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Member Spotlight: Boujee Blooms & Styling

business community floral career wedding florist

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?

Gosh where to begin! Ok, well my name is 'Boujee Blooms and Styling' based in the inner west of Sydney.

I first developed my infatuation with florals during my time working as a chief stew within the super yacht industry. Part of my job role was to create tablescapes for guest meals and organise fresh flower arrangements for each guest trip. In the beginning I used to order the pre-made long low centrepieces or bouquets from retail florists ashore, but over time I decided to order fresh bunches of florals from the land based florists and start experimenting and creating my OWN floral arrangements for onboard - and that's how it all began. In many ways I am lucky I had this head start, as I did not need to spend a cent of my own money on these flowers of course, and most yachts I worked on didn't have strict spending budgets for things like this so it was GREAT! 

I would describe my stereotypical "Boujee Blooms floral style" to be: modern, vibrant, sassy, flirty, playful, funky, sculptural and a little bit quirky! I say this is my typical style, as I find myself being drawn to all types of flower design styles that I like and want to recreate, so it is a continuous experimentation process of finding my own unique design niche and landing on a consistent identity I think. 

Prior to my yachting days I actually worked as a Physio, pilates teacher and yoga instructor in Melbourne. Now that my hubby and I have reverted back to a land based life, it's been almost like starting my life again in many ways in a new city and a new career venture for me. Right now I'm running Boujee Blooms and Styling as a wedding and events florals and styling business all on my own, (minus freelancers for events), and juggling this with 3-4 days a week in a physio job role. It does feel like a never ending hustle at the moment, but as I'm now only in my second year of my biz it's still necessary for me to keep the cash flow going (and as long as we live in Sydney city I'm not too sure how I'll ever give up this income stream actually!)

My ultimate goal one day, would be to scale this business to a point where I can earn a full time income from it (doing jobs with super cool design briefs only!), have my own warehouse/studio space (storage is a nightmare always for me living in an apartment), and be able to start a family with my hubby and successfully juggle being a badass mum AND a badass flower styling boss bitch at the same time! It's ambitious, especially as my hubby and I don't have any family support around, but like I said - it is THE dream for me.

You’ve been a member of Wildflower Academy and such a beautiful member in our floral community for so long! What first drew you to the membership and what has the experience been like as a member?

I really did feel the awkwardness of not knowing anyone closely within the industry, or within this new big city we moved too. So to be able to find such a welcoming kind community for people just like me, it was such a sigh of relief! I think one of the girls in my Cert 3 floristry course brought it up in conversation, and it was such a no-brainer to join once I finally learned of its existence. It's been such a positive experience, not only from what I've learned in the modules I've completed so far, but to be able to ask openly and with no fear of judgement all kinds of curious questions within the Wildflower Academy Facebook group. Everyone is so involved, and helpful when they can be. There's never a fear of backlash or intimidation when you have a voice in the group, which I think is amazing given the kind of online orientated (and what can be quite often) savage world that we live in.

I love how much you show up in our Wildflower Community. Can you share how being in a community helps with business goals, sharing wins, overcoming challenges and connecting with flower friends? (I'd love to hear any specific stories)

In so many ways! The community has become a go to space for me whenever I'm looking for advice, I need help to troubleshoot something, sourcing freelancers, and seeking feedback on all sorts of biz related things. I always try to give back as much as I can to the group by giving my advice or opinions when I see it fit to. I've gained many new reliable freelancers from this group that I love working with, many new friends that I can turn to personally for advice or for general floral related chit and chat (and I talk to many of these people on IG everyday!), and I've also found the confidence and support I've needed to back myself, my pricing and the ways I run my own business. Without a doubt I would not have been able to grow my business the way I have without being a part of the WA community. 

Your business has grown so much in the short time you’ve been open, what’s your secret to fast growth and building momentum when you’re new to the scene?

Patience! Haha. Some days I feel like I've come a long way in a short amount of time, but some days I feel like an imposter and that I'm not progressing quick enough! It's always hard to know if I'm progressing at a good rate or not - because what really is a "normal" rate of progression? Trying to understand this and comparing yourself to other businesses in a similar position to you can sometimes actually not help though - if you perceive them to be doing better than you. So that's my second tip - try to stay in your own lane! It's not a competition, and when you treat your business like this it leads to a toxic mindset which does NOT help your business to grow.

