By Maureen Werther
After nearly a dozen years of making floral magic in Los Angeles for the television and motion picture industry, Sidney Martin is creating the sequel to his West Coast career in downtown Saratoga Springs with the opening of Simply Sidney Floral Design and Home Accents at 268 Broadway.
Sidney Martin celebrated the opening of his new storefront with a grand opening event on Nov. 17. According to Martin, the event was a success, with more than 75 in attendance. He is thrilled to be part of the downtown business scene.
Martin hopes to bring what he calls a “west coast design aesthetic to the area.”
“I love Saratoga and I have no intention of trying to change anything about it. But, I can bring a much broader view of floral design and décor that comes from both the West Coast and my southern upbringing,” said Martin.
He said visitors will see evidence of both influences in the store displays and photos of his work.
Martin spent nearly a dozen years in L.A., creating floral fantasies for the sets of movies like “Legally Blonde 2,” “Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Monster-In-Law,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and “Princess Diaries 2,” the film that Martin says he “cut his teeth on” in when he first arrived there.
His career blossomed with TV hits such as “The West Wing,” “Desperate Housewives” and “The Office,” and his designs graced the pages of national bridal magazines and the borders of red carpets at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and the Hollywood Film Festival.
During that time, Martin’s group won industry event awards for floral décor at the 2002 Golden Globes’ Warner Bros/In Style Magazine after party, the Green Room at the 2003 and 2004 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival.
He said the transition to upstate New York has not been difficult.
Martin originally hails from a small town in Georgia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Growing up, he was surrounded by lakes, mountains and gardens created by his mother and grandmother. He remembers drawing pictures long before he could write and, invariably, his artistic subjects were the blooms in his mother’s garden.
After graduating from the Atlanta School of Art, he took a job in a lower shop. “My floral design career began completely by happenstance,” said Martin. He started out sweeping the floors and making flower deliveries while serving as a floral design apprentice for $5 an hour. Eventually, the head designer left and the shop’s owner began grooming Martin for a lead role in the business.
After five years in Atlanta, Martin went to Los Angeles. He worked for Delta Airlines and was in the air 9/11. He decided it was time to get back to his innate artistry.
“I realized that I’d been stifling my artistic creativity,” he said.
He began working first at the Four Seasons, doing designs for weddings and celebrity parties, calling it “an amazing experience.” From there, he expanded his freelance business, finally connecting with the Sandy Rose Co. and beginning his work in film and television.
Martin and his partner, Tas Steiner, eventually landed in Saratoga Springs.
Martin said he is thrilled about the successful opening of Simply Sidney Floral Design and Home Accents and he looks forward to offering “unparalleled service” to all his clients.
Simply Sidney Floral Design and Home Accents is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays. For more information, visit www.simplysidney.com.