Our local florist, Victoria…
Before I started Hamblins, I always thought how nice it would be to have a little local shop. One where I could foster my passion for design and style and bring this love to my local community. Enter Victoria Hamblin, an old neighbour, a good friend and a super fab superstar florist, who was keen to start up a local flower shop. Why not, I thought? Let’s give this a red hot go!! So that’s what we did and here I am today writing this little blurb to share with you what it is like.
I really had no idea what was involved in the flower wrangling business before we started. Sure, I had worked in retail fashion/homewares for many years and always knew that behind the scenes of such beautiful spaces, was a storeroom full of boxes, mounds of paperwork and leftover coffee cups mix in with take-out food containers, but I really had no idea of the amount of love and passion that goes into the giving and receiving of flowers.
We have customers coming into our little haven of blooms all of the time, commenting on how wonderful it must be to work with flowers all day, and how they’d like to do something like this when they retire, or that they are really thinking of making a career change and working with flowers. Of course we are always encouraging when it’s someone’s dream, but in reality being a florist is a passionate labour of love, where you need be totally and utterly besotted with flowers and really love helping people. Not to mention being super artistic and talented!
Victoria has all of these qualities in bucket loads and has been a florist for 30 years. She is just as much in love with her career now as she was when she started. And still gets a buzz from heading to the markets early and is continually blown away by the beauty she experiences every day. For Victoria, it’s all about bringing the intrinsic beauty of mother nature to our customers and being there to help them communicate all their emotions with flowers.
And her love for the business is infectious!
So, here’s one day in the life of a florist…
3.30am: Wake up to the alarm.
4 am: Leave home for the markets in Flemington.
4.40am: Check over the market shopping list for particular flower requirements for that day whilst sitting in the van waiting for markets to open. Check emails, online orders and social media orders that may have come in overnight for that day.
5 am: Markets open and the fun begins! Madly rush around the markets to find the best quality flowers at the best price before anyone else gets them. This part really is a buzz and one of the best parts of being a florist! Pay for the flowers. Load them up into your arms or on big trolleys and make lots of trips to the van to stack and store them with precision.
7 am – 8 am: Leave the markets and head back to Maroubra in peak hour.
8 am – 8.30am: Get kids ready for school and take them to school. Maybe have some brekky.
9 am: Open Hamblins for the day!
9 am: Unload the van of precious cargo. Place all flowers carefully into the water and prepare them for sale by stripping low leaves and cutting all stems so they will drink the water. Depending on how busy the shop is, this can sometimes take all day.
9 am – 6 pm: Shop hours includes serving walk-in customers, phone call orders, email orders, social email orders and online orders. Also regular corporate deliveries and any events that may be on that day. Responding to all customer enquiries for events including weddings, launches, engagements, birthdays, funerals etc. Deadlines to be met for flower arrangement deliveries, event deliveries etc.
10 am: First courier pick-up for morning run of deliveries.
1 pm: Second courier pick-up for afternoon run of deliveries.
1pm-6pm: Continue to serve customers, perhaps take some photos for social media if there is time, maybe even have some lunch if time but not always, display the flowers beautifully, tidy the shop, re-stock the shop and generally keep it looking amazing at all times.
4pm-6pm: Any client meetings for events usually happen during this time. This will involve analysing client requirements and help the clients to feel at ease and confident with their choice of using Hamblins for their event.
6 pm: Hamblins closes for the day.
6pm-8pm: Depending on how busy the day is, the time it takes to close up the shop can vary. Market shopping lists are prepared by checking future orders. Vases are washed and refilled with clean water. Some flowers are placed into fridges. The entire store is cleaned. Plants are watered if necessary. Paperwork is completed and register is cashed up.
6.30pm-9pm : Head home. Make dinner. Help with kids homework if not too late. Hang out a little with the fam. Put kids to bed. Fall asleep on feet ready to do it all again. 6 days a week!!
So there you have it! In all it’s glory when everything runs smoothly…’A day in the life of a shop florist’ is relentless, mentally and physically.
But what makes it so abundantly rewarding is the sheer joy that we bring to our customers every day. When they truly appreciate the time, effort and thought that goes into every one of our bespoke arrangements and know that they are witness to nothing less than a work of art.