My childhood was actually everything I aspire to create for my family now. My parents meet at 15 - they are still married at 56 and 58 years old. High school sweethearts! We lived a life of beach, sports and fun wrapped in a big love bubble. My dad took over the sign writing business that he did his apprenticeship with at a very young age, and mum took over the project managing and everything else which is what pushed me for self employment. Mum was also a dress maker by trade and worked with unfortunate children + is just an incredibly creative person. She made me gardens all over the place and would teach me the names of plants and quiz me for fun. I'd sit in the gardens and talk to the flowers and pick for hours. Dad was a surfer/skater/martial artist - pretty much like the coolest guy ever! I've got a big brother too who I see at least once a week. He's a very talented business owner of his company R.S Painters and is one of my best friends. We spent a lot of time in Raglan growing up as mum and dad raised my brother there for years before I came along. All said there's not a thing I'd change to be honest and I'm sure my family feels the same.
What is a typical day in your life?
Well it has been a challenge adjusting to 2 kiddies and opening a shop, but we get there. The mornings are a scramble! Hubby leaves for work early so I'm a lone soldier. First I run to the coffee machine (hehe but seriously) then make breakfast for Millie-Rose 1 and Lochlan 6. After breakfast I get the kiddies dressed - I normally organise Lochlans uniform and lay it out for him the night before to save the hassle in the morning. I have a quick tidy up of the kitchen, make Lochy's lunch, fix the beds and put a load of washing on. Then I give Lochy what I call 'babysitter duties' (he loves it!) while I quickly shower and gather myself for the day, intently listening out to make sure Lochy has it covered. Millie-Roses kindy bag is made the night before and once Lochy has his lunchbox and jumper packed we are out the door by 8:10am. Lochy goes to school in Hamilton - we live in Ngaruawahia so the drive takes about 20 minutes give or take. Then I drop Millie-Rose off at her daycare. If I need any flowers I rush to the market then back to the shop by 9am. It's actually crazy some days but it works so far. I work at the flower shop until 2.30pm getting daily orders or event flowers done with Maria (my mum) then it's off to pick Lochy up from school and Millie-Rose from daycare - with maybe a sneaky ice block and a quick stop at a playground on the way home.
We looove your arrangements (but you already knew that)! What led you to work within floristry?
Naw thank you I'm very chuffed! My upbringing and gardening with mum definitely influenced my future with flowers. I can't explain how much love I have for flowers/floristry, I just knew it was something I needed in my life since I was a little girl. As soon as mum knew I was interested she encouraged me to enrol at Wintec and I've been in love with my trade ever since. 10 years on and forever to go!
What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to organise florals for their special occasion - what is the process?
I'd say start with dates and venues as this can really determine your florists availability. Then gather colour pallets/inspo boards to present to your florist. From there it should be a very simple process of pricing and chatting about all the magic and flower details.
How do you balance Mum life and running a business? Do you have any tips and tricks for us?
Oh man this is tough. I used to feel a lot of guilt about being a 'working mom' but as time goes on you realise that no-one is the perfect mother, you just do what you think is best for your family. As far as advice goes I'd say to allow days off. Not days where you check your emails but your at the beach, I mean put your phone down and switch off and enjoy those special lil babies while you are not at work. For me we have Saturday-Tuesday which sometimes over wedding season becomes Sunday-Monday. Try and switch off on these days, it really helps you to feel refreshed for when you return to work and means you're 100% present for the good times. Preparation and planning is key! Lunches, uniforms, overnight bags, meals and anything else you could possibly organise ahead of time will help with your day to day routine. Well it works for us when we manage it haha. I should also mention I have an amazing and supportive husband who will often hold down the fort if I need to work overtime or away.
What is the best parenting advice you have received?
There have been many humble bits of advice given over time. I'd say one that has stuck with me would be if you don't look after yourself you can't look after your kiddies. It's hard to come to grips with putting your health first because in your mind you fall second or 3rds or 4th to your children, but if you need a sleep or a sick day or a minute to sip a hot coffee and breathe for a few hours because your exhausted then it's really important to give into self care because then you can be the best version of yourself for your babies. Just as flowers need water to grow and flourish so to do us mums.
Chloe is an incredible florist here in Hamilton and has a wee shop just a block over from Little Mash Boutique. I often see her walking past with the most gorgeous bouquets for very lucky people. She is also the creator behind the stunning dried arrangement that sits on our front counter (I seriously get asked about it at least once a day!) and the mini bouquets from our Mother's Day fundraiser. You can learn more about Chloe and her services HERE. Thank you for sharing with us, Chloe! x