SAM Watt’s interest in floristry blossomed early yet her career in the sector bloomed a little later.
The Lake Macquarie businesswoman, owner of The Little Garden in Belmont Citi Centre, grew a green thumb from her father and grandfather.
“My dad has always been into gardening and my pop would grow vegies in sizes you would never see before so and as a child I was surrounded by that,” the 28-year-old says.
After school, unsure of what she wanted to do but certain she wanted to earn an income, she leapt at a job opportunity at BelFlora florist in Broadmeadow.
“I worked there two years and did all the basic training and learnt on the job because they teach you to arrange flowers in flat bunches and you learn how to care for flowers and prepare them for display and so on, and I studied floristry at TAFE,” she says.
Her career path diverged when she decided to enter childcare, and she worked as an educator for seven years.
But the lure of floristry returned shortly after having her son in 2016, when she began to do casual work from home for her friends.
“It started picking up and then I started building my own business via Instagram and then I realised I was really enjoying it,” she says.
Ms Watt had always coveted a bricks and mortar store and when the Belmont centre site came up she leaps.
“I just thought it was now or never – I either had to get another job or I had to give this a go and I wanted to do it now while we're a bit younger so i have time to grown and learn and understand the business side,” she says.
Trading since June, she chose the location for its proximity to centre foot traffic and also closeness to the family and friends she has in the area.
Ms Watt sources her flowers from flower markets in Sydney – rising at 230am each Wednesday to attend – and Flower HQ at Sandgate.
She chooses seasonal blooms that “look a bit different or unusual that will excite people” and she has a fondness for natives. There is no predetermined structure to her bouquets, just “what looks and feels nice together.”
The creativity that floristry affords her is among the work benefits: “Just being surrounded y flowers each day is really lovely, the scents and I am talking to the growers and seeing the effort that goes into growing them, especially with the drought, it's amazing how they are getting through.”
And so far, her biggest struggle has been the balance between family and business and ensuring she has the freshest standards of blooms possible: “That is definitely an effort in itself but it pays off,” she says.
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