, Chan Zuckerberg, McKinsey & Company and advised brands like Verizon, Nike, and Starbucks.