LOS ANGELES — It’s 3 a.m. Monday and Ariana Lambert and Sophie de Rakoff are sitting in Lambert’s Hollywood duplex sipping coffee. One might think the two friends — both girls about town — had just come home after some fabulous soiree. But as owners and directors of Lily Lodge, a chic new flower business, they’re just beginning the day. “Definitely not one of the perks of the job,” de Rakoff sighs as they climb into Lambert’s Jeep Cherokee and head to the downtown flower market.

But once they’d come up with Lily Lodge’s design concept — pretty blooms in vintage vases or bowed boxes — there was no turning back. “I received one too many arrangements in a 50-cent glass bowl,” Lambert says. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if someone got a gorgeous vintage Murano vase and some simple peonies?’ That way you have a great piece that you can save.”

This story first appeared in the October 22, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

So far, the partners have amassed a collection of pieces by Lalique, Orrefors, Kaj Franck, Holmegaard, Glasbruk, Baccarat and Tappio Wirkkala that they use for events and will eventually sell in their shop — once they find a place and lease it. But today, before the sun rises, they’re stocking up for their second project, the Absolut Stella party.

“Stella really loves roses,” notes de Rakoff, as they inspected some dusty pink bouquets at the first stall. But Lambert rejects them — wrong color.

“We argue about everything,” Lambert says. “And we managed to kill everything in our first few tries, but we’ve since learned a lot.”

The two hope to generate sales of about $2 million in their first 12 months. Retail prices range from about $60 for a small Muano bud vase to $3,000 for a large Twenties Lalique vessel.

Early this year, Lambert gave up her fashion job as Bottega Veneta’s West Coast store director to focus on Lily Lodge, but de Rakoff, formerly a writer for Paper magazine, isn’t dumping her burgeoning costume design career.

“I’m not switching gears,” says de Rakoff, who is currently working on “Legally Blonde II” and “Gram Theft Parsons” with Johnny Knoxville. “I wanted to find another source of income that was creative yet completely different.”

As the duo hunts for a retail space, they’re putting the finishing touches on their green-and-white signature bouquet boxes and prepping projects in Lambert’s kitchen, which is full of white plastic buckets.

“It gets quite pretty in here,” Lambert says.

“Yeah,” de Rakoff says, “but it’s too early for anyone to see it.”

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