Hope Blooms Floristry by mother-daughter duo Amber Hammersmith and Tanya may have just joined the Gathered Design Market family in July, but their efforts around floristry and floral arrangements have certainly not gone unnoticed. I still remember walking into the Queens Theatre on both days of the July market and always seeing Amber and Tanya working hard in putting together some of the most gorgeous floral arrangements for customers – each of whom sported the biggest smiles on their faces.
Not only does their stall smell i n c r e d i b l e, but also, they are literally surrounded by beauty all around them, thanks to the fresh and vibrant blooms that make up their stunning bunches.
With the upcoming Gathered Design Market in October, I had a Q&A with Tanya and Amber about their anticipations around participating in the market as a stall holder – have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and the key individuals who are involved in the business?
Hope Blooms Floristry is owned and run by Amber and Tanya. We are a mother and daughter team. We both enjoy creating designs for events and weddings. Amber is the head florist and does most of the day-to-day orders, but we both create floral designs items for events, markets and weddings.
Tema: What made you decide on starting up your own business?
Hope Blooms began as a little ‘maybe we can?’ idea and a desire to do something that we really loved. And to be our own bosses! 2018 (when we started our business) was a difficult year, where a lot of things happened. That was, sort of, the final push we needed to actually make our idea a reality and make the jump into business. Our name – Hope Blooms Floristry – relates to that: there’s hope; even in difficult circumstances.
Tema: Why did you choose to base your business around flowers and floristry in particular?
We have both always been drawn to pursuing creativity and to beautiful things, so flowers and floristry were just such an obvious choice. There’s such joy and pleasure that comes from creating with flowers and then passing that creation onto customers.
Tema: What are some of your favourite flowers / plants to work with?
Amber: I really love using any flower in soft, pastel colours like ranunculus, poppies and pretty flowering bushes. I also love working with native blooms too! Pink proteas have to be my very favourite.
Tanya: My favourites are classic roses and lilies and I also really like peonies. I’m also drawn to bright flowers as well, or blooms that have a unique aspect to them.
Amber & Tanya: And we have both developed a passion for pampas grass!
Tema: What kind of bunches / arrangements do you tend to create regularly?
Lately there have been a lot of orders for flower bouquet gifts. It seems to be the season for engagements, birthdays, and special events! We are also booking for the next wedding season, which is very exciting. Custom orders where the customer gives us a very loose brief (or even free reign!) have been very fun to create, because then we can really lean into our creativity. It’s always cool to see what emerges as the final result!
Tema: What does a day of a florist typically look like?
It can look different from day-to-day. Normally, it’s heading to the markets early in the morning to pick up flowers for the day orders and also put in larger flower orders for any upcoming events. Then, it’s getting all those blooms home and conditioning them, so they stay as fresh for as long as possible. The rest of the day is then filled with making up the orders, taking orders, deliveries, and maybe finding time to grab some lunch too! That’s a very busy day – sometimes we only have a few orders in a week.
Tema: How do you decide on your floral arrangements every day? Is it different every day / every week / every season?
Generally, we try and use flowers and greenery that is in season. That helps to cut down on shipping and transport costs – money-wise and eco-wise too. For a wedding though, it might be necessary to order from overseas that extra special bloom that will make a bride\s floral vision come to life. For other flower bouquets for gifts and such, we do have examples of ones we have made before that customers may like to choose from, but a lot of the time, they have an idea of what they want. So, we work with them to create the colour scheme or look that they are after. We do look at some of the trends out there right now, but we don’t necessarily try and recreate those (unless that’s what the customer wants). Using our own creativity and inspiration, looking at the context of what the flowers are for is more what we tend to do when creating. We do have our own style of course, which we bring to each bouquet. A little bit wild and unstructured but whimsical and pretty – at least that’s what we’ve been told!
Tema: How long have you been in business for? How have you found the journey so far?
We have been creating with flowers for a number of years, but it was only last year (2018) that we decided to actually make it into a business. And we would say that so far, it’s going pretty well! We have had the support from friends and family, so that’s definitely helped immensely.
