September 15 2016
Person of Interest: Flowers at the Farm
Situated at The Farm Byron Bay, Flowers at the Farm is the beautiful venture run by mother and daughter duo, Ros Macdonald and Elle Buckley. With so many of our candles inspired by the natural aromas of flowers, obviously we find their profession fascinating and just had to know more! We asked Ros and Elle to open up to us about the life of a florist.
Who are the key team members behind Flowers at the Farm?
We have a beautiful group of girls who make Flowers at the Farm the well oiled machine is it. Ros MacDonald is the owner and Elle Buckley is the manager. We then have the lovely Caroline, Clare, Amy, Anna, Taya, Phoebe & Ava.
Can you pinpoint what it was that made you want to be a florist?
One sunny morning while I was having my morning coffee and reading the local paper I came across a little ad for a small home based florist, without any hesitation I phoned the lady and within a matter of a week or so I had bought a little florist business. I had no formal training, no experience and no idea what to expect or what I was doing. I think my love of flowers must have come from my days as a young girl picking wild flowers and helping my grandmother in her cottage garden. I could have never imagined my passion for flowers could one-day lead to such a blooming success. I am still inspired every day and am very lucky to be able to share beauty through flowers.
I remember the first day I started at the little florist shop almost 10 years ago now. The smell the feel and the excitement was overwhelming. I’m a second generation florist so my love for floristry definitely came from my talented and inspiring mum. I used to come in and help my mum after school every day. The smell, the feel and the beauty of her little store will forever be so vivid in my mind. Ten years on and I still love working with my mum and what we get to create every single day.
Providing flowers for weddings must be so special, knowing that you are having such an impactful part in people’s special day. Despite every wedding being unique, wedding bouquets must have trends. What’s trending for weddings in 2016?
This year there has been two major trends which we have loved working on: Boho Whimsical & Palm Springs/Bahamas. Both bringing some colour and boldness into this years wedding season. Lots of lush foliage’s, different textures and hints of gold to lift the tones.
In your flower classes what do you people learn and take away with them?
We teach our lovely students everything there is to know about being a florist. We focus heavily on home based floristry, what you can gather from your garden and how to arrange something spectacular out of simple things like sticks, leaves, husks, moss and branches. We are a very rustic earthy florist so we gather a lot of inspiration from our natural surroundings.
I read your flowers arrangements have featured in the likes of Country Style, Inside Out, Women’s Weekly, Vogue, Belle and Cosmopolitan Bride! What was your favourite shoot they have featured in?
Probably our favourite feature was working with Belle Magazine for their art dinner held at the beautiful Byron at Byron Resort. Abundance of tulips and deep rich earthy tones to compliment the Australiana art work on display.
Being around beautiful smells all day it only makes sense to ask, what would you like smell in a scented candle?
Rose candles are our absolute favourite...anything with a garden rose scent and we are happy as can be.
What is your best selling flower at the moment?
Being Spring now we are getting so many beautiful blooms in store. A beautiful garden flower called Delphinium is probably our biggest seller at the moment. It comes in white, blue and purple and looks beautiful on its own or with added silver eucalyptus.
How do you balance a work and home life?
We work extremely hard and long hours, in busy periods we work 16-18 hour days. But fortunately these days we do have a fantastic team of girls to help us be able to take some time off and spend quality time with family. We don't mind working hard as we love being in our store and its such a huge part of our lives so it doesn't feel like a chore...well most days it doesn’t!
For those of us that aren’t local to the Byron Bay area, what can you recommend do see/do/eat on a weekend trip?
Our favourite place to eat is The Three Blue Ducks next to us here on The Farm...hands down best food and coffee around. On our days off we love going to Flock Expresso in Lismore. The groovy little café is down an ally way and serves the tastiest lunch and the best gf baked donuts.
An absolute must see in Byron is the lighthouse, we walk the lighthouse every Sunday it is such a magical place to be.
One of the nicest things to do in the Byron area is to take a hinterland drive to explore all that this beautiful area has to offer, such towns as Bangalow, Newrybar, Clunes and Federal are such a great way to spend the day finding funky cafes and quaint boutique stores.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into floristry?
Floristry is a tough game, its hard, its rough and it sure isn't glamorous behind the scenes. Best place to start is to take a casual floral class and see how you like it. The next step would be to find a private college or tafe course and start creating. All of our girls have a minimum of 3 years training and 4 years on the job skills so its a long journey but if you love it you'll never look back.