If you’re looking for an unforgettable, dreamy and fun-filled wedding or event, Australian floral and event designer Tanya of Oh Flora Studio is your go-to-gal. We also admire her willingness to share her experiences, skills and knowledge to teach other passionate florists and creatives openly through her dreamy destination floral workshops…
Last year alone she taught in Mexico City, Santa Ynez – California, Paris, Byron Bay, and Gisborne – New Zealand. Her next workshop will be hosted in Byron Bay this coming September, link here. We’ve included a fabulous video of her Mexico City workshop further down the feature.
We also speak to her about how she started out in floristry, her innovative and first-of-a-kind floral ceramics store (Oh Flora Store) as well as what she has been doing to stay pro-active and happy over the past few months.
How long have you been in the wedding and event industry as a floral and event designer and what made you take up this career?
I first ever “arranged” flowers in 2013 and have fallen head over heels since! After working many part time jobs while studying floral design for 1.5 years, I quickly knew this was “it”. It took me until the end of 2015 to take the leap into going full time with Oh Flora Studio and even then I really struggled for a couple of years. But if I’ve learnt anything, it’s that; if you love “it” you just have to keep going! Nothing happens overnight.
It was a pretty long, windy path to lead me to finally try out floral design as a career. I had many people tell me it “wasn’t a real job” so that discouraged me from trying it out even though I had an interest in a “creative career” from a young age.
I’ve always had a deep love of nature and being outside exploring. As a child I loved collecting shells, flowers and feathers (still do), crafting all the things, baking, drawing and basically attempting any type of creative project I could think of. I was also a little party-obsessed and loved creating decorations, treats and games for my birthdays or Christmas.
As I grew up, these loves of mine only became stronger and so I was always drawn to a career where I could create and celebrate people and nature.
What are some of the most memorable times you have had as a floral and event designer?
Our destination workshops that we host around the world and throughout Australia have definitely been a highlight for me. In particular, our Mexico City workshop last year in Roma Norte. Wow – WHAT A CHALLENGE that was to pull off but the experience and beauty will forever stay with me and I hope the same for our attendees. To teach other floral lovers from all over the world in Mexico City was magical, exciting, delicious (so many tacos and margaritas), loud, explorative, stressful… and in the end it was absolutely one of the most unique work experiences I think I might ever have.
I also loved taking the leap into creating our own ceramics for floral designers and decor lovers via the Oh Flora Store. Going to Sri Lanka and meeting the team of amazing artisans that hand craft each piece was truly so fulfilling.
Your second business, the Oh Flora Store recently turned 1, how did this business come about and what are some of the ideas behind it?
The Oh Flora Store came about through passion and frustration – haha!
I wanted to buy beautifully and ethically made ceramics in Australia and I simply couldn’t find what I wanted. Partially compote bowls, which are very popular to design in and sort after by brides for their weddings – they just weren’t accessible here. I also wanted a low, simplistic and chic vessel that would work to create low arrangements without the use of floral foam.
After a couple of years of the idea being in the back of my mind, at the end of 2018, I told my amazing husband, Matteo I wanted to make them myself and he actually didn’t think I was nuts. We then went down the rabbit hole of product design (very different to floral design) and then found our now makers – a family company that’s been traditionally making ceramics since the 60’s – and a few months later hopped on a plane to Sri Lanka for 5 days… It was a wild time!
We have all been affected by COVID-19, now that the dust has settled somewhat, what are you most looking forward to in the future?
I’m honestly just looking forward to the simple, deep love, fun and joy that weddings and intimate events bring!
Hosting and designing events is one of my favourite things in the world and so this time has really made me appreciate the joy that being together with people you love brings – and in a really beautiful, intentionally designed space: bonus!
What pro-active things are you doing at this time business-wise?
Over the past few months I’ve been sorting out all the things that make up the not so visual but essential part of the business, getting a head start and catching up on admin, organising future events, timelines etc + working on new products and ideas for the store and dreaming big for the future of Oh Flora Studio.
I’ve also been making the effort to design and create where possible, it keeps me inspired whether it’s floral design, graphic design, writing or changing up our websites and online presence.
Do you have any advice or ideas to help both vendors and couples who may have had to postpone their weddings and are navigating this current landscape?
I’d suggest using this time to do all those things that as a small business owner you never seem to have time to do! Update your website, start that new Client Welcome Pack you keep putting off, map out your ideas that have been long on your heart, plan and batch work and content out for the year, organise your studio, read and educate yourself on topics that will help you succeed in business.
And as for couples, this is a really difficult time to have to put your celebrations on hold but it’s also the perfect time to really enjoy each other and your (now extended) engagement. Maybe you’ll find things you’d like to refine or include in your wedding that you hadn’t thought about before.
Research your honeymoon location in detail and check out all the wonderful local businesses you can support when you eventually get there.
Honeymoon research is so fun!
Make the most of this unique time you have together.
Personally, what pro-active things are you doing to stay happy?
I think what we do with our personal time is important to succeed in business and helps me to stay motivated when things are tough. Firstly, I think it’s important to acknowledge that this will end eventually and all will be fab! And in the meantime, let’s use this time well.
Having a morning routine is essential for me: wake, water, coffee, read, walk my dog, workout. Then I usually do something I need to do around the house and then onto work.
I also really love to read, cook and bake… There have been a lot of prawn tacos, cakes and cocktails made over the past few months!
Check out this wonderful video created by Wilson Archer Films of her Mexico City Workshop.