I have considered for some time that I should write a little about myself and my business, but always wondered ‘who would be interested?’ So, after much thought and deliberation I’ve decided to start a semi-regular blog post and hope you will join me on this journey.
I grew up in the north-western suburbs of Melbourne European migrants who arrived after WWII. I had a wonderful and happy childhood growing up in the 60s and 70s, in a time when things were simple.
Like many women, my early to late teens saw me working in different part-time jobs from selling shoes, waiting tables, working in hospitality and eventually making a career in banking. For almost 25 years I worked in banking and achieved an executive position to become the first appointed female manager in Victoria. It was during this time I met and married my husband Barry of 34 years and for most of this time we have lived in Mt Macedon in the beautiful Macedon Ranges.
Change of Life
During the early 2000 I was diagnosed with cancer and having gone through extensive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, I think it would be safe to say that you go through a lot of emotions.
I had always loved ‘playing’ with flowers and in particular, after a weekend of cleaning the house, I would always finish the day with a finishing touch of flowers. Often this would be just one big tall vase of flowers – usually beautiful big blue Delphiniums when in season – perfect in my blue & white kitchen.
Having battled through with the treatment and recuperating over 12 months, I went back to work for a hotel and it was here that I continued ‘playing’ until one day someone said: “you should do this as a business.”
Setting up the business
Starting a floristry business was a big financial risk. It’s a huge, serious undertaking and commitment. How would it effect and impact on my personal life and social life? I had no experience in running a business. Do I take the chance, or do I continue going along the day to day path of working for someone else, the latter being so much easier? These are a number of questions which were crucial in deciding my future direction and one which had to be decided together with Barry.
I grabbed the opportunity to start my small, very niche business out of a nursery in 2004. It was a small little cottage-style shop which was perfect. More importantly it provided the opportunities of honing any natural skill as a novice flower arranger, creating and developing my own style as we didn’t have Instagram or Google for inspiration and Facebook was very new. It was a perfect foundation and environment to learn about plants which helped with creating my own garden. Understanding the different varieties and their genus, the seasons of plants their colour varieties/textures and how they grow is an essential part of both gardening and certainly an invaluable tool in floristry.
Growing and getting serious
I never thought for a minute that I would do weddings! Like funerals, I believe weddings are up there in the scale of importance. I was given my first opportunity early in my floristry career by a wonderful, supportive and encouraging couple and family who were kind enough to take the chance. Thankfully it was a great success and it was the honest encouragement I needed. It was also about this time 14 years ago I decided to share my experiences by providing fundamental floral-arranging workshops to those who were like-minded. I am happy to say I am still providing these workshops today.
Within a few years I decided to take the challenge of opening a store in nearby Woodend to develop and expand both my now core wedding business and providing an eclectic retail and workshop space.
Well you now know just a little more about me. In future posts I look forward to sharing my love of flowers and all things floral and garden.
I will include photo snippets from our weddings, store and workshops, with some highlights out of my personal garden. I’m excited to be sharing my world. I hope you get inspiration and encouragement for your own personal pursuits, it’s all about the journey and what you achieve for your own personal goals and ambitions.