Q&A Scene: Holly Hipwell – RockStar Florist

Tell us about your involvement in the RockStar Florists competition as a judge?
Tesselaar have UP’d the ante this year with the Rock Star Florists comp and pulled together a panel of three Australian florists to support the competition. Together we will be reviewing all of the many many entries to pull our faves! Im so excited to review the final entries from our countries flower lovers.

How would you describe your approach to floristry in food form and why?
I like to think of myself as a mega master chef. Unfortunately with that always comes a great deal of mess! Which is the exact same way that I go about creating my floral installations! Its always a pinch of that, a little of this… oh and ALL of that!

What are your best memories as a florist?
The early days of visiting the markets and being in awe of the morning hustle. In those days I wasn’t buying huge amounts of flowers and would just peruse the aisles of blooms with little to no urgency. Now, Im racing around like a mad woman with bundles of flowers under each arm trying to get everything on my shopping list and get back to the studio!

Tell us a little about your daily routine in the studio etc….
Coffee Coffee Coffee! After a run to the market its back to the studio to unload and prepare all of the blooms. If time permits Ill have a nap for half an hour to reenergise. Often you work through the night so its always good to fill up the sleep bank. If its a day not in the studio, I am travelling around Sydney to meet with clients and sitting in front of the computer for hours on end designing and quoting events.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I love colour, shape and fragrance…

Being on the road so much, I am constantly day dreaming (with my eyes open of course) and coming up with new ways of doing things.

Being the boss, I am allowed to make the decisions to do something differently, so having the freedom to experiment is key to evolving style.

I always have music blaring in the studio and personally think that a bit of karaoke makes the flowers happy… thats why they always look so good.

Which song do you wish you wrote?
Thats a tough one to answer, mainly because I dont actually know the words to any songs… I have to make up some new lyrics along the way!

I saw Fleetwood Mac last year, so I would have to say – I wish I wrote one of their songs and then I could be Stevie Nicks!

What’s your scene?
Given that floristry takes up A LOT of my time and a lot of my weekends, I feel fortunate that I travel all over and get to experience so much of Sydney and beyond. Its nice to adventure out to new cafes / restaurants while working in different areas.

Every day is totally different and being exposed to so many different experiences, pressures, unusual requests and elements I have become so much more open and willing to embrace whatever comes around the corner!

About Holly Hipwell

Holly Hipwell is a floralista extraordinaire…she dares to be different, she dares to think outside of the box, she dares to be daring.

The self-taught Holly Hipwell, from The Flower Drum, is one of the three expert leaders in the floristy field who have been appointed to judge the 2016 Tesselaar RockStar Florist competition, which is presently running until the end of October. Joining Holly will be Melanie Stapleton from Cecilia Fox and Julia-Rose from Flowers by Julia-Rose, all adding the essential showbiz razzle dazzle to the competition. The three industry superstars are bona-fide Australian RockStar Florists themselves who will help select the finalists plus the ultimate winners. They will also then offer their valuable time and expertise to train up the lucky winners.

In rock and roll terms, Holly Hipwell would be the Patti Smith of the floral world. Bohemian, passionate and not afraid to shock Holly is the media darling of the floristry industry and with good reason. She is hypercreative, 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. In the same way Patti Smith shocked the world with her ability to colour outside the square with her new wave approach to music and poetry, Holly Hipwell certainly shakes things up and will be a wonderful addition to the judging table for Tesselaar’s RockStar Florists Competition.

“I’ve always had a love for flowers” Hipwell explains. “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.

“Then I started getting a following and people started asking me about doing flow- ers 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 art of floristry has come a very long way from the posies of yesteryear featuring a few daggy Happy Birthday/Get Well Soon helium balloons, an ugly teddy bear and some Baby’s Breath stuck in for good measure. Enter the floral designers of today who, like Holly, Melaine and Julia-Rose, are a brash, predominately young, hip generation of fashion-forward creatives, who painstakingly produce highly sophisticated creations of floral art, made with blood, sweat and tears over countless hours, all in an ode to the divinity of flowers and a quest for artistry in all things floral beauty. With their devotion to their art, and their savvy use of social media, top florists can earn themselves hundreds of thousands of followers, enabling some of these high achievers in the floral world fame and fortune akin to that reserved for rock stars.

Melbourne based national flower wholesalers Tesselaar Flowers are embracing this renaissance in the floristry arena (where florists are becoming The Kardashians of the social media world), and are shining a light on these florist rock stars via their annual floristry competition, which aims to harness the respect and accolades Australia’s talented florists deserve.

To achieve this aim, the Tesselaar’s ‘RockStar Florists’ Competition, which is held over the entirety of October, presents the perfect platform for established and aspiring florists alike to showcase their amazing skills and battle it out for some much coveted prizes. The final winners are judged by an amazing team of luminary and famous judges from the floristry world in their own right.

RockStar Florists opens for entries on the 1st October and closes at midnight on October 31st, 2016 Entry is free and open to all Australian floral creators/future florist RockStars.

For more info or to enter go to www.RockStarFlorists.com

About Mandy Hall 937 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.