When we were allowed to open our doors in Level 3 we did a little dance for joy, soon to be replaced by a shuffle and stagger as we wound our way through Mother’s Day - Covid style. Flower Growers were in massive short supply, prices were through the roof, we needed to order in advance after predicting the future.Trying times for even those who have been in the business for many years. At the end of the day on Sunday 11th May I sat in ‘my’ shop, all flowers had been delivered, I had triple checked the orders to make sure I hadn’t missed any and told myself “I’ve done it”. I survived my first Mother’s Day, just. 103 orders in the two weeks since opening at Level 3 with the majority of those Mother’s Day. The support from family and friends has been overwhelming but the greatest support has been from Sandra.
“Sandra, I would never have made it through without your support, your advice, your positive texts to keep me going. Your gentle countenance has been unbelievable, I actually don’t know how to say “thank you” enough.
From the moment I found out that The flower Crate was for sale I knew I wanted it and I feel so fortunate to have been able to take over the mantle of something so wonderful that you created. You have my deepest respect and gratitude and I look forward to many more laughs, tears and Mother’s Days (I mean trips to France)! Thank you x
…and so my vision for this wonderful little shop
From the start my vision was to create an environment of soft beauty. Where people can come to buy a simple bunch of flowers or a beautiful bouquet. Perhaps a gift for yourself, a friend or a loved one.
I don’t want mass produced.
What you will find in store are very carefully selected items that have sparked an interest in me. When I travel I love to fossick, talk to people, hear their story and how they came to be creating what they do. With owning TFC I’m now able to bring those stories to the shop. They are not simply products on a shelf. They are peoples livelihoods, loves, passions and creativity - and that is what you are taking home with you, you are continuing the journey.
The reality is that I will not always know personally every manufacturer but I will then look to the production and make sure they are manufactured in an ethical fashion out of sustainable products.
I want to reduce our ‘throwaway’ tendencies
I want to support the artisans
So too with the flowers there will be small changes
Do you know where your last bunch of flowers were grown?
When first starting out in The Flower Crate I learnt very quickly that I wanted only New Zealand grown flowers. I was shocked to hear that the majority of roses sold in florist shops come from Colombia. Not only do they take a 12,000km plane ride to reach our stores but they are dipped in glyphosate (round up) before leaving Colombia and then further chemicals are used at quarantine. The bio hazard this presents to florists who handle them and you the customer is unacceptable.
We’re lucky here there are many nearby growers and small flower farmers that can supply us year round with fresh and dried flowers.
We want to develop the “slow flower movement” and sustainable floristry which promotes our local growers. It does mean you can only buy what is in season but that makes the florists options real and the anticipation when beauties like peonies come into season such a delight. The cymbidium orchids that arrive with the cooler months as the hydrangeas have their last gasp and the summer roses turn their floral heads into rosehips, quickly followed by springs fresh daffodils
We are foam free and heading towards being plastic free. Some of our NZ growers have already switched to compostable paper sleeves and hopefully in time others will follow suit.
When you receive your bouquet or carrier know that everything will happily break down in your compost heap.
Floral foam is a single use plastic. It does not break down in your compost heap and when you pour the remains of your floral water down the drain the micro debris will flood into our waterways and oceans. It does not break down. At all. It also leaches chemicals and toxic compounds into the water. There is still a long way to go to determine the broader impacts this has on aquatic life but these early warning signals should be enough to remove all floral foam from sale.
Garden roses have somehow lost their ‘shine’ because they do not have long straight stems or the perfect bloom, but these beautiful garden roses will go through many changes from a bud to a large ruffled bloom. They are not perfect but their imperfection is natural and beautiful. We will never sell or use damaged flowers but damaged and imperfect are quite separate. It is like the carrot pulled from the garden with a bulge or twisted growth as opposed to the long slender ‘perfect’ supermarket carrot that shows no character or flaw. It is up to us as florists to show you how these beautiful blooms can once again make a statement in your floral arrangements.