Kelly Hart, from Port Central Florists, advocates the gift of beautiful flowers for Mother’s Day …
> Have you lived in Port Macquarie all your life?
Yes. I went to East Port Primary School and then on to East Port High School. I did go to Sydney for 9 years, but came home when my daughter was 13 months old, as I wanted her to grow up with the same great lifestyle that I grew up with.
> Your mother was and still is a very professional and well known florist in the Hastings, and you have followed in her shoes. What was it that inspired you to be a florist?
Mum’s shoes are fairly big shoes to fill, and with her help I think I am achieving that. I started out with Flowers ‘n’ Things when I was 15 years old – hanging around after school and happy to be able to do whatever they gave me, just so I could learn. My great aunt was a well known florist in Gordon in Sydney, and I guess the creative flair runs in our family. Now Mum and I work side by side; we have a great working relationship and she has so much knowledge to give. We love working together.
> Where did you start floristry?
I started my training with Pat Jagger, who then owned Flowers ‘n’ Things. I moved to Sydney to take up an apprenticeship with Pearson Florist. I moved back home when Mum opened up her own business in Port Central. Ten years later I am now the proud owner of Port Central Florist and I still love every minute of it.
> Tell us about your most eventful moment?
Eventful moments are hard to define when you have children, family and a business, but each day brings its own moments. From flowers to Tony Collette, Frankie J. Holden, John Farnham, Marie Bashir, and my valued clients. Each day in this industry brings something new.
> Most people do not realise how labour intensive floristry can be. In your words, tell us about your day as a florist …
My day starts at 5am – getting the kids ready and off to school by 7am. Then a trip to our factory, where all our stock and coolroom are located, to pick up our supplies for the day. Then it’s off to the shop to unload all the stock by 8am, to be ready to open the shop by 8.30am.
Being a florist is not an easy job by any means, but it is very rewarding. Everything we sell in our shop has to be made up each day. We cannot open a box and put our stock out on display to sell it. Everything is made from scratch, so we are kept very busy throughout the day with stock for the front of the shop and our orders. Our day usually finishes around 5.30pm to 6pm and then it is time to go home to my other job – my family. To do all the Mum things – homework, story reading etc. But I wouldn’t change it for anything.
> This month is going to be very busy for Mother’s Day. Why do you think flowers are the perfect gift for Mum?
Mums always deserve flowers, no matter what the occasion, but Mother’s Day is the perfect time to give your Mum flowers to show how much you care. Flowers would have to be the perfect gift for mums on Mother’s Day – mums of all ages love to receive flowers. What better way to say, “I love you Mum and thank you for all that you do”, than to give her a beautiful bunch of flowers, which will say it all for you. Flowers will always bring a smile to her face, no matter what the age, no matter what the size; it is the thought that goes behind it.
> What is a special gift that you would recommend to go with flowers?
Flowers are a perfect gift on their own, but if you were to add something to go with them, you cannot go past champagne and chocolates. You can combine these into a gift basket or you can just send a box of chocolates – the choices are endless. You are only limited by your imagination.
Floristry would have to be the most rewarding career that I could have chosen. Of course, it has its up and downs, good times and sad times like all jobs. But I get to meet and talk to so many different people each day and meeting someone new is why I wouldn’t give this job up for the world.
I love the fact that I can be creative and that everything that I do is different from the day before; everything we do is created by us out of our own imagination. That’s the challenge – to think of new things and new ideas all the time.
> Thank you Kelly.