Creative Encounter // Oh Flora

There's no doubt everyone loves a bunch of flowers!  We love speaking to small business owners and this month we spoke to the lovely Tanya from Oh Flora about her journey to starting her own floral business and a little bit about what inspires her work. Her florals and styling are beautiful but the photos speak for themselves!

What do you love the most about being a florist and running your own business?  
I love the variety. I work on a whole bunch of different projects, from designing and creating flowers for weddings and events, running DIY workshops, corporate flowers and functions through to styling and flowering for editorial and photo shoots. I also really enjoy the creative freedom of running my own flower studio, and the fact that what I do makes people so happy!! When I deliver flowers on all different occasions, everyone’s faces just light up. I really believe flowers and nature make people feel pure joy. And that makes me so happy!

Tell us about your journey to starting Oh Flora..
I grew up creating and making, it's just something I’ve always done and loved. Throughout my high school years I constantly thought of becoming a florist, but I knew I didn’t want to work in a retail florist. I wanted to be more involved in events and styling. A bit over two years ago now, I came down to Sydney from home (a small costal town on the far north coast of NSW) for a brief couple of months (so I thought) to spend the summer at my Nans. I ended up looking into study options for floristry down here and then I met Matteo – now my partner - and through all of that I decided to stay. I started Oh Flora while I was still studying floristry. I just couldn’t wait to start, I had a vision of what I wanted and was OBSESSED with flowers and styling and I just went for it. It makes me so happy to think how fast my little business has grown and now I’m able to work my dream job full time!

What inspires you and your work?
Romance and love are pretty big inspirations to me. Flowers create a mood in the space they’re in, and I tend to always sway towards that romantic, dreamy, lost in love feeling. Also colours, cultures (especially Mexican and English gardens), travel and history! I absolutely love the floral Dutch Masters paintings from the 16th & 17th Centenary. Sometimes when I need a little inspiration I’ll flick through old botanical books and search for these old paintings - they are aaaamazing!

When I'm not working with flowers I am...
In the ocean or venturing somewhere! I’m a beach girl at heart; it’s my happy place. Every chance I get I love to be at the beach, especially if I’m lucky enough to head home for a couple of days and go to my favourite beaches, Coolangatta and Byron Bay with my friends and family. I also love to travel near and far. Matteo and I often head to the South Coast on the odd weekend off - it’s so relaxing to get out of the city. Very soon we’re going away for 4 weeks to USA and Canada!
 
Describe your creative space
My studio is smallish but big enough. It’s an old ‘sitting room’ so there’s a beautiful mantel, white walls and timber floors and skirting. I like to keep things simplistic and natural. I had my bench custom built to fit the space and perfect working height for me.

What advice would you give to a creative wanting to start their own business?
It might seem a little impossible at first, but its not.. just start! “Fake it til ya make it” is definitely something I go by! How do you think all those people who you look up to go there? Yes they did work really hard too, but they definitely had their tricks and took advantage of any opportunities that came up along the way. Connect with people in your field of work and make yourself known. Utilise social media, there’s so many people flicking through it daily - Instagram is where I get a majority of my work. 
 
If you’re passionate about something, I think it really shows and comes through in what you do. Have confidence and believe in yourself! 

Right now I am most excited about…
Heading to Floret, a flower farm in Washington State USA. I’m going to a 3 day intensive floral designing workshop on the farm, run by one of the most aaamazing floral designers and someone who’s work I look up to and absolutely admire. As part of the workshop, we go on a tour of the farm, pick from the flower fields and design together in a big barn. I’m so excited to learn and grow and also to meet to many other like-minded florists. Visiting Floret is part of a four week adventure through Oregon, Washington State and Canada with Matteo, meeting a couple of other florists along the way who I've met through Instagram! Aaaargh I can't wait!  

Photography by The Littlest Things