What is your drink of choice? (doesn’t have to be alcoholic)Real Chai Latte or a cup of good loose leaf Early Grey or English Breakfast- always with honey and no milk. Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi…! My name is Fionna. I am the owner and operator of an event floristry business called Peony N’ Pearl, wife to Greg, mother to 8.5 month old Eden, and a part-time owner of a bearded dragon called Drazil (that’s Lizard spelled backward). I say part time because he disappears around the house half the time and there are times where we can’t find him for days or weeks at a time. Tell us about Peony N Pearl and how it came to beI started Peony N Pearl out of the love for flowers and events. Before I started the business I used to work at a commercial flower shop for a few years. Although I enjoyed it, I saw the gap in the market where event clients (such as brides or businesses who need flowers for functions) would come into a busy shop and none of us would have the time to sit down and look after them as they need. A flower shop is a really crazy place to be to work in. We are constantly busy trying to get orders out the door before couriers come in, or trying to fill up the shop floor with bouquets and arrangements. Meanwhile customers would come in and out, the phone would ring and emails would come in. It’s just complete madness but I love the pace and I was never bored. But because of this customers who needs one on one attention often becomes neglected. I realsSed that shop and event floristry are 2 very different things and I wanted to pursue the event side of things – I started my own business based on this idea. Although I have to say at that time I never thought that it would one day become my full time job and I’d be so busy doing it!

How can we support Peony N Pearl? This is very nice, thank you so much for asking!

We are in the process of expanding and finding a new team member. We’re not looking for a florist per say- more someone who has experience in the event management/ hospitality industry and wanting to pursue something that is similar but with flowers involved – and of course willing to learn floristry skills on the side. If this sounds like you, please let us know who you are at !

Other than that, please follow us on Instagram @peonynpearl check out our activities behind the scenes and what we’ve been creating for the week!

Any advice for those who are thinking about turning their dreams into a reality?For me, I feel like maybe I wasn’t being real enough when I dreamt about my future career when I started as I find that my reality is very different to my dream. My dream has always been about being an event florist – which now I realise that, that it is a very different thing to what I am actually doing right now which is owning a very busy event floristry business.

I thought owning and operating a creative event florist business means that I am the boss of my floral designs, have the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people, bumping in flowers in all sorts of venues around town and play with flowers a lot- and that is all true, but it also means that I have to do things that I’m not great at but is so crucial to the business. Such as, for me personally is social media. My impulse after finishing a job is to focus on the next job. and social media requires a lot of looking back and re-visiting what I’ve done- which is a good thing but I have no patience for it. Plus social media is a huge psychological minefield for anyone as it’s very hard to NOT let it be the measure of your works validation. I am also horrible at trying to keep within budget when I go shopping at the flower market (I know some people who would giggle reading this), and setting aside time to do a pile of tax (which is currently waiting for me as I am typing this). I also find that I spent more than 50% of my time on the computer, surrounded by numbers and random bits of paper than I do with flowers. All that stuff is certainly not a part of my dream but has certainly become a huge part of my reality. So I guess my advice is be specific in what you dream of… or know that owning a creative business means you have to constantly work on your flaws or do some things you don’t love. But if you love what you do, your business will become your baby and you will learn to put up with things that you don’t love because the reward and satisfaction that you get in the end is totally worth it.

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