I'm no expert in this field - but I think that investing a lot of time and effort into my MARKETING has helped for sure. My focus has always been my IG page and now I'm trying to grow my TT page too. Focusing on building a brand with a particular niche look and feel has been so important in giving me the direction I needed for creating content that works for me and finding my ideal client. If your brand voice and look, work portfolio and social pages look like everyone else's - WHY would someone opt with booking your services over someone else's? You need to find a way to stand out - and do it with confidence! Also, consistency is key when it comes to posting content. When I was busy with weddings in March and April this year and I was posting maybe only 1 x a week, my enquiries dropped by 30-40% for those months. It seemed ironic to me, because I had been posting cute updates of my wedding work etc to stories, but because I wasn't really TALKING to my ideal client and the intentional messaging wasn't there in what I did post - this seemed to be why I struggled to get leads. Or at least part of it, in general it's been tough lately due to the cost of living crisis too I think.

Also investing in your professional knowledge + skills development! I've done mentor calls and the 1:1 design day with Ash which was so insightful! When you're not busy with booked jobs, find time to plan a floral design concept and then get the product to experiment with and recreate this - and get heaps of content while you're at it! Some of my most engaging Instagram Reels or TikTok’s to date have been that of my own flower play or tablescape styling at home.

Sorry one more - I created a set of service offerings that are completely unique to my business. There are many wedding florists out there, there are many event stylists out there, and stylists/planner (or coordinator) service providers, and yes there are florists/stylists out there too... but from my research there are less. So already, I have a point of difference to market myself to future brides and clients, and I know the VALUE you get from engaging the one vendor to cover both the floral and styling aspects, so I focus a lot on marketing this. But then I took it one step further and came up with 2 x different styling service offers: Boujee table styling OR Boujee AF whole venue styling, in addition to my core floral design offering. The reason I did this is because not every client can necessarily afford to or wants to do a lot of venue styling for their wedding or event, BUT most couples I have found can afford to incorporate table styling into their budget and want this in addition to just the typical bridal party, ceremony, and reception table flowers. So it's a win for them, and I win for me because the job ends up costing more, I charge a styling fee so my profit margins are better and I get to do more of what I love which is florals AND styling. 

I’m obsessed with your bright colour combos and bold flower choices. Do you have a favourite colour palette to work with? What would be a dream event brief for you?

I do go through stages of liking different colour palettes, depending on what's trending, what I see in other design work like fashion, interiors etc. and going by what's in season of course too! At the moment I'm into combining rich, bold colours with muted neutral tones, like deep reds, purples + beige. I must confess though I am a green fanatic! I'll always have a soft spot for lime/apple green, and all kinds of purple hues e.g. violet, magenta, fuchsia, lilac and mauve. Dream brief - anything that gives me some creative freedom! I am quite excited to bring to life this gothic disco wedding brief which is happening soon because it is so different, and other novelty brief ideas that come to mind are mermaids/under the sea, extraterrestrial, and anything that's bright and vibrant but with a moody/black contrast.

You’ve had a busy few months of epic weddings, moving house and buying a new van! What are your strategies when things get hectic? Are you a list maker? Do you outsource? How do you manage time effectively?

Well, I wish I had more of a strategy haha. I am one of those people that needs pressure on me to get things done. Sounds ironic but I do think that the fact I still work at times 3-4 days in my physio job provides me with less time for business admin etc which in turn pushes me to get things done. So I shouldn't advise it - but adding more jobs to my plate actually pushes me to get things done! I do make lists, though only through notes and on stickies on my computer (which doesn't feel very professional of me I might add!) I do have a very good visual and memory recall though. I have been using the help of freelancers more and more too for weddings, and particularly for the prep days ahead of weddings too. As the scale of my weddings grows, so too has my realisation that I can only do so much and it is best to outsource and delegate what prep jobs I can to other freelancers.

I can tell you invest so much energy into your socials - do you have a strategy or any mindset shifts you can share for putting yourself out there?

Yes, yes I do - too much time I think sometimes. Honestly, I usually create what I can while I'm at work at my physio job because it makes me put something together more efficiently. If I'm at home in the evening I waste too much time scrolling and getting distracted to get one done. So set yourself a time limit! In saying that it still usually takes me an hour at least, to source the pics/clips in my camera roll (which are ALL already pre-organised into key event albums etc - which is also an organisational must) and make a NEW album for these so I can upload my choices easily to Instagram or TikTok (I now make my Reels/TikToks in each respective app), create it and then write the caption too. Mindset wise, I try not to spend TOO much time scrolling the apps, because then the imposter/comparison-itis syndrome sets in which brings down my confidence and deters me from wanting to put myself out there.

