By Elaelah Harley
Photos: Elaelah Harley
Come Spring time when new flowers first bloom, colours and culture spreads throughout Brisbane. As the streets start to warm, excited buzz of the bees echoes the busy Brisbane floral scene.
Florists across the region are preparing for weddings, events, and the occasional race days. According to the Lewis Financial Group, the average florist revenue reaches an all-year high during Spring. It is the time of year when floral prints raid the boutiques of Brisbane. With such an impact on the fashion scene, Frock Paper Scissors will give you the inside scoop into the floristry life of these blooming beauties!
Meet Zoe Warneminde.
In the pink renovated shed in her grandmother’s backyard, the company Bumble and Bloom was brought to life. Its creator, Zoe Warneminde, is a Brisbanite who started her floristry business on Instagram, which has raked in the interest of Married at First Sight participant Davina Rankin for her brunch socialite events. She is a local girl who has seen the world and simply cannot get enough of flowers. “My mother was a florist, so I have been around flowers and nature my entire life. I then moved to London for a few years and that’s where I really found my love for flowers, because in that culture there are flowers everywhere,” Zoe describes.
In addition to the floristry scene abroad, Miss Warneminde has also been influenced by the fashion scene. In fact, this aspect solidified her interest in floristry as the industries seem to be somewhat co-dependent. “Floristry is absolutely impacting the fashion scene,” she says. “I’ve seen many runways lately that have had floral design hair pieces or flower crowns or what not, but yeah I think it’s cool to incorporate fashion and flowers together.” According to floral style blogger Kyla Helgeson, more examples of the impact of flowers include constant floral reinventions from Dolce & Gabbana and couture-inspired wedding gowns by Claire Pettibone.
Meet Natalie Merino.
Starting as a hairdresser by trade, then working on a whale watching boat in Hervey Bay, it wasn’t until she had her first child that Ms Merino merged into the floristry industry. “I decided I wanted to do something for me, and because she was going to school it was sort of the first time that I actually had some time to myself, so I decided that I wanted to be a florist,” she says. “I’m a bit creative, and I love mixing colours together, and there’s my love for flowers, too.” It was a spur of the moment decision where Ms Merino had minimal prior experience with flowers. “To be honest, before I started studying I really didn’t have a clue about what was what, but now I’m here, working from home and having a great time with it.”
Now Ms Merino has grown her experience as a florist, taking on the name Harpers Bloom Flowers, and is aiming to take her brand beyond Instagram. “My bigger picture is to have my own shop one day, but right now this is working, doing Instagram jobs, markets and stuff like that.”
Meet Alexandra L’Estrelle.
Miss L’Estrelle works at the Flower Lovers warehouse, where her interest in floristry began out of convenience. “I feel like I’ve always really loved nature and flowers and stuff like that, but I kind of have just fell into it,” she says. “Because I couldn’t find work doing anything else. I conveniently lived really close to the TAFE, so I thought I might as well start a course.”
When Miss L’Estrelle works on a flower arrangement, her expertise and passion is more than evident. She is fuelled by her aesthetic workspace scenery. “I would say Spring flowers are my favourite, so I love this season at work the most,” she adds. When Miss L’Estrelle was asked to pick her favourite flowers she says, “I really do love tulips, anything small and dainty here. I would regard my own style as feminine, that’s why I love more delicate flowers, too.”
Though Miss L’Estrelle is often found wearing a dark-coloured uniform and apron, she enjoys the classic styles of floral prints. “It’s exciting to be a part of the trend, and especially around this time, the florist and fashion industries go hand in hand,” she says. “As well as being able to wear lots of floral prints, I know a lot of fashion shows that now incorporate flowers, so it’s exciting to see flowers everywhere.”
Meet Portia Bax.
Miss Bax is also another employee at the local Flower Lovers warehouse, though she works as a graphic designer. “I first started doing work experience as a florist just to get involved… and my pathways slightly changed, but I still do love flowers. Luckily, with my job, they (flowers and graphic design) intertwine,” says Miss Bax.
When working at Flower Lovers, Miss Bax is involved in the marketing and up-signing. Though this is more of a business aspect, Miss Bax enjoys bringing light to popular flower styles each season, and she especially likes incorporating those trends into her own fashion style. “The job gives that delicate aspect. I personally feel comfortable wearing lots of dark colours, but my style involves lots of feminine and pink accessories. That’s why I’m so in love with working with flowers. It’s like my own accessory,” she says.
Despite her comfort wearing dark colours, it seems Miss Bax can’t wait to purchase some more florals in the warmer months. “Floral patterns are a necessity, especially in Spring time. I definitely can’t go past a floral pattern on a piece of clothing,” Portia explains.
Miss Bax and Miss L’Estrelle aren’t the only people following floral footsteps, according to The New York Times and Style Magazine writer Suzy Menkes, following these trends is seen as a natural common reality. “There is no longer a time gap between when a small segment of fashion-conscious people pick-up a trend and when it is all over the sidewalks,” says Ms Menkes.