16.05.2019

My Father’s Florist


We’re going to do something a little different today – and that is to let Josie tell the story of her floral styling brand My Father’s Florist herself.  As you read her words, you’ll understand why it wouldn’t have been right for me to try to massage them into the regular descriptive paragraph or two.

Photography above by Robbie Hunter

My name is Josie and I am twenty-five. I live on the wrenching, gritty and graceful west coast of New Zealand, Piha.

I am in a constant love affair between the ocean, floristry and mental health. I started My Father’s Florist in July last year after some really unfair and tragic circumstances caused me to take a step back from my employment at the time. My Father’s Florist is about desperately trying to borrow what the West Coast lends me and gifting that to others through floristry.

My Father’s Florist is built around two things; capturing joy and dealing with grief. My understanding of joy is not happiness. Joy is the deep rooted and grounded understanding that no matter how horrible life gets, life is still unquestionably beautiful. I believe that joy can be present on the bad days, on the days in which you just can’t, when it’s unfair and when you just want acknowledgment that the situation you find yourself in sucks.

A big part of my business and my love for dried florals is grief. But grief interwoven with learning how to step into gratitude and step into joy.

 

I started collecting flowers when I was significantly shorter and a fair bit more foolish. I have trodden the known and unknown paths of my hometowns for uncounted dusk and dawn soaked hours. Some of these evening walks were the walks of lovers. At other times they were lonely. I started collecting, documenting, foraging and began to gain a deep-rooted understanding of beauty from the ashes.

That’s the beauty of dried florals really, that in every single process of life there is unseen detail. Silent joy.

I don’t want to be a floral designer, I want to be someone who is pursuing joy and just happens to make beautiful products. I believe in unique and whenua grounded design, I believe in creating a product, service and art piece that reminds you of Joy.

 

I currently split my time between the sand soaked soil here in Piha and the romance of the city. I work part time for a florist in Ponsonby, making whimsical wedding, store and event flowers. The rest of the time I spend foraging and creating in my Tiny house and caravan where I live by myself.

The thing that sets me apart from other florists who offer dried flowers is that all my flowers are foraged, it’s a long tedious process as it’s a massive gamble to see if things will dry in a good enough state to use. I spend two days a week exploring, knocking on doors, meeting strangers, meeting my community, talking, learning and creating a beautiful network of people who let me forage from their gardens. I make up for any lack with roadside finds.

All Photography except where noted by Natalie Ng (Journal and Co)

 

Mental health is my priority, so this business is a slow one in the sense that I am ruthlessly eliminating hurry from the way I run it, which probably isn’t a smart business move, that being said there are some exciting things in sight.

I am currently attempting to bribe a local Piha business owner into letting me have a pop up florist at their store this coming summer, my main motivation being I can surf when the waves are good and make flowers when they waves are average, plus they sell really great tacos… Alongside this I will be running some pretty incredible dried floral workshops, and releasing some beautiful ceramics, dried floral products, dried floral bouquets, my new collection of dried floral rings, wedding packages and figuring out how to press flowers onto the top of a surf board before it’s glassed over.

~

Oh and I guess I should explain the name. My Father, he champions my creativity, I design it he makes it. He is my business partner and before I could claim the name florist I could claim the name daughter. My Fathers florist yes is about joy and expressing grief but I can only do both of these because he first created an environment in which it was encouraged to do so.

 

You can buy Josie’s intricate wreaths (in extra-large through to miniature sizes),
sculptural ikebana arrangements and other floral artworks online at My Father’s Florist.
Follow Josie’s creative journey on her Instagram.

22.01.2019

Salad Days


Photography Saskia Wilson; Styling Alicia Scibberas

 

Before we get started here, can we take a moment to appreciate the name Salad Days for a ceramic brand? Best name! It gives me such happy, nostalgic vibes.

Lucy Coote’s story in ceramics started 6 years ago. She’d studied fashion and business, and then got a ‘real job’ in an office, but found herself needing a creative outlet, so signed up for a pottery night class. She fell in love with it, joined a potter’s association, and after a couple of years spending most of her spare time in the studio, she started selling pieces to friends and family… then to a few stockists… and then through her own online store. By this time, she was working in film production, but nights and weekends weren’t enough to keep up with demand. She had to choose: grow her career in the film industry, or make ceramics full-time? When she asked herself which she couldn’t live without, it ended up being an easy decision.

She left her job and committed to Salad Days, but soon after discovered she was pregnant (with twin girls! – Margaux and Daisy who are now 19 months old). To say Lucy’s not really had oodles of time to focus on her ceramics would be an understatement. The juggle is real. But – thankfully for those of us who want to buy ALL her things – Lucy and husband Mark have just moved home to Wellington. Here at home, they have the family support to allow Lucy to work more flexibly, and they can actually achieve their dream of buying a home – something with a studio, or potential for one. While they house-hunt, Lucy’s working from fellow pottery pal Wundaire’s studio.

(Why do I tell you all this stuff? Because The New’s not just about aesthetically beautiful things. Yeah, yeah, it mainly is, but not just. It’s also about the real people behind these aesthetically beautiful things. And it’s also about pursuing your creative passions, and what it takes to do that.)

Salad Days pieces are timelessly simple and refined. Lucy designs beautiful silhouettes and her own glazes for a contemporary yet classic look, but as she’s creating, she’s thinking about function just as much as form. She imagines what you’ll use your bowl/mug/jug for… what would be the best size and shape for that… what shaped handle would make it feel best. She’s making something to be loved for a lifetime, for all your Salad Days. I’ll take one of everything please.

Salad Days Website

Salad Days Instagram (ceramics and cute bebs!)

 

23.08.2018

Gidon Bing at Good Form


Styling by Sara Black

 

Last year, our friends Mr Bigglesworthy – purveyors of the very best in authentic Mid-Century pieces  – launched a sister brand, Good Form. (Um, how great is that name though? Jealous I didn’t think of it tbh.)

Through Good Form, Emma and Dan are extending their curation to the contemporary, including furniture and lighting from some of the most iconic international brands – and now – collector’s pieces from closer to home, as they’ve just added NZ designer Gidon Bing to their portfolio of design visionaries. You all know Gidon Bing, right? A sculptor and ceramicist, Gidon developed his craft working with classically-trained master artisans in NZ, Europe, Israel and Asia, and while he works from a modest boatshed studio in Auckland, his work is respected globally – it’s been featured in Selfridges of London, Milan’s Salone del Mobile and other high-profile galleries.

To celebrate the arrival of the Gidon Bing collection at Good Form, Dan and Emma asked NZ stylist Sara Black to work her magic on a series of Still Life images.

Gidon also worked with Dan and Emma on the interior architecture of the Good Form space – pictured here.

18.07.2018

Big Joy


The Wandering

Effervescent Buzz

The Lightness

Breathe In, Breathe Out (at top) and Sweet & Wild
Styling by Julia Green of Greenhouse Interiors; Photography by Armelle Habib

 

I want all of these limited edition works (originals and prints) by New Zealand artist Jen Sievers. She’s produced a collection especially for Greenhouse Interiors, super-aptly named Big Joy.

You can purchase from the Big Joy collection here, shop from Jen’s website, or check out more of Jen’s original and prints at endemicworld.

Jen Sievers website   /   Instagram

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