Tema: How did you hone your skills around floristry and floral arrangements- was it something that you undertook formal training for or are you self-taught?
We are both self-taught, but Amber has been studying floristry at TAFE to learn more techniques and make some connections in the industry. It has been helpful to learn new trends and techniques, so we are aware of what customers/brides may be looking for when it comes to flowers. It has also really helped to hone in on our own personal style.
Tema: Do you primarily run online or do you have a physical shopfront / stockists where people can access your flowers?
At the moment, we are home-based and get about 80% of orders from Instagram and Facebook and the other 20% from word of mouth and repeat business. Instagram and generally speaking, social media have been so good to showcase what we can do and let people in Adelaide know that we are around. Participating in markets (especially Gathered!) has also been such a help in getting our name out there. Having a store is a dream though! We have a lot of ideas and plans of what we could do with a physical store, but that’s something for the future for sure!
Tema: What have you found rewarding about being a small scale business in Adelaide / South Australia?
In terms of a rewarding experience, it is all about seeing the joy when people receive their flowers. We have been involved in some happy, sad, challenging, amazing, and joyful occasions in people’s lives, which is one of the coolest aspects of this job! If we can bring just a small amount of cheer to someone’s day, then that’s enough for us. We have had some really great feedback from customers and brides, who have thanked us for creating just what they wanted.
Amber: I’ll never forget this one time I delivered a lovely bright bunch of flowers to a lady in a care home. The flowers were from her daughter, who was going out of town for the weekend and she just wanted to let her mum know she was thinking of her. This beautiful lady’s face lit up – she was so happy! If you have ever been in/visited a care home, you might know they’re not always the most bright or colourful places, so this lovely lady was pleased to receive her flowers and had something that was nice to look at and a reminder that her daughter was thinking of her.
Tema: What have you found challenging about being a small scale business in Adelaide / South Australia?
The early mornings can be a challenge! Additionally, some of the bigger events, where a lot of floral items/designs are needed – that can take a little while. And sometimes, if wiring is involved, it can be tough on your hands (note: don’t get your nails done before needing to wire flower designs for a wedding!) Also Summer – we have got to be vigilant in keeping the flowers nice and cool. As well as that, getting started with a small business obviously presents its own challenges, because you’re starting it from the ground up. It can take a while to gather all the resources you need, create an online/social media presence, and just get your name out there.
Tema: How did you get involved with Gathered SA?
Tanya: Amber was initially approached through her Instagram account by Jenna (who runs Gathered) to help promote the markets and then the fact that Amber was a florist got discussed. Jenna invited her to have a market stall and also to create some floral designs for the July market influencer night. Now, having worked with Jenna and also having met the other lovely vendors, we are excited to be a part of the Gathered family.
Tema: What are you anticipating from the upcoming Gathered SA market?
We are hoping to see some of the lovely people, who came by during the last Gathered market in July, and of course meet some new people. We really enjoyed our experience at the last markets and meeting the other vendors. Everyone who is involved in Gathered is so talented and lovely. It is also a great place to get a feel for what customers are wanting, when it comes to flowers.
Tema: What can people expect from visiting and/or supporting your business at the Market?
Hopefully you will walk away with some lovely blooms, of course! But also, we’re pretty approachable, so don’t be afraid to chat to us, ask questions, etc. We want you to walk away having had a enjoyable experience.
Tema: What would you like your customers to experience by buying something from you?
Happiness from having just bought some pretty and fresh flowers!
Tema: Is there anything else that you’d like us to know about you and your business?
We will always be learning and evolving. Floristry is such an exciting industry to be involved in and we cannot wait to see what the future brings!
You can visit Hope Blooms Floristry at the Gathered Design Market on October 26 + 27 from 10am – 4pm at the Queen’s Theatre in the Adelaide CBD.
Entry to the market is $2 and there is $4 (flat rate) parking available on Saturdays and Sundays at K Park along Playhouse Lane.
With thanks to Jenna O’Dell from Gathered SA for the interview opportunity.
Interview conducted by Fatema “Tema” Sitabkhan
Answers + images supplied by Amber Hammersmith // Hope Blooms Floristry