What are some of your favourite classes from the Wildflower Academy membership and why?

All of them I've managed to watch so far! Floral design ones I love because I love to suss the mechanics and how it all works (I screenshot these parts haha) but I've also loved all the business related ones too. These have primarily guided how I've set-up and manage the back end of my business, including everything from how I structure my quotes and how best to quote for things like labour, travel and pack down, how I opted for and set-up Dubsado as a CRM, how to optimise my IG bio and what I need to pack in my tool kit. A typical Cert 3 in Floristry course does NOT teach you these things! So it's so great that Ash provides education pertaining to all of these business related aspects on her WA platform.

Can you share any wins you’ve had along your flower journey?

I feel like I've managed to book some pretty incredible client briefs and budgets as time has gone on! Booking 2 x weddings that were a $15k and $20k job (for florals and styling) for the same couple, that happened 6 days apart (while the moving house saga kicked off) of which I managed to prep for in a small 2 bedroom apartment and our car space was quite the challenge but a win in the end! Booking a DREAM brief for a client interstate next year was a big one too - it gave me some confidence in my ability to attract my ideal customer and gain their trust, as I was certain the travel fee would deter them but it didn't. Getting a van this year too was a big one - I didn't think it would happen until a few years in but now I have Iggy the iLoad and it's been great! 

What’s been your biggest challenges when growing your business and how have you overcome them?

Having enough finances to fund all of the outgoing business costs, because there has been just SO many start up business costs as well as running costs to keep on top of (not to mention constant inventory top ups!), and there are always more and more things you want to invest in to further your business but you can't afford it all. For me at the moment I want to collaborate on a styled wedding shoot, do a complete rebrand and website makeover, and am weighing up exhibiting at a wedding expo - but I can't afford it all so you do need to prioritise. I am lucky though that I have the ability to flex my hours with my PT physio job, which gives me more financial freedom. It means that the profit I make from jobs I either save, invest back into the biz, (or spend it on clothes and skincare products haha), and my physio income gets put towards rent etc. 

Another challenge has been prep space and optimising storage of all my supplies and inventory. I've had to move twice now in the last 2.5 years since I started the business, and although the storage situation is better now we are in a 3 bedroom apartment vs the 2 bedroom apartment, it's still not perfect (and the rent is much higher). I had to spend $1k+ on our outdoor shed for our balcony, extra storage tubs, shelving units and then all new shelves to replace the original MDF ones as they got mouldy from the outdoor moisture! But at least I have more space to prep now - though 3 x staircases to load and unload the van is not fun (and very time consuming). But still, this beats having to prep in a tiny living room space or the car space as used to be the case!

What are your business goals for the future? Tell us where Boujee Blooms is heading!

God knows! I just hope to grow it at a steady rate whereby I continue to get more bookings for weddings and events each year, but at bigger budgets and more creative freedom with design briefs. I've learnt to not put so much pressure on myself anymore because it just gives me too much anxiety. I used to hope and expect that BB&S would become a full time operation business within 2-3 years and I could make a decent wage/profit from it, but now I've dropped any expectations of this happening within a certain time frame or am even unsure if I want this to be the case. I always hope to start a family sometime in the near future which really complicates things too as I'm at a stage where the business is new and building, so I don't know how but I need to find a way that I can (hopefully!) make these ambitions work together harmoniously.

Have you got any words of wisdom for new florists wanting to start their business and dive into the floral industry?

Just do it! You've got to start somewhere, and it's better late than never. It isn't always flowers, sunshine and rainbows like you might think it will be - there's a lot of hard work involved and back end business admin if you choose to start your own business too. But, if you have a real joy for the flowers themselves and creating with them - it will be all worth it. Also, not everyone chooses to complete a Cert 3 before jumping into the world of flowers, but I did and yes it was a large investment but it did teach me all the basics. But if you want to further your education, learn all about the world of event and wedding floristry, starting your own business, and how to create (dare I say it) more MODERN floral designs (the TAFE course is quite outdated in this regard) and sustainable techniques - Wildflower Academy is your go to!

Anything else you'd like to share?

Yes! Just remember, if you choose to monetise your hobby or passion for creating with flowers and make it your business or job - remember to do so you do need to charge your worth. Underquoting will only get you so far and it undervalues our industry as a whole. As creatives we're inherently all extremely critical of our own talent and suffer with self-confidence in our abilities at many times - so it can be easier said than done, I know. But back yourself! I've only really started to grow as an actual profitable business since I chose to prioritise this.