My nan was a great gardener and I so admired her. Her love of plants left an enduring mark on me, but I hadn’t thought about finding a way to work with plants and flowers, I just enjoyed it in my free time. Luckily, I stumbled into floristry in my mid-twenties.
I had dropped out midway through a double science degree and was working in a tea shop when a customer came in with a huge bunch of flowers. I asked if it was her birthday and she told me it was a bouquet she’d made at TAFE [Australia’s vocational education system] as she was studying floristry.
I just remember thinking what an extraordinary thing it was that you can study flower arranging, so I went home, looked it up and enrolled that week. I have to say TAFE wasn’t my favourite place to learn, but I started going to the flower markets weekly, meeting amazing growers and being astonished by the varieties of flowers I was seeing.
Gosh, what an upheaval it’s been for so many. We were very lucky to welcome our first kiddo into the world in February 2022, so to be honest, having events postponed was a bit of a boon as I was able to just settle in and spend a lot of time with my son without racing about with work.
We’re lucky to live up in the Blue Mountains, so were able to spend a lot of time in the bush and gardening, whilst not sleeping and struggling with a newborn. During that time I also started making a lot of ceramics/vases, which I’ve been using for a lot of my events lately. This has been pretty special.
Work has returned somewhat to normal for me now though I feel I’m generally working on smaller events which suits me well.
I love plants so much and feel so lucky that I get to spend my days working with them. Nice clients and interesting briefs definitely keep me satisfied. I think over the years I’ve become better at steering clients towards options which I think will work best and help them have as little impact on the earth as possible in terms of working seasonally, locally, foam-free, reusuing and recycling what we can etc. I’ve been my own boss for about 10 years now too – it can be tough, but I find so rewarding.
Oh tough one! I have truly adored working on weddings but I think my most exciting was I got to do flowers at Sydney Opera House for an intimate recording of three live songs with The National who are one of my favourite bands. We got to sit in on the performance which still makes me smile.
I’m pretty organized and practical, which is tremendously useful. What I love about events is it’s often just a series of problems to be solved with flowers.
My relationship with social media is a bit fraught. I think the community building is a wonderful aspect of social media, I’ve met and retained friendships through it and found it inspiring to see what others are doing and I love that the sharing of sustainable tips and tricks seems to be increasing exponentially. But I do find social media a bit of a drag and wouldn’t use it if it weren’t for work.
I often feel at the end of an event that I’ve done my job and the flowers were there for the guests to enjoy not to put on social media. But then I also think I am an old curmudgeon and I should be grateful that Instagram in particular has been so useful over the years in allowing me to show my work and helped me book the jobs that keep this life I love ambling along.
I love working with practical people who love flowers, to me that’s all you really need everything else can be taught/learnt,
A really good pair of snips (I like Felcos and have the same pair since I first started, I just keep getting them sharpened and have had to replace the spring once) and a snip holster! Saves you from losing them and a safe place to keep them when up a ladder.
Potting tape (can fix so many things)
Chicken wire (I feel grateful to Nicolette Camille and Saipua for teaching me to use it in table arrangements about eight years ago so I didn’t fall into using foam for table centers. I ditched foam for larger scale/hanging installs about five years ago)
Wire cutters so you aren’t ruining your good snips and crates are my favourite thing for moving arrangements about