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Member Spotlight: Botanical Quarter

business community floral career floristry business mindset wedding florist

Hey Zoe, tell us a little about yourself! How did you discover floristry, what's your business name, where are you based, what's your floral style, dreams, goals, life story?

My business is Botanical Quarter, I’m based in south east Melbourne and service throughout Victoria, and now I’m manifesting bookings interstate & internationally as well. 

My floral style is luscious, wild and modern. I never want to create anything that’s been created before (this applies to both someone else’s and my own work). It's important to me that my couples feel like their wedding day is unique to them and their love story.

I kind of fell into floristry, it was never something I knew I really wanted to do.

Previously, I worked in Visual Merchandising & Retail Marketing for 10 years. When Covid hit, I realised it just wasn’t filling my cup anymore. Queue the early on-set mid life crisis. 

My cousin had just completed a short course in floristry and loved it, so I thought I’d give it a go as well. And I really did love it. I was taught foam-free from the get-go, so finding Wildflower Academy has just been such a brilliant resource to build on that foundational knowledge I already possessed.

Pairing my retail background with floristry I always planned to open my own shop front and do retail bunches. Weddings NEVER interested me - I thought they’d be stressful and full of demanding couples. But then a friend of a friend asked me to do their wedding flowers and I fell in love all over again. 

I’m continuing to grow my business, and have now expanded to both weddings and events. I’ve got some big financial goals for the next 18 months - so everything I’m doing is with that in mind.

You show up so beautifully and consistently on your social media (we've seen you!), how do you incorporate this into your daily schedule, overcome the fear of talking on camera and come up with ideas for your posts?

Full transparency - it’s hard to show up consistently. There are weeks where I’m motivated and full of ideas, with amazing captions and reels that do well. And then other weeks where I get lost in the overwhelm.

To combat this, I take full advantage of the times I’m “in the zone”. This means scheduling content in advance and planning out my grid. I’m also working on my mindset and attitude towards the overwhelm. Acknowledging that there are hard times, letting myself feel it, and then still doing “the thing” anyway is a personal focus for me at the moment.

Showing my face and giving my opinions has gotten easier with time, the first time I did it I was so embarrassed and hated everything about it. I look back now and I’m proud of how far I’ve come and how much work I’ve done on my projections around this. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received for this is that “nobody is thinking about you as much as you are”.

Have you noticed any direct results from your social media marketing efforts?

99% of my wedding enquiries come from Instagram. That’s where my ideal client spends their time so I know I’m doing something right.

I’ve also had existing and past clients DM me about my content. They love it and give me positive feedback so I don’t think I need any other validation than that!

As a member of our membership - how do you prioritise education and learning new skills in your business? Have you always loved learning new skills?

You can never stop learning.

I’m never going to know all the answers or the only right way to do something - so why wouldn’t I learn from others who are willing to share their knowledge?

I definitely watch a lot of the videos outside my busy months. But I’m always on Instagram and it’s so useful knowing what classes are dropping each week. If I know it’s something that will help with upcoming weddings I’ll watch it straight away, otherwise I save it for when I can take it all in and not get distracted.

Some of the videos I’ve watched 5 times (much like my Netflix faves). I feel like I learn something new each time and my abilities as a designer have grown so much from this platform.

What's your favourite class/es within the Wildflower class library? Why?

That’s like asking me what my favourite flower is!

My recent favourites include:

  • Fast and Impactful Content Shoot - content is key so being able to create it both easily & cost effectively is brilliant 

  • Potato Sculpture with Tweed Twigs - I’m a huge fan of Graham’s work and love hearing how others approach the design process

  • Shooting with an iPhone - taking good photos makes all the difference. My photo game has gotten so much better because of this module. Now I just need to teach my husband so he can get better too!

  • Plant Tablescape - I love the idea of using plants in designs. I have an upcoming wedding that’s using this module as inspiration

When I first started in business

  • All of the business modules (money overwhelm is REAL)

  • The Pricing & Quoting modules. 

  • They give such an amazing overview of how to set up the basics of your floristry business so you’re profitable and successful

You attended our Wildflower Academy En Plein Air Workshop last year, what did you take away from the day and how have you used the skills, network, images and confidence you gained from the day?

In person learning should NEVER be overlooked. I know it’s easy to jump on a Zoom or watch videos every week, but these should always be complemented by in-person workshops and events.

Not only did I get to meet my flower idol (honestly I was fangirling HARD over meeting you Ash), but I got to pick your brain and learn from the best. I could ask any question, I got feedback on my work, and I was in a supportive environment filled with other industry friends who all had the same goal as me. That kind of energy is unmatched.

I still use the images from that workshop today, both on my website and on social media. I’d love to do even more in person workshops - I’m hooked. 

What's been your biggest challenge in growing your flower biz and what have you done to overcome it?

To date, my biggest challenge has been getting the money side of things right. I’m a member of the, “if it’s too hard, just ignore it” school of thought. So actually getting my shit together and facing the challenge has been hard, but jeez it’s made a difference. 

I watched the Cash Flow and Profit First videos, and then immediately wondered why I had put it off for so long. For the first time last month, I actually paid myself a wage. I’m out-earning my husband this month, and even though we’re each other's biggest supporters and there’s absolutely no competition between us, it feels really good to do that for the first time in a long time. 

So please, learn from me and just do the thing you’re putting off.

What are your business goals for the future? Tell us your dreams?

I dream of a fulfilling life. To me, that means I have a business that I love, and that enables me to have quality time with the people I love.

For my business, that looks like:

  • $400k in yearly revenue

  • June-August off travelling the northern hemisphere with my husband

  • Average spend of $15k

  • Leasing a warehouse space

  • Owning a van

  • A roster of freelancers who love working with me and help bring my floral vision to life

Have you got any tips for florists starting out and wanting to dive into the floral industry?

Don’t take feedback personally. Just because someone is critiquing your work doesn’t mean they’re critiquing YOU.

Reach out to florists you love, slide into their DMs and build a relationship or simply ask if they’re looking for freelancers. Not everyone will say yes, but the people who do will generally be the ones to invest in you and your skills.

And most importantly: Be confident. Post the reel. Speak to the camera. Charge the industry standard. Say no to clients that give you a bad vibe (trust me, it’s never worth the pain, even if you have no bookings). Back yourself and your drive to succeed, and there’s literally no way you can fail.