Holly Hipwell’s lush, vibrant and rustic glam floral arrangements bring some of the most gorgeous beachside weddings to life. A self-taught florist, Holly has gone from being a floral blogger to owning her own business, The Flower Drum, in four short years. In the second part of our two-part series, Holly talks about the florist’s lifestyle and her local, the Northern Beaches.
Q&A with Holly Hipwell
Tell us a little about yourself and how your career has evolved? Have you always wanted to practise floristry?
Being a florist was something that I had always loved the idea of, but never put into action. I dabbled in a few different areas from helicopter hostess to working in marketing/ PR in the surf industry and then one day I woke up as a florist and never looked back!
What was the inspiration behind The Flower Drum and more so, what keeps you motivated with your creations?
It started out as a blog – a journal of my adventures to the markets and flower farms and the creations that came from exploring flowers. It wasn't long before people all around the world were following my journey and that inspired me to create more. From there the blog evolved into a business and I’m so grateful that this is what I get to do for a living! I don't necessarily try to seek out new ways with flowers, but being self-taught, it just becomes my version of what I think is beautiful.
As a Florist, you'd be no stranger to early starts – take us through a typical morning?
Every day is different! Our main days at the markets are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so usually on those days I will be out at Flemington Flower Market before the sun comes up searching out the best blooms and filling up the van with a sensory overload of magic! Then back to the home studio to prepare and create for the wedding/event/installation ahead.
Other days I start with a coffee on Avalon Headland at Classic Coffee, a Kombi Van brewing up the best coffee in town. We have a good gang of locals who all meet up to watch the surf and sip on their morning caffeine hit. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have a visit from whales and dolphins depending on the time of year.
Living in Clareville, on Sydney's Northern Beaches, tell us three things you love about it and why?
- Community. We have a really strong creative community and everyone seems so supportive of one another's endeavours. The lifestyle here is a good mix of work verse play!
- Water. I love being by the water and going down to Clareville Beach for a dip at lunchtime in the Summer.
- Surroundings. I’m surrounded by lush tropical greenery and rugged Australian bush. Where else would you find flannel flowers and bananas growing in the same place?! It really is like paradise!
Can you share one Palm Beach local gem?
The Boathouse of course!
Can you clarify, are carnations really making a comeback?
Yes! Ever since diving into the world of flowers I have had a soft spot for carnations – I love them colour blocked en masse!
Best flower to gift for a celebration?
Anything with a fragrance – summer roses with blown out petals and a heavenly perfume!
Number one floristry hack?
Cable ties... I take them everywhere. Even in my handbag.
Can you give us three tips on creating a DIY home bunch of flowers for a dinner party to impress.
- Keep it simple. Add in a sprig of rosemary or single bloom to each place setting
- Forage what you can. Take a walk on the wild side and get your snippers ready. Explore your neighbourhood for some foliage and blooms to brighten up the dining table.
- Don't make your arrangement too high as it will block the vision across the table. Only do this if your guests don't like one another!
Read Part 1 of Holly Hipwell Series, The Flower Drum’s Guide to the Most Stylish Venues