LM Woman #32 / Hattie Molloy
Hattie Molloy is a Melbourne florist in a class of her own. Her unique and thoughtful approach to floristry showcases arrangements that resemble works of art. These assortments and bouquets are unpredictable and complex, seamlessly mixing traditional with contemporary, allowing Hattie to carve out a niche as one of Australia's top floral creatives. We spoke with the lovely Hattie on how she manages to juggle it all and where she finds her inspiration.
You studied floristry in 2015, was this something you were always interested in? Did you know this was your desired career path from a young age?
My grandmother looked after me as a child most days after school and I would always be in her garden making posies of violets. I was pretty much obsessed as a child with flowers. Always going on walks around our neighbourhood and climbing into peoples gardens to pinch flowers. Floristry is always something I felt passionate about, even during my teenage years. After school I travelled and then started working full time in a corporate job which I found dreary, so I decided to enrol in a floristry course as it's what I had always wanted to do.
You are known for your unique style of floristry - was this something you had to discover through your work, or did this come naturally to you? Does this unique drive flow into other areas of your life - e.g. your personal style?
I think I've developed my style through trail and error. Playing around with different vessels and techniques. I found studying floristry at TAFE very restrictive and it wasn't what I had envisioned I would be learning. Now looking back, I understand that a TAFE course will teach you techniques but not style. That is something you have to develop on your own. So while I was studying and freelancing for other florists, I would go to the wholesaler and buy flowers every week to make my own arrangements and have a play around. Still to this day I buy extra flowers at the market that I want to make something for myself with. I think its important to create outside of paid work. This is how you evolve and try new things.
What are the challenges you face/faced running your own business, and what advice would you give those just starting out?
OH MAN! I have really struggled to be honest. I still occasionally freak out and think about giving it all up to work a 9-5 job. I find letting go and delegating really hard. I still mainly do all the flowers myself because I can never communicate how I want something arranged. I'm also hopeless at emails and admin. This year I've gotten a lot better at delegating but it took me a while. When starting out, you are going to have to work your bum off. What you say no to is more important than what you say yes to. Value your work and your time.
You run workshops through your store - are you passionate about training and assisting young budding florists? (No pun intended)
Yeah, I really enjoy doing the workshops. I found when I started out it was hard to learn relevant techniques and to connect with florists that were doing interesting and different work.
What are your thoughts on the use of social media to establish and communicate your brand? Do you enjoy this element of the business/find inspiration from it?
I would not have a business if it wasn't for instagram. Or it definitely wouldn't have happened so quickly. I don't ever plan posts or have a formula, I guess it just comes.
What are your tips for buying the perfect arrangement, and how to best care for it?
It's always best to go with whats in season and to put your trust in the florist. Main thing with flowers is to keep them cool and the water fresh!
Where is your store located, and what does the year hold for you?