It's amazing what happens when you take a little detour. A few weeks back I was walking back to the office from the Ivy and came across Flourish Florist. It was divine. And not only did the shop have beautiful flowers but great homewares too. I organised to meet owner Claire Rabbit about a week later. She sourced the most gorgeous flowers for a styling shoot I did. Once the madness of that week passed, I had to find out more about her.
Which five words best describe you? Passionate, intuitive, dedicated, driven, sensitive.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was in the Christmas department at David Jones whilst I was still at school. I finished school and started a science degree which I was not enjoying at all. I had always been very passionate about flowers and moved to Sydney when I was 20 and found a job at a little flower store. I was learning on the job. Although, I remember looking at the window displays of Flourish one day and thought, “I can’t wait 'til I am skilled enough to work there. That store looks amazing.” I applied for a job and was successful. I eventually bought the business!
What’s your proudest career achievement? Buying Flourish was the scariest, yet most exciting and proud moment in my career. I did it just before my 30th birthday. I am so happy that I made this decision. Although it is very hard work but so satisfying.
What’s been your best decision? Buying the shop! Going back to buying at the flower markets myself, finding a business mentor, expanding the divine homewares range that we stock and finally completing the photo shoot for our website which will be back online soon.
Who inspires you? My mum continually inspires me. Theresa Lee my acupuncturist, Bev a mentor of mine inspires me also. The amazing flower growers that continually produce exquisite flowers and foliage and work tirelessly on their farms to provide us with beautiful product to sell. Every day Australians with remarkable stories such as Ian and Lyn Conway who have developed the Conway Kids Fund... providing, “A new dreaming for Education”... for Aboriginal children.
What are you passionate about? Flowers, foliage and the changing of seasons, family and friends, beautiful wine and food... especially spicy food! I love everything Art Deco, eclectic collections of antique vases, second hand stores, antique shops and OF COURSE Sydney Festival. I continually sponsor the Sydney Festival and feel that whilst working in the city of Sydney in a creative industry... it is important to support the creative arts. January is my favourite month of the year in Sydney.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? To be pro-active rather than reactive. To have a work/life balance (still very much working on it!!!!). So many lessons about running a small business that there are too many to mention!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would love to meet and hear Betty Wright sing. Amazing soul singer who was married to Miles Davis. A dream of seeing Al Green perform is coming true in January!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Most importantly I want to be able to feel content. I would love to have my own family one day but in terms of physical dreams I would love to open Flourish New York, walk Kokoda and sail the Dalmation coast in Croatia.
What are you reading? I am always reading a few books at the one time, at the moment I am reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, Potted Histories: an artistic voyage through plant exploration which was published by the Botanic Gardens and The Four Hour Work Week By Timothy Ferriss. Plus, I love exquisite homewares and interiors magazines!
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