Benny Ofer-the man behind Daniel Event’s blushing bouquets and ornate floral assortments- is known as the “Flower Guru” for a reason. His keen eye for detail, tremendous talent and innovative spirit has pushed boundaries, set trends and built Daniel Events into a leading elegant-yet edgy- event design and production company. But everything wasn’t always coming up roses for the Israeli immigrant; the journey towards the American Dream was far from easy. It all started- however- with flowers.
Q: You come from Israel. Why did you start chasing the American Dream?
A: I grew up looking for a dream. I really wanted to succeed in a place where I could be me. When I arrived here in my 20’s, I was on the beaches of Miami and saw miles of empty beach in August-no people in view. The whole scene – the palm trees, ocean and stretches of empty beach amazed me – it was like the movies I saw as a kid just came to life before my eyes. I had a great feeling of true freedom: No army, no burdens from my life – a fresh start.
Q: As a third-generation floral expert, did you ever think of choosing another path? What would you be doing if you weren’t making dreams come true?
A: A million times. I was in denial that I was a floral designer until my mid 30’s- even with a successful business at the time. I really wanted to be a Rockstar.
If I had a choice today to pick a different career path, I would be a writer. I write stories all the time. I think I could take these stories based on my own life experiences, explore what would happen if I went left instead of right and develop stories that people would be surprised by. I have seen a lot and been through a lot in my life. Growing up in Israel- in a different time culturally and politically- I had many struggles. When I arrived in the US, I became a millionaire, then I became homeless and then I became a millionaire again with many successful business ventures. The stories I could tell!
I’m like furniture that has been banged around the room and roughed-up, but I am strong and gentle at the same time. When I create, I level that spirit. I believe what’s meant to be is already written, it’s been planned – I was meant to be who I am.
Q: Daniel Events likes to break boundaries and make the impossible a reality. Is there an event that went above and beyond anything the company has ever done before?
A: Every event we do is a new challenge and we try to take the client on the journey with us if they are willing to go there. Sometimes that ticket comes at a high price, but its so worth the ride. That said, we find ways that they can get there but with economical vehicles when needed. When budget is not an issue we can take you places you have never been.
I’ve been fortunate to design some unbelievable weddings and events. While I wouldn’t say it was above and beyond anything we’ve done before, we did do this amazing wedding at The Plaza in NYC. What I love is that The Plaza was blown away by our crew, their professionalism, and the fact they broke down this tremendous event in 45 minutes. I still have the letter from The Plaza thanking us and acknowledging how we blew their minds and never saw a breakdown like that EVER.
Q: In an industry where a trend forecast predicts the style of an occasion-especially weddings- how do you stay original and innovative?
A: I am a designer – a decorator. Florists will work at the market dictation. As a decorator you ignore everything the market dictates to you because a great decorator marches only to his own drum beat. I am a decorator and it’s from my own fountain and heart that I create and set new trends.
Now, I’m also a business man. As a business man I need to be in the know of what the current trends are in the market place so that I’m prepared and can anticipate or expect what is going to be asked of me. Many people want to copy, and as a business man you need to be able to make the client happy-then you hope that you can put your own twist on it. Its your job to educate your client on how to be original and unique. Sometimes though, the client just wants exactly what they see and asks you to replicate it.
Q: Brides are choosing flowers with sentimental meaning as a focal point in the planning process. What kind of flower holds meaning for you?
A: I’m fascinated by new breeds and hybrids of flowers with different genetics such as white protea, green agapanthus, onion blooms and eye series of garden roses. We get to test out a lot of flowers that are not available to the open market through our direct relationships with farms around the globe.
Q: What’s your daily motto?
A: Stay hungry and live your life with your whole heart.
Q: Where do you see Daniel Events in the next five years?
A: It’s all about legacy- keeping the religion of great quality, service and product while also continuing to move in a more modern and sophisticated direction business- wise. My company will continue to raise the bar with integrity, creativity and respect. We will do our part to keep the event and wedding industry from becoming a “fast food” or “Starbucks” kind of industry. Our creativity is valuable to the company’s future.
Want to work with the flower guru and the dream team to help plan your special day or corporate event? Visit our website https://www.danielevents.com/ or call 800-660-2562 x800 to start planning your vision!