Hello and Welcome! I am Fab Arruda, a Premier Florist from New York
Fabio’s journey toward living his dream as an event designer began a long way away
from the glitz and glamor of New York, in the modest outskirts of Recife, Brazil. Born
into a working-class family where his father managed a local steakhouse and his
mother owned and operated a cozy, fifteen-table restaurant that offered a rotating
menu of rustic “$10 Plates,” Fabio was working hard waiting tables, curing meats,
and chopping vegetables by the age of ten.
Although Fabio grew up as the youngest of four siblings with three older sisters, he
was never lucky enough to be given the spoiling usually reserved for the baby of the
family. As the only boy, he was put to work in his mother’s restaurant as soon as he
was big enough to wield a frying pan.
One of Fabio’s fondest memories from childhood was being taken on daily shopping
trips to the open-air market with his mother. Little Fabio’s head would spin amidst
all the beautiful smells and colors of Recife’s rich produce, grains, meats, and
flowers. The social buzz and cultural authenticity that he experienced at the market
seeped into Fabio’s creative DNA and has continued to influence his work ever since.
A few years down the road, while still working hard at the family restaurant on
nights and weekends, Fabio had a brief stint as a member of the Brazilian National
Gymnastics Team. But as it turns out, the career window on gymnastics is relatively
small, and Fabio’s thirst for creative work led him to a job with Roberto Maia, a well-
known Recife architect.
Fabio spent five years with Maia, receiving a crash course in décor and formal
dining. This new education was the perfect compliment to the salt-of-the-earth work
ethic he’d learned while grinding away at the family restaurant. The lessons of
refinement he was taught by Roberto left Fabio in the unique position of knowing
how to whip up a “$10 Plate” on a “$1,000 Piece of China.”
But Fabio’s dreams soon outgrew his quaint surroundings and his heart began to
yearn for the excitement and opportunity of New York. With nothing but the hope of
a better future and an aptitude for working harder than everyone around him, Fabio
took a one-way flight to New York. Luckily he meets someone who would give him a
great hand to get his life starting in NYC. During his rush to pursue his dreams, Fabio
had only forgotten one thing…he didn’t speak a single word of English!
Once in New York, Fabio was faced with the daunting task of figuring out life and
work without knowing the language. But he never got discouraged. After finally
finding a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant, Fabio put his head down, worked hard,
and was eventually noticed by the manager. Before too long, Fabio was working on
the floor as a waiter and bartender, wooing customers with his homegrown charm
and warm demeanor.
Although money was tight back then, Fabio began to save entire paychecks so he
could dress up and eat out at the best restaurants in New York. This wasn’t an
attempt at looking chic or impressive; Fabio was fascinated by what made great
dining experiences work and he was willing to part with his hard-earned cash to
The self-education soon began to pay off. After putting away enough money to enroll
in classes at the Parsons School of Design, Fabio had the good fortune of being
introduced into the world of catering. Again, without knowing anything about the
business, and still learning a new language, Fabio relied on his tireless work ethic to
get him by. He started out as a food passer who described every hors d’ oeuvres as
“Brazilian food” through a big smile, but was soon working as a captain.
Fabio’s unique background, which now included his upbringing at the rural family
restaurant in Brazil, his tutelage in fine dining with Roberto Maia, his pocket-
emptying self-dates in New York, and the hours of hard work he was logging in the
restaurant and catering worlds, finally converged when his bosses noticed his
creative knack and asked Fabio to start designing his own events.
Within a few years, Fabio had become one of the most trusted event designers in
New York, having come a long, long way from his early days in the city where he
didn’t even have the words to ask how to get to the closest grocery store. Not too
bad for a boy from a small town in Brazil.
After nonstop prodding from his loyal, longstanding clients, Fabio took another step
toward fulfilling what has been a true realization of the American Dream when he
threw open the windows of his own shop, founding Fab Arruda Events in December of 2013.
In addition to running his own company, Fabio Worked as a Account Director at
Christie’s Auction House, where more than four hundred breakfasts, brunches,
lunches, dinners, and cocktail receptions are held annually.
The down-to-earth work ethic he learned growing up and the experience he’s
gained around New York has left Fabio comfortable and prepared for any situation.
As so many of his clients tell him, “You’re going to be at the Event, right, Fab? Then I am not worried about a thing.”