Shaye Woolford is one of our regular floral contributors, the work she creates is a harmonious blend of structure, interesting texture and tonal colour palettes. Her background lies in the restaurant business. This unconventional path combined with a strong sense of creativity is what we think gives her such a unique style.
Tell us a little about your background and how you got into florals and styling… After my husband and I got married we noticed a gap in the market for an alternative prop and furniture hire, and so started OMH. I then added styling services and florals; I secretly had always dreamed of being a florist!
How did your business name come about? I wanted a name that didn’t obviously tell you what we did. It has a few meanings to me, one is that it links in with a wedding ring on your hand, one is that all our work is done by us, and the other takes inspiration from the saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.
How would you describe your style and aesthetic, what makes you unique? To me, Mother Nature is the greatest artist, so I keep a natural scene in mind when I create. Growing up flowers were always around me, I guess you could say I learnt about them subliminally. My Nan had a huge garden and she used to include me in her daily gardening duties. Knowing the varieties, colours, seasons and how things grow has been a huge asset.
When I’m creating florals there are three main things I think about – the client’s taste, the environment the florals will be in and my personal style.
What is your creative process like? I like figuring out the logistics of a job first, then I know my boundaries. I always have to forage, just to add that little bit of magic that you can’t get from commercially grown flowers. I’m constantly evaluating as I go then all of a sudden I just know it’s done.
Where do you get your inspiration from and who do you admire? My number one inspiration is nature.
The florists I just go wow over are Sarah Winward, Studio Mondine and Saipua. I also draw inspiration from music and film. I’m in love with Wes Anderson. I have secret Pinterest boards dedicated to his films because I love the colour palettes in them.
What have been some career highlights to date? Hosting a workshop with florist Yasmine Mei. More recently, working on our largest wedding ever, which required me to bring in two other NZ florists and a team of 12 to work with over three days on.
What advice would you like to give to brides when it comes to flowers and styling? There’s an overwhelming amount of ideas online, but ask any florist or stylist and they’ll tell you that our creativity flourishes when there’s room for us to imagine. Trusting your supplier will pay off as they are the experts and will know the venue, season and what can be done within your budget.
What trends in flora do you see coming? From the floor up florals, as well as ceiling pieces, backdrops and large installations.
What are your all-time favourite flowers and/foliage? Garden roses, vines, Foxgloves, Hellebores, Daphne and Blossom.
Whats next for Shaye and On My Hand? This year my focus is quality, not quantity. I have a couple of exciting projects in the pipeline; selling photographic art pieces of my work and I’m going to be in a book! I’ve also scheduled some travel overseas for inspiration.