Inspired by the lovely sentiment and creative challenges of what floristry brings, Brigitte Northover discovered her passion at an early age with beautiful memories of how flowers have changed who she has now become today. For the past 5 years, Pearsons School has had the pleasure of having her share her talents and passion of floristry with her many students that walk through the school doors to embark on their Certificate III training. Here is her story..
Trainer: Brigitte Northover
Where did your passion for floristry begin? And how did it lead you in to teaching?
There are two moments in my life that were pivotal and led me to become a florist. I remember going to the florist’s with my mother and the scent of flowers in the shop. It gave me that instant sense of pleasure and wellbeing. The second moment was after the delivery of my daughter I went to buy flowers for the midwives who assisted me during her birth. I went to the Pearson’s kiosk at the time and while waiting I remember thinking at the time how special it is to be able to make something from your hands and offer it to someone as a message of love or appreciation.
Later on I decided to study floristry and worked in the industry for about ten years. I fell into teaching because I wanted to revisit design in floristry. A lot of the work I was doing at the time was repetitive and I wanted to re-open the creative process. As a trainer of any position that requires teaching, you need to teach yourself first before you can impart knowledge and that was the initial attraction for me! I love learning and I love studying.
What is it that you love about being a Certificate III trainer with PSF?
I love the buzz of creativity!
One of my favourite moments is probably when I design a piece along side my students. I love that sense of quietness when everybody is just taken somewhere where there is no sense of time nor space, because you are operating in the realm of creativity – everything seems to unlock, and there is a flow that comes with it.
I am very privileged as a trainer to see people who are struggling coming through the door of my classroom wanting something out of the craft of floristry. I don’t always know what it is that they want out of it but their presence in the classroom speaks volume to me. I saw people with cancer or battling with anorexia leaving my classroom with a bunch of flowers in their arms and that moved me to tears. Being in a creative environment took away whatever they were facing at the time and they left the room changed. That is very powerful and very humbling for me.
I really enjoy just being in the school premises. It is a place where I was a Certificate III student once upon a time and it has this sense of being at home – my colleagues were my trainers and I feel very nurtured by their personality and love for the industry. I love seeing the flowers arriving fresh from the market. Their colours, smell and variety just make me happy
What’s something our students wouldn’t know about you?
I was part of the opening crew of Disneyland Paris, I worked in Entertainment at the time.
What is your proudest moment as a trainer?
I think it’s seeing my students able to make a design that has their stamp on it. It’s like an offering to others, which is very special.
Why would you suggest floristry as a career for budding floral enthusiasts?
Floristry is one of the most rewarding jobs that you can ever do if you are passionate about it. Although the reward is not necessarily financial it will make you emotionally rich because a lot of it is about serving others as well as being entrusted to tell a story.
To our budding florists and floral enthusiasts, do you have any care tips you’ve picked up along the way to share?
Never stop dreaming, although social media is a great tool to use in our day and time, I find that they are not a substitute for your imagination. So reading for me is a way that I find useful to keep the muscle of my imagination working out! Out of this exercise a lot of design ideas come to life.
Who do you look to for inspiration in the industry?
Coming from a background of design and Fine arts, I don’t really look at florists!!!! I am more attracted to films, art, fashion and design. I love the work of Daniel Ost and Azuma Makoto because their craft just takes me into a different world and just come alive when I watch catwalks of Alexander Mcqueen or Guo Pei. I like being taken into an adventure when I look for inspiration - that element of surprise and awe always ignites the beginning of a new creative process in me.
Instagram: @couleursstudio (florist feed) and @amiel_couleurs (artist feed)
Website: www.amiel_couleurs.com (artist site)