Right now I’m sitting on my flight en route to New York. I promised myself I wouldn’t even think about work or do any work for a few days. This morning I woke up with the flu, the first time in over 5 years and I’m feeling a tad defeated staring at my lap top screen eyes half shut (just corrected the typo ‘eyes half shit’).
The last couple of weeks have been a little challenging thinking about Flora Folk, where the business is at and where I want it to be. I’m struggling slightly probably from slight exhaustion (you wake up thinking about it and go to bed thinking about it) and a pretty crazy wedding season.
It took me a little while to find my path in what I’m doing. I always knew I wanted to have my own business, I had a vision for something but I never knew what that thing was. I just knew that it was important to be passionate about what it was because without doubt it’s incredibly tough. I left university and worked in the fashion industry for a number of years, to then try art teaching for a very short amount of time, to then go on and work in advertising before finding my feet in floral design.I grew up playing in the garden and visiting plant nurseries regularly with my Mum, getting pushed around in plant trollies so I always had a deep love for plants, flowers and natural beauty. And I always found the most inspiration travelling the world and whenever I was away I’d have this urge to do something on my own but then I’d always come back and get caught up in the rut of the daily grind.
Finally the daily grind got tiresome and I thought if I don’t do this now I’ll never do it. So I quit my job, went to flower school to learn the trade, spent any spare cash I had going to the markets to practice, practice, practice. Regardless of my journey to get here I have no regrets of the path I had to take, I feel like each component of what I’ve done is intertwined in me and my influences - a great love for a mix of art, design, fashion, travel and nature drives my work and what I do.
This is my fourth time back to New York, I adore this city, full of aspiration, inspirations, the go getters and so much opportunity. It’s played a massive influence on my business so far and coming here helps reignite my vision. Visiting the galleries, the gardens, walking the streets, the people watching of the fast paced New Yorkers. I’m already feeling so re-inspired.
The first thing I watched on the plane on the way over was a documentary on the incredible Dior workshop in Paris and new creative director Raf Simons first haute couture collection. Ever. The documentary is about what can be achieved with hard work, perseverance and inspiration. The atelier of Dior is incredible. With some working there over 40 years. The heart and soul of the company. And so much passion.
Christian Dior had an incredible love for flowers and the garden, many of his designs drew inspiration from his family home, garden and his mothers love for flowers. I loved watching Raf Simons bring something new to this and creating a collection of juxtaposition that had everyone scared - yet seeing even at his level and the house of Dior the challenges and hardships one faces. He too overwhelmed and breaking down into tears before the show, the fear of failure. But it really is about not giving up and trying as hard as possible until the very last minute. As he says ‘I won’t accept no until that model makes her first step on that catwalk’.
The show was incredible, you would have seen pictures in magazines, an old run down Parisian mansion, each room fulfilled with floor to ceiling flower walls drawing in upon the Christian Dior inspiration roots. Getting this over the line was a challenge for Simons, people questioning his attempt to push the boundaries. I think that’s what makes great creative - pushing the boundaries and not always joining the rest of the fish swimming down stream. I used to question myself when I was starting out - is my style right? Is it wrong? Maybe it should be more like this person or that person. But I think you just have to have complete faith and confidence if you’re doing something different and run with it.