Stories of Merry People: Salt Flower
Zara and Tamasin truly embody the essence of "merriness" and it was a delight to spend the morning with them at their studio! Keep reading for the full interview.
Hey Zara and Tamasin! It’s so nice to have you on the Stories of Merry People series, can you tell us a little bit about what you do, your journey and how Salt Flower came to be?
We share our business, Salt Flower By Zara and Tamasin, with a focus on wedding and event floristry. We eventually would like to expand into editorial based styling work. To put it simply, we are two best mates who love to create and bring nature into curated spaces.
To set a scene; it was a pre covid world… over a coffee we lightly discussed both wanting to go out on our own. Tamasin, coming from a fashion styling background and Zara in the heat of freelance floristry. A cheeky, knowing look was shared and it was pure excited chaos from then on. From here we secured a small studio space and started building our ‘Salt’ brand. We kept busy while we eagerly waited for events to come back, hitting the ground running into our first season in the second half of ‘21. Each day with Salt is different, and we continue to feel in awe of the ways this business allows us to learn and grow.
Being a florist definitely demands creativity! When starting a creative project, how and where do you begin?
A Zara and Tamasin brainstorm session involves a lot of rapid fire ideas, sharing bottled up creative concepts and seeing where these fit within a new brief. Through small moments of reflection, we have come to realise we approach new concepts completely differently, combining our micro and macro perspectives to find a creative process unique to Salt.
In terms of working towards a brief, our priority is finding a balance between the clients vision, the location and our salt concept. Each job is different, but always begins with a conversation, mood boarding and an analysis into what the season has to offer and how this will all present in the venue or space.
I’m sure there’s been many, but what’s been one of your merriest moments you’ve had during the journey of Salt Flower?
Seeing our first wedding enquiry come through online, seeing our branding for the first time that our dear friends Elsi Creative and Tia Mellios Art helped us to create, the feeling of gratitude and pride every time we take on a Salt milestone and above all the fact that we get to work with our best mate every day.
Talk about one of the most challenging lessons you've learnt from your floristry career and how you overcame it.
Working in this industry has taught us to not hold onto the small stuff. Our best work is created when we trust the process and our gut, keep moving and don’t dwell. This flower world is so fast paced and we are constantly reminding ourselves of this lesson in particular, as it makes for a smoother working relationship, smoother process and in turn, a smoother and more refined end product.
How do you choose which suppliers you want to work with?
We knew we wanted to work with as much local, seasonal product as possible so choosing suppliers who honoured this was really important to us.
Do you have a single piece of advice you'd give to someone looking to either become a florist or starting their own business?
Having immense love and passion for the work we do is such a force in what drives Salt Flower each day. It sounds cheesy, but we really think that if you love the industry, you’ll never get tired of it. In our opinion, there is no such thing as a saturated flower design market… There is room for every brand and style and everyone wants something different. If you want to start your own business, go for it. We haven't looked back.
Time to pick your brains! Flowers really turn a house into a home, and is a beautiful way of bringing a splash of colour inside!
Can you give us some tips on...
How to keep flowers fresh after buying them:
Cut your stems on an angle, remove all foliage that will sit below the water line to avoid bacteria build up in turn shortening vase life, re-fresh the water if it's looking dirty or every few days and re-cut the stems upon doing so.
Follow these steps rather than just leaving them in the vase, you will get a much longer vase life.
How do you preserve flowers?
Not all flowers will naturally preserve and keep shape and colour. When we preserve certain flowers like autumnal hydrangeas or certain foliages, we tend to hang them in the studio.
Buying in season and where to buy to from:
Always ask your florist what the seasonal product is at the moment. Like fruit, a lot of flowers are imported so it is sometimes difficult to keep track of what is growing locally.
Ok lets talk about gumboots…
What style and colour Merry People shoes do you wear?
Zara loves the Chocolate Brown Bobbi Boots and Tamasin loves the Billie Clogs. We love that we can work in the beautiful mess that is floristry feeling secure and comfy.
Of course, gumboots are super practical for being a florist, but outside of work, how do you like to style them?
We both live in our overalls on the job and off the job and our gumboots are our go to.
How do you feel when you put on your Merry People boots?
Capable, fun and super cute!