When you speak to Holly Hipwell – Owner and Flower Enthusiast behind The Flower Drum – you instantly feel like you’ve made a friend. A fun, quirky, flowery friend….with awesome taste in eyeware.
A self taught floralista – Holly is the media darling of the floral industry and with good reason. She is hyper-creative, fun, funky and bashes out a fab blog under the moniker The Flower Drum. She’s brought floral offerings such as the original exploding flower bomb. How could I not want to interview her?
So Holly, how did you get into flowers?
I’ve always had a love for flowers. But being a florist just never really happened. I was a helicopter hostess for a while and then I worked in marketing for a surf brand. I was never really happy working for someone else and putting my creativity into someone else’s business. I sorta-kinda got let go from the surf company. My boss at the time knew I wasn’t that happy doing what I was doing. So I jumped head first into blogging about flowers, which is something I have always been in love with.
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Then I started getting a following and people started asking me about doing flowers for events etc. I didn’t know what I was doing or that I knew how to arrange flowers, but it turns out that I’m really good at it. So it all began from there and has turned into more than I thought it could ever be.
And now I’m doing these fabulous weddings, I have an online shop and sell a range of Flower Drum and Badass Club clothing and accessories … traveling and teaching workshops. It’s really exciting!
The growers. Hands down.
I have great relationships with the growers in the markets and the ones that are local to me. They can tell you when flowers are in season. How long flowers last. They are the experts. They are also some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet.
If I weren’t in this industry, waking up before the sun to collect my flowers from the markets, I would have never become friends with all of these lovely people. That in it self is extremely valuable to me.
Because we floral people are visual, my go-to medium is Instagram.
I love that I can put up a photo of some really awesome orchids or peonies and have all of these people commenting. People love flowers, they make them happy. It’s easy to engage with people over things that make them happy.
I also obviously really value blogging as a way of getting out there and engaging with people. It’s really important for bloggers to be real. The Holly in The Flower Drum and Lveland is the real deal Holly Hipwell. I wish more flower people used social media. Growers need to have websites, because it’s so hard to find information about them.
Florists should exploit Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs … because pictures of what we do is a great way to get more people interested. But not Twitter. Pics don’t really fly very well in tweets.
When I was first starting out, I did pop up shops and people would come in a look at flowers and comment about how ‘this is my favourite flower’ but not want to buy them which is fine. But when it happens over and over it’s a little bit discouraging when you’re first starting out.
Then, you get people who don’t say a word to you but will snap a photo of some of your flowers and put it up on Instagram and tag you in it. It’s great that you were in the shop and all, but I really would like to speak to you in person if you like the flowers. Social media is great, but I like face to face communication too!
I would love to be able to go and everywhere to teach really! I’m planning to do some classes in Brisbane and Melbourne and a few other places along the way if timing will let me. Stay tuned!
Holly will be bringing her floral hijinks and Flower Bomb classes to a city near you soon! I for one, can’t wait. Stay tuned for details….
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