Introducing Pip of Petal Pusher – Photographed beautifully by Gina & Brooke of The Virtue
Tell us about your work and your floral style or how you use flowers or foliage in your creative work: I have run my floral business for four + years from a home based studio, focusing on Wedding and event work. I love the challenge of large-scale floral work that weddings and events allow. I love to share my knowledge to other floral enthusiasts and have had the opportunity to do so through workshops for small and large groups. Recently I have moved on from the home studio and opened a small floral and indoor plant shop in the beautiful beach town of Oakura in Taranaki. I have always had a strong love of nature and this is where I go to draw inspiration and also feel revived. I loved to include foraged foliage and other interesting elements to my floral I feel my style is ever evolving and love the freedom of expression that flowers and botanical styling can bring.
What makes you and your work unique: I love to use foliage as a focal point and layer tones and texture in an organic way. My Love of nature and upbringing in one of the most remote and wild parts of New Zealand – Stewart Island has always impacted my style and aesthetic in a real earthy way, whilst installing a very practically minded and problem-solving slant to my floral design. I am the type of girl who owns tools and knows how to use them and love to bring that can do attitude to floral setups.
Tell us about yourworkspace, what you like most about it, why it works for you: The addition of the very new shop space gave the opportunity to get creative and dream up an inspiring space filled with blooms and plants. My favourite parts are my pressed tin wall and my workbench made from an old lichen covered fence. While still in the teething stage I love bringing my floral work to the public on a daily basis and seeing it evolve from the start it had in my private rural studio.
Any flower dreams or aspirations you would like to share: The floral dreams are forever evolving but at this stage, I would love the opportunity to work in festivals doing large scale installs and editorial work.
All-time favourite types of flowers and/foliage and why you love them: Ranunculus with there masses of petals and dreamy form. Phalaenopsis orchid with its elegant beauty and delicate nature. Magnolia blooms for its striking presence and fleeting existence. Any seasonal foliage on mass that I can gather free of charge.
Rules or words you live by… Rules are made to be broken! And worry is a terrible use of imagination.
Which season do you find the most romantic and why? – I love autumn and the change of colour it brings whilst still enjoying the warm temperatures and long evenings..and the dahlia patch is still in flower.
Most underrated/best value flower? Dahlia – they grow so easily in Taranaki and come in so many different forms and colour.
Any artists, musicians, writers etc who influence your practice? Music plays such a huge part in my creative endeavors and with a keen musical enthusiast as a partner, I am never short of new and original artists to listen to. I am always inspired by fellow florist, photographers and stylists and people who express their creativity in original and inspiring ways.
Which instagrams do you follow? For blooms – Tinge floral, the blue carrot, botanical brough haha, butcher baker stylist, saipua, siren floral co, Amy merric, Sarah windward, Petalon flowers, Soil and stem, Cecilia Fox, Pear tree flowers, Selva Floral, Alea Joy, Asme Flowers, field of roses, Lamber floral studio. For botanical inspiration – Wonabae, Ivy muse, Mama Petunia, Still, Seed to stem For dreamy photoscapes and inspiration. – Somewhere magazine, Margaret Durow, Hanspeer, Temple of leaves, Visual fodder, Wattson, Le Triptyque. I could go on..
What did you do before floral design? Before venturing into the floral world whilst pregnant with my first child 13 years ago I worked as a Chef. This was so similar to floral work in many ways you just didn’t smell as good. Working with a perishable product, planning, ordering and time management with a focus on presentation.
Was there a person or experience that first turned you on to flowers? Multiple – My grandfather was an avid gardener and took so much pride in the gorgeous blooms he would grow and share with family and friends, masses of sweet peas and his spectacular magnolia trees. Also spending time behind the scenes with my aunty in the botanical gardens at Queens Park in Invercargill gave me a great appreciation for tropical and hard to grow blooms. The Giant Fusia bush that grew outside my mother’s bedroom, I will always remember twirling the tutu-like blooms in my hands and getting lost in another world.
Whose wedding or what event would you most like to work on? I feel privileged that brides put their faith in me to create their floral dreams, but would love the opportunity of larger scale floral events that often don’t come about in provincial New Zealand. I would love to be involved in more fashion events as I feel that flowers and fashion go hand in hand and compliment each other in such a stunning way.