Jess Hughes - from super yachts to super flowers it's all about colour and style!

When Jess started out on her career journey, she had no idea that she would end up a florist. Recently we caught up with her to find out just how she ended up in a world of flowers!

Florist: Boujee Blooms and Styling

Employed: (Own business)

How would you describe your floral style?

Definitely colourful and vibrant tends to be the aesthetic I lean towards the most! Also mostly sculptural and textural… I love my designs to look modern, edgy and a bit eclectic. I’m typically drawn to large statement blooms, orchids and tropicals, and anything textural… but I do love working with more dainty blooms too.

Who/what are your biggest sources of inspiration (doesn’t have to be a florist)

In regards to other florists, I do love: Mi Violeta, Hermetica, Flxra, Ellebore, the Lilipillian, The Flowerdrum, Colour Blind Florist, Don Delamour, Honesty Flora, The Make Haus… I could go on and on!

In terms of interiors, I am obsessed with Fenton and Fenton and their use of colour to create such fun interiors.

The common source of inspiration across all of the above being a colourful aesthetic. I also draw inspiration from fashion, art, landscapes, pinterest… so many varied things

Have you always wanted to work in Floristry, if not how did floristry come about for you?

Nope! I actually went to Uni for 4 years fresh out of high school to study Physiotherapy, which is what I did alongside being a pilates and yoga teacher for 4-5 years. I then worked in the yacht industry as a stew for the next 4-5 years, and this is where I fell in love with flowers. As a stewardess you either order flower arrangements for the trips onboard, or if confident and capable enough, you create your own!

The latter which I ended up doing more and more, simultaneously realising that this was an aspect of the job that I didn’t want to give up when I moved back to Aus a year ago and rethought my whole professional/work situation….

What was it about Pearsons School that made you want to study with us?

After doing lots of research.. I realised that Pearsons must be the best of the best, as the reviews, the recommendations kept popping up… also speaking with McQueens in London (which I knew as many other yacht stews go there often for its short courses) they also recommended Pearsons as they have worked together before.

I naturally wanted to get the best leg up I could, in a completely whole new foreign industry to me, and be able to form those networks easier and quicker… so I decided Pearsons was the best way forward!

What did you love about studying the ‘SFL30115 Certificate III in Floristry’ with Pearson’s School?

Having such accessibility to the tutors and all their wealth of knowledge… they were so incredibly helpful throughout the whole course, and I never felt unwelcome to pester them with my million never ending questions! Lol.

Also being able to meet and form lasting friendships with so many others in my class for the course was wonderful, some of those girls even helped freelance for me for my Sydney wedding reception on October this year.

Did you take on any work experience opportunities that were presented to you during your study at Pearsons, and if so, what were they?

I did 2 x days at the design centre in Stanmore, doing varied duties. One of these occasions was greening up vases in the lead up week to Mothers Day. It was a good chance to see how the production carried out behind the scenes.

Did you make any meaningful connections with fellow students, teachers, or florists during your course?

Many! As mentioned above… I was lucky to have a class full of students who bonded so easily with one another.. to this day we still keep our group chat alive on IG often enough.

The tutors have been great and such an inspiration; I had Deb and Lynn and they’ve been so helpful throughout. Meeting past students through those student nights has been so great also… meeting Tegan of The Lillipillian was great, and she’s been so helpful through IG since too.

Now that you’ve finished your studies, what are you up to into the industry?

I’ve really pushed the pedal to the metal in terms of setting up my own ‘business backbone’, now that I’ve gotten through my weddings including the Sydney wedding which was a massive test to me in regards to how much I could achieve as a florist doing their own first big event.

I’ve been holding out on doing all I’m doing now, so that I could utilise all the professional pictures from this event and give enough focus to this project. I’m planning for a client wedding in early Jan and had a couple of other DM enquiries through IG which is all very encouraging!

How has life changed for you since completing the course?

Absolutely! I feel like I am equipped with enough tools and knowledge I need to both survive and make my mark in this industry in Australia, which is what I intend to do!

Over the years my career trajectory has changed from Physiotherapist, Chief Stewardess and now to Florist (oh and ‘interior designer’ once I get through THAT course as well ;-)!)

What projects/floristry work are you most excited about or would love to work on now that you’ve finished your course?

Well, doing the flowers for my Sydney wedding was my biggest project to date! I’ve done my branding, now I’ve turned my attention to refining my service offerings and working on a website as well as all of the other business facets.

I have a wedding I’m currently planning for in January coming up too. Hoping as well to secure some good freelance opportunities in the industry too.

What is your favourite experience so far in your floristry career?

Apart from my Sydney wedding and seeing all my flower visions and planning come to life, there were many themed or event nights I created onboard on the yachts I worked on, which would always involve flowers – and because I didn’t have to pay or budget for all the flowers made it all the while better!!

What kinds of things have you learnt about floristry since leaving the classroom and working in the industry?

That the actual floral design aspect and executing these designs… is really only the tip of the iceberg! The fun part that is…

The planning, budgeting and logistics is the bulk of the work in event floristry. When you’re your own business, well the workload steps up again as you manage all the behind the scenes aspects of running a business as well, including how to best acquire and manage enquiries, quoting and proposals for clientele.

What are your flower favourites and go to’s?

Any flower that can be described as: funky, unique, weird, textural, sculptural, statement, vibrant, sassy, exotic or eclectic!

I naturally gravitate to anything tropical or orchid related too.

Recent favourites are: gloriosa lily, vanda orchids, gladioli, flowering gum, dahlias, water lily and lotus, zinnias, cosmos and of course phalaenopsis orchid

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into floristry?

Save up your pennies well in advance! You’re going to want to buy flowers to learn about them, experiment with and create content with…like ALL the time, and flowers are definitely not cheap these days!

Also, if you envision owning or having your own business, well this is a lot of other financial investment too.

I was not so prepared for the real scale of all this and do wish I was better prepared for it!

What does the future hold for you?

I honestly don’t know!! I do hope though, that I can become successful the way I envision it. To be able to do high end events, weddings and editorial features, working with amazing clients, design briefs and budgets is the ultimate dream really!!


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Instagram: @boujeebloomsandstyling

Facebook:  Boujee Blooms & Styling