Holly Decon, flower fanatic and florist for Anouk Flowers, tells us her story on where floristry all started.
The journey that led me to become an absolute flower fanatic was an interesting one that still does feel a little “meant to be”.
I can safely say I haven’t always been aware of my passion for flowers and it really is something that has evolved over the course of my life so far and still continues to do so.
Picking flowers and finding the perfect little vase was very much a normal and natural thing my family always did while we where growing up, so I guess I never considered it as a future job as such.
My first real connection not only to The Yarra Valley but also to the world of floral ‘ art ‘ was when I applied to do work experience at Bron Bron Janga when I was in year 9. Not only did the owners create arrangements that were different but they also tested the town by being bold and courageous, which for those who embraced it was truly inspiring.
Working there really opened up my mind to how flowers didn’t just have to be a certain way, they could be artistic, bold and still have a place. Funnily enough, it's only looking back that I realise that’s how I felt at the time and it most definitely has shaped my views as well as my approach to flower arranging today.
After my stint at Bron Brons I was inspired to get a job at the local florist in my hometown, but that however, ended up being a bit short lived, as it didn’t inspire me in the same way and I just ended up thinking maybe it wasn’t really for me.
Travelling was always on the cards after I finished school and I ended up landing in North Queensland after seeing a lot of Australia. This was where I fell in love with tropical flowers and foliages. Their freshness and structure were always so fun and different.
By this stage, my itchy feet had pretty much settled in and I was on the plane to Canada after one wet season up north did me in. Expecting to find work in a bar I casually dropped into a florist on my search and thought I would just ask anyway, to my surprise she was desperately looking for someone and I got the job straight away.
It was here I really learnt a whole new style as it was a corporate florist in Vancouver’s business district downtown. Patricia who was my boss at the time showed me that even though we were in this kind of hostile concrete busy lifestyle that we could be adventurous and break the rules and didn’t have to be all ‘proper’ about it, there were no rules, just having passion for the job.
On the day I returned to the Yarra Valley from overseas I was thrilled to see a new florists had set up shop in the old residence of Bron Bron Janga (my old haunt) – it brought back memories of how much that work experience had inspired me and I went in to check it out, only to come out with a job!
Working at Clarence with Bobilee and the team was definitely life changing, it was its own entity and we were all such an intricate part. With so much energy and enthusiasm for flowers, gifts, and life I think the community couldn’t resist embracing it and they all became a big part of the Clarence family too.
It wasn’t until I started my own flower business a year ago that it made me appreciate the uniqueness of the community I am surrounded by even more. Being a florist in general is a challenging and also very rewarding job but I think it is particularly exciting being a florist in this region of Victoria.
Not only do I feel part of a community who are creative and dynamic, with people exploring their passions while also supporting others but its also at the gateway to fresh flower growers, wineries, sweet little towns and amazing scenery. I think we are completely spoilt!
I have no idea what the next chapter is in this flower filled life but I think it proves that it really is the journey and never the destination that makes you who you are, no matter what your passion for life is and even if the destination isn’t too shabby either.
To find out more about Holly's work check out her website here.
Photos: Suzanne Phoenix http://www.suzannephoenix.com.au