IN CONVERSATION WITH THE BLOSSOM HUNTER...
I heard someone remark the other day that florists are the new rockstars; if that is so then that makes Maria Elena of the Blossom Hunter the Mick Jagger of all things floral. I can still recount the first time I ever met this incredible woman. She was a whirlwind of red cord flares and nasturtium leaves and my girl crush was instant, I wanted to be part of her gang. Maria is not only one of the most incredibly talented Australian florists she is also a Mumma, a student and one of the most stylish women around. Her paired back less-is-more outlook on all things life and work is nothing short of inspiring and the results always exquisite. Having worked her magic for fashion and interior editorial, and many events not to mention those coveted personal posies she produces for lucky clients, this girl is one to have in your arsenal for all things flower related. I can promise that once you delve into her world, you’ll be hooked. Here’s a peek into her style.
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Tell us a little about your background – what path led you to floristry originally.
My mum opened my eyes to the beauty of nature. We always had beautiful gardens and mum has been growing food for as long as I can remember.
As a kid, in the summer my girl Yvonne and I would collect frangipanis and make leis. We’d spritz them with water and sell them to romantics along the promenade at the beach for pocket money. It was years later, fresh off the boat from a year abroad that I cold-called my all time super dream florist and got an interview. It was at that flower shop my love of nature thrived, was nurtured and refined.
Being a florist means notoriously early starts and big bump-ins, but among all the long hours there must be lots of super fun bits too. What are the projects or clients you love most?
The best jobs are when my clients trust in my vision and leave it to me. I find I produce my best work when my brief doesn’t include 100 Pinterest images. Then it’s fun!
What are your top floral picks to say thank you, sorry, and I love you?
- Thank you – Poppies!
- Sorry – Orchids
- I love you – Anything from the garden or a hand tied catch of wild thorny roses (love you too).
Which other Australian designers, artists or creative people are you loving at the moment?
- Amrita Hepi who is making waves through dance.
- Super babe Kitty Callaghan makes beautiful artworks, I always enjoy seeing her work.
- Artist Justine Muller. My insta feed is flooded with inspirational original, creative, bright, forward thinking young Australian artists.
What’s your creative process? Where do you start with something like that? Do you draw?
Sometimes I draw, if words fail me, but usually I start with a big mood board of images, tear outs, lists of ingredients, colour samples, shapes etc. I build on this as I design the proposal, until the client and myself are happy.
Can you list for us your top resources across any media that you turn to when you’re in a need of creative inspiration?
I’m not that tech savvy… but I am good at google search. I love getting creative with search terms; you can find some incredible imagery, inspiration and digital artefacts down that rabbit hole. Instagram is amazing and so is my local library.
What music do you listen to while working?
Shuffle! Or Beyonce, Can or Chopin.
What's on your dining table?
The Saturday paper, a beautiful ceramic bowl filled with avocados, billz and my favourite heavy brass vase with a stem of pink gum.
Do people ever give you flowers or are they too intimidated?
My boyfriend does, and that’s nice.
What would be your dream creative project?
To design a show for Allesandro Michele, oh and maybe a huge explosive floral extravaganza with Cai Guo Qiang.
How would you describe your personal style and how does this influence your floral creations?
My personal style is classic and unrefined. Less is more! I invest in timeless pieces and accessories that elevate my dirty blue jean uniform. I could say the same about my floral arrangements, I like to keep it simple but there is always a hero.
When it comes to your home, where/who do you get your style inspiration from? Do you have a favourite piece of furniture? Where is it from /what do you love about it?
I love carpets! They become more beautiful with age and you just roll them up, take them anywhere and they make any space feel warm and like home.
At home, how do you think flowers enhance a space? Is there one room in the house where flowers are a must and why?
Flowers really animate a space and set the tone. I always have something simple on the dining table, and in the bathroom, and on my bed side, and…
What are you currently working on, and where/what can we expect to see from you next?
Blossom Hunter is ever evolving. Right now I am constantly reinventing myself and my business. Expect to see… something dramatic! I am also at Uni and have a 3 year old son, so I’m trying not to rush and find a happy balance.
Complete this sentence. When I get home, the first thing I do is…
Pop my jeans button... then I put a record on and hang out with my boys.
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[Images from Blossom Hunter]