Ferdinando de Freitas began working at the prestigious Garlands while he studied at Pearsons School of Floristry and has now been the owner for over a decade. Ferdinando has an affiliation with unique objects and textures, and this has been a catalyst to his success. We were lucky enough to be invited into his workshop and talk about his floral beginnings and love of the industry.

Florist: Ferdinando de Freitas

Company: Garlands

What were you doing before Floristry?

I worked for 6 years as a monorail driver and prior to that a Milk man. I just didn't feel that doing circles all day was my destiny.

Why did you want to change to floristry, what attracted you?

I was tired of going round in circle in the CBD and my long term relationship came to the end. So it propelled me to change my life. It was freaky the way it happened. I read an article about Pearsons in the newspaper in the Sunday careers section and it talked about a lady who worked at a furniture store in Paddington who was studying Floristry at Pearsons. I went to the store and asked if she would mind telling me about the course. It sounded perfect for me, so I then went to an information session and signed up then and there.

What did you love about Pearsons?

I love that I chose Pearsons, I didn’t know anything about floristry. The course detailed what you could achieve. You attend once a week for 9 months and come out as a florist. The best part for me was that it was a breath of fresh air. Classes were a great escape from being a monorail driver. I really enjoyed visits from Barbara Pollak, the Schools founder. She would pop in and talk to us as it was so inspiring. She was very kind and generous with her time.

What was your first job out in the industry?

I started doing work experience at Garlands whilst studying at Pearsons School of Floristry. After 6 months I took over the business. I was nervous to take over the business but was lucky Garlands established themselves with good customers. What do you love most about Floristry? I love going to the markets to find the best local flowers to work with. I also really enjoy working with brides and events. Sitting, listening to them about the wedding theme and then getting to execute it for their special day.

What advice would you give people thinking about Floristry?

Be prepared to work long hours. When you visit the markets at 5am and then close the shop it is a long day. It is also really important to have someone behind you when running your own business. A loved one supporting you, or business partner.


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