Tuesday, January 29, 2013

back from Australia

la

I wish I knew how the world works. Everything from big things like getting a day back by crossing the international date line, down to small things like why suddenly one day my dog becomes a farting dog, where as before she was just so freaking perfect. Those of you who know me know how hard it is for me to say that on the internet.

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I can't say I'm really all that interested in traveling, though I seem to do it a bit... I love to be at home in my thermal underwear looking out the window and thinking about ... myself I guess. But a good adventure makes for better perspective - something those of us in this issolating business often need more of. I have a girl named Ruby to thank for it all. She gave me this book on Australian wild flowers and set the ball rolling on this whole crazy trip.

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I never thought I'd go to Australia. There was a point in my life, after a particularly bad bought with anxiety and an unfortunate Ambien mishap on a flight to Tokyo that I vowed to never fly again. Concern for my carbon footprint was a clever foil for my fear. My trouble with airplanes is that you can't get off them when you want to. So on the way to Australia we stopped over in LA for a few days. Luxury problems.

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I like LA a lot now, where as before I hated it like a good New Yorker would. At the bar in our hotel we sat next to a hollywood exec ... "I've just been communicating with Keanu..." he hammered into his phone.

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In Sydney a few days later Nicolette and I hit the ground running, meeting some of Sydney's best florists, gathering supplies, visiting flower farms, getting a grasp on the Australian flower trade in general. What a whirlwind! We ran ourselves a little ragged those first few days. Maybe thats just the way we like to work I guess, the hustle. Fortunately for us every single person we encountered - everyone we asked for help or advise - was more than kind, patient and generous.

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And I hope that in return we gave our beautiful Australian students something useful. Some flower knowledge they craved, some fun, or some encouragement. Everywhere we go we meet so many students who are looking to break out on their own... start their own floral design business, open their first shop. I want to tell them all to jump in! Say to them - You only live once! You can do it! It is of course more complicated than that. Because we're not just talking about playing with flowers, we're talking about livelihoods.

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But when you do it, it's hard to imagine a better life. I feel pretty grateful that this flower thing has worked out for me, and for Nicolette. I feel lucky that we live in a community of great designers here in Brooklyn; all feeding from one another, inspiring one another. And humbled to have the opportunity to travel around the world to impart some of what I've learned along the way. I can't say that teaching is something that has come naturally to me, but I can say that seeing others succeed, witnessing that excitement is the most gratifying thing ever.

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I need to shut this down before I get more sappy. I must be tired. To all my new Australian friends, I miss you. At night - freezing and huddled under the covers - I watch your sunny, tropical mornings unfold on instagram.

To all the students we met, I encourage you to reach out with any other questions you have via email: sarah[at]saipua.com

A full debriefing on our travels is coming soon on the Little Flower School blog, and Nicolette and I will see you back in Australia next year I sincerely hope!


28 comments:

Mlle Paradis said...

lovely post. hope everybody you met with is safe now.

and those mad australian flowers!

Camille said...

One satisfied customer, from your L.A. class. To all of my flower friends I have been sputtering justifications of why I needed the class so much: inspiration for the new season, camaraderie with other flower nerds, working with beautiful product during the quiet winter months...turns out all these reasons were more than justified, indeed. One unexpected joy was meeting so many nonflorists, or hoping-to-be florists, who were lured there by the sheer joy of flowers. Oh the power of flowers! Yeah, I just wrote that.

Appaloosa*Moon said...

You sure know how to tap into the sap...lol, this post is as lovely as those flowers...but then again, yours always are! Welcome home!

Amanda said...

Those pinky coral, creature-like flowers are INCREDIBLE! What are they?!

Terri Todd said...

Welcome home! You DID bring back (sneak in) some rare and gorgeous flowers seeds, right?!!

Kris Livovich said...

Your thoughts on this blog are an inspiration. I have loved flowers my entire, entire life. I've worked in flower shops since I was a teenager, but only now have mustered the courage to go for it. Of course I wait until now, with four children and a husband who's making peanuts as a school teacher!

Would you have advice on hosting a pop-up shop? How to garner interest, how to get people to actually come to it? Oh, and small detail, since it's in the midwest, how to help people loosen up a bit?

Jasmine said...

I started reading your blog in 2008 and to now be a part of it is super exciting! It was so wonderful meeting you and taking part in the Little Flower School - I have been consumed by so many floral ideas ever since. You and Nicolette have taken flowers somewhere else... encapsulating art, history, nature… it is truly beautiful. I am so pleased you enjoyed your time in Australia.

Ella said...

Well shit, I just love this blog. Welcome back! I really hope your dog reverts to her non-farting perfection, but sometimes these things happen right? Also, please come to nz and spread the flower love. We are currently stuck with garishly coloured gerberas, lilies and roses. All wrapped in that adorable (and also garishly coloured) double sided plastic paper stuff. Help us!

Unknown said...

Come to the UK! Our spring/summer flowers are out of this world and we have a decent group of florists growing their own blooms. Oh and we do make a lovely cup of tea! I'd sign up for one of your classes in a heartbeat.

Ms. Dear said...

this post is so beautiful. must have been spectacular to get a peek at an aussie summer in the depths of our nyc winter!

Kari said...

Ok, what happened with the Ambien?? My friend is trying to convince me to take it on a red eye to Europe, but I'm nervous.....

Jardine said...

Thanks for wandering our way, it was wondrous to spend some time with you. I hope Nea ceases that farting business-I suspect she'll remain ever perfect.

Pauline Iacono said...

Sarah, I discovered your blog when I lived in the US, now that I've moved back home to Australia, I don't know what I'd do without it. Really wanted to take your class in Sydney, maybe you could make it down to Melbourne next time?
I've been cutting a lot of that gorgeous flowering gum lately, the neon orange kind, pale pink are my favourites.
I adore what you do and the way you write!

Ncr Flowers said...

lovely pics and beautiful flowers mainly the arrangement is too good.

Gabriela said...

Fajna strona, zobacz moją!

Emerald Petals said...

Beautiful words and pictures as usual. Thank you and welcome back

Patrycja said...

To jeden z lepszych blogów na blogspocie.

WineGuy said...

Sarah, I truly believe you got your skill at teaching from your Mom. Miss you in Paris!

WineGuy said...

Dear Sarah, I truly believe that you got your teaching skills from your Mother, and if this doesn't pass that robot test. I give up. Bisous, david

Anthony said...

I wish I knew how the world worked as well...

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All pics are fantastic..specially flowers.Awesome and lovely flowers..

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