Hayley Sheppard is a local florist and the creative genius behind Huckleberry Flowers. Her dreamy arrangements of dried and fresh blooms, make a statement in every space and the most beautiful gifts. A range of her dried bunches (which may we add last forever) are available here in store at Trader Trove!
Keep reading below for a Q&A with the floral Goddess herself.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 28 and from a little town on the coast of Central Queensland, though now I call myself a Burleigh local. I have an amazingly talented, helpful and supportive boyfriend, Fred, and two crazy huskies Zora and Kahlo. I love to hike, though I haven’t been doing much of it lately and I live and breathe flowers.
Talk us through a day in the life of you.
My day involves very early starts, usually beginning with a drive to Brisbane before the sun is up to select the finest of what the flower markets have to offer. Then I bring home my haul and unpack all my flowers, cut their stems and put them in water so they can live their best life. I take my energetic puppies for a run or to the beach, drink soy lattes, make bouquets and deliveries, clean buckets, and then I sit down to reply to inquiries, and do lots of research before sending out wedding quotes.
How long have you been working with flowers?
I began making bouquets and peoples’ days (haha) in 2012, starting with study in Sydney, work experience and working for florists but it wasn’t long before I knew I needed my own brand to unleash my creativity and I so started up Huckleberry Flowers in 2015.
What made you choose the florist life?
I always wanted to be an interior designer, actually, and since being good at art alone in school wasn’t enough to secure me a place in university it meant I would have to take the long road to get there. So I moved to the Gold Coast, got a casual job in retail and started paving my way. I transferred to Sydney with the same company and before I knew it, was manager. My job was so stressful, I was very unhappy and my life was monotonous – and so I decided a big dramatic change was needed. The thought of Interior design, still excites me but I know that a big part of it would be sitting down in meetings – a little too familiar for my liking. But I did need something creative and challenging, where my days were never the same and I could get my hands dirty, and still help people. The best idea I could come up with at the time was to become a florist and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner because it suits me perfectly and I absolutely love my job. Owning a business is still very stressful but just the act of using my hands to create is the perfect therapeutic offset.
If you were a flower what would you be?
My favourite flower is a magnolia so it may be a little biased but if I were a flower I would want to be a magnolia flower. They are from a tree which seems nothing special but when you look closely the leaves are ugly but beautiful – a little bit luxe, a little bit vintage. The flowers are shy and tightly closed for most of their life but when they bloom they are striking but simple, an honest, timeless, effortless beauty. Cut them from where they sit and they don’t last more than a few hours, but leave them where they are happiest and, once the petals fall away, what is left is a strong-cored ugly-beautiful husk.
Do you prefer fresh or dried blooms?
Hard to say, I love them both! I love experimenting with dried flowers and they can add such great texture to arrangements. I’m definitely on board with the dried trend at the moment, it’s so cool to see the look being reinvented. Though, it’s hard to beat going to the flower market early in the morning and the first thing you see and smell is the fresh seasonal flowers. It hits all of your senses while you’re sleepy and it’s exciting, still, and for that reason I think I will always prefer fresh flowers - they are why I love what I do.
What inspires you while creating such beautiful arrangements?
So many things. Of course fashion, trends and seasonal availability play a big part in the outcome, but I’m mostly inspired by nature. I get to work with natural elements and a big part of Huckleberry Flowers is in respecting the pieces I use. I experiment with colour and contrast and texture and movement but I never want the end result to look too unnatural.
Photos taken by the amazing Kat Youngberry at our Night Market, in December last year. @katyoungberry_photo