By day, he pushes petals as the proprietor of Blushing Blooms, but at night – or at least the most important one of the year, New Year’s Eve – Brennen Farlow is one-half of the couple behind gay Atlanta's biggest party with a purpose, Party Like A Rockstar 9.0.
When tickets for the ninth annual event went on sale last week, we caught up with the tatted, tulip artist to talk about body art, “The Price Is Right” and how child labor turned into a profession.
Anyone dining at Einstein’s this season has seen your Blushing Blooms. What is the earliest interest in flowers that you can remember?
My earliest interactions with floral was at the age of six years old. My mother, a third generation florist, lifted me up onto her worktable and showed me how to design single rose vases. Little did I know, it would turn into free labor for the next 12 years. [laughs]
What is the history behind your business?
Blushing Blooms is still making its name in Atlanta, but we have had several amazing accomplishments in the short five years since beginning. I have managed to claim the rights to a few celebrities, including the amazingly talented Elton John, as well as a really loyal clientele. All of this would not be possible without the help of my friends, my mother and my partner-in-crime, Justin Longenbach (second photo left).
You not only work with flowers but also interior design. What is one simple piece of advice everyone could follow?
Whatever appeals to your eyes and makes you happy is what is important. But if you want to get particular, I would build your room around a favorite item such as a painting or a sculpture. I always try to go with something timeless so I don’t have to continually chase after trends.
There’s also some serious design on your body. What was your first tattoo?
My first tattoo was with my partner Justin. We both chose an inner arm tattoo and received them at the same time. And it is true, once you get a tattoo there is no stopping.
On your left sleeve is the phrase “if you’re not laughing, you’re not living.” Is a sense of humor important to you?
The phrase is very special to me. My sleeve is dedicated to my grandfather who passed away. Every item carries a special meaning to remember him by but the phrase on my arm is instilled in me. My grandfather was a bit of a comedian and rarely showed sadness. Growing up, he always told me and my cousins, “If you’re not laughing, you’re not living.” That has stuck with me ever since.
What makes you laugh?
I laugh about many things but then again, I’m a dork. I guess it just depends on the day but honestly I just enjoy laughing.
How about Drew Carey and “The Price Is Right.” You and Justin celebrated your anniversary at the show this year. What was that like?
One of my favorite experiences in life thus far! It was already special since this was a trip for our ninth year anniversary but being on the show really topped off the trip. We watch the show after dinner like an old couple every night before bed.
What’s your favorite “The Price Is Right” game?
I believe we all share the same favorite game, Plinko!
You and Justin are the brains behind – dare I say Atlanta’s hottest New Year’s Eve party – Party Like A Rockstar. Can you talk a bit about the party’s origins?
We started the party years ago out of our home. It began as a simple gathering amongst friends but with each passing year, the party got bigger and bigger until we decided to move it to a venue. Our house was very grateful for that decision. We are just happy to celebrate a great night for a special cause supporting Joining Hearts.
You’ve raised quite a bit of money over the years. What are the goals for Party Like A Rockstar 9.0?
This year, we hope to raise $10,000, but we need everyone’s help in doing so. A portion of each ticket for both general admission and VIP will go to Joining Hearts but 100% of what we make for coat check and Jell-O shots sold, will go directly to Joining Hearts. [Farlow enjoys a sexy Joining Hearts pool party and a wrestling singlet, too.]
Is there any year that stands out the most?
I think Justin would agree that that would have to be the last year we hosted the party at our house. I remember one of the bartenders doing a fire-breathing trick in our back yard, another pouring shots straight into peoples’ mouths from the kitchen island and a cooler full of fun punch knocked over onto the floor.
The next morning, all we could do is laugh. We woke up anyone we could find and put them to work spackling a few walls, scrubbing floors and of course taking out all the trash. That year was epic but never again at our house.
You’re also featured in the Burly Bakers 2015 Calendar. How did that come about?
I actually knew the owner, Bill Armstrong, through Facebook. He a sweet guy who knows how to bake! Bill asked if I would be in the calendar and I said yes. But I don't have the first clue about baking.
Do you have a sweet tooth?
I do have a bit of a sweet tooth and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the devil. I always get those late night cravings so I tip toe down to the kitchen and rummage through the cabinets to see what I can find.
What’s next for you?
Not entirely sure. I try to plan things out but my paths seem to change without notice but continuing to grow my business while I enjoy life, my family and my partner are the top priorities for me.
Learn more about Blushing Blooms, follow the business on Facebook and find out more about Party Like A Rockstar 9.0 on Dec. 31 at Jungle. Check out photos from Party Like A Rockstar of years past here, here, here, here and here.