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Women in Business: Lucy of Lu Diamond Flowers

To celebrate Spring and our Primaveraimage project we caught up with a few of our favourite florists, starting with Lucy of Lu Diamond Flowers...

Lu is such a honey, the kind of girl you could become fast-friends with. Unflappable, cool calm and collected, usually found with her arms full of bouquets or babies as she juggles her floral styling business with twin daughters Goldie and Delilah (6 months).

Lucy of Lu Diamond Flowers for Saben Primavera image project

Tell us a little about how you got into floristry...

I’ve always loved flowers and wanted to learn more about them. It started out as a hobby - little side project. I would often photograph my very amateur arrangements and realised that my floral skills needed some work so started practising and playing with flowers when ever I had a free minute and it quickly become a paying hobby.

What for you has been the most exciting thing you've done with flowers?

Oh good question… There have been lots of highlights since I started working in the floral industry...collaborations with NZ brands like yourself doing photoshoots, building installations, packing in elaborate’s all been pretty exciting! But I think building a floral cave for Ecoya a few years back was probably my first biggest and exciting job, there were about 10 van loads of Ivy!!

What was it like working on the Saben spring project?

FUNNN!! I love been given a project that lets me have creative control...It’s when I do my best work as I don't feel restricted… Plus I never wear make-up so enjoyed having that done for the portrait series too!

How did your beautiful arrangement come about?

I'm a big fan of colour when it comes to working with flowers and do my best to let the natural product shines in it's best light.

I felt that the soft pinks, lilac, red and white tones and would sit nicely against the white leather while complimenting it nicely rather than out shining the bag. I use A LOT of roses in soft dusky colours so whatever floral that is in season that is lush with frilly petals is my go to. Carnations, anemones, mini cymbidiums and anthuriums all have that full lush heavy petal look and feel. Perfect for a beautiful arrangement that is has texture and depth but not "too busy or overthought"

You've worked within the fashion industry before, what do you like about working with fashion clients?

I love clothing, fashion and great branding; so I think it has just been a natural marriage with Lu Diamond Flowers aligning itself with so many great clothing brands. I’ve always been really interested in photography and creating an end product that is not only visual but also something that you can enjoy in the flesh, a concept of which I think I have bonded over with fashion clients.

Do you approach your floristry work in the same way you approach the other facets in your life, such as photography, or motherhood?

Yeah I guess I do. I’ve never really thought about it like that. I don't like to over think things but do like to use my time you mentioned above I’m not a flapper. All facets of my life - work and personal are all aimed at creating a positive experience for myself and others which I guess shows in my work ethic and personal home life.

We can’t go past the wedding topic... It’s a big one, so just quickly - For someone at the very start of their wedding flower journey – do you have any pieces of advice for them BEFORE they approach their florist?

Do some floral home work on florists that suit you and your wedding vision/ style. There are A LOT of florists with very different styles. And don't get caught up on the Pinterest wedding scene - be original and be yourself!

Tell us about the twins!

Delilah + Goldie were born February this year... I still can’t believe I have twins, my days are filled with moments where I’m like “what the hell - I have two babies”. It’s been a slap-in-the-face styled introduction to motherhood but I LOVE it, even when I’m having a shit day.

They are very sweet, chatty yet relaxed little girls who have shattered my dreams of becoming a professional moocher. They are identical but are quite different in their appearance and personalities which I love.

How are you managing the juggle between business and babies?

Haha. Not very well to be completely honest. I’m lucky I have amazing clients who have been super supportive and understanding with me becoming a mum and not being so readily available on a week to week basis.

I have managed to squeeze in two weddings plus a few smaller projects since they were born... I am planning on pumping up my hours in the new year which I’m super excited about but I reckon it might be quite hard when the time comes; the girls are glued to each one of my hips 24/7. My hat goes off to every working mum with children.

AND what is next for you, both in business, and as a family?

I have some exciting projects in the pipe line, one with an ace photographer. With the shift in my personal life there are going to some exciting changes with Lu Diamond Flowers with my creative this space! PLUS the family and I are off to Bali this month to surf, eat and relax....and hopefully get a little sleep!

Lucy’s Top Tips for working with flowers:

1: BUY FRESH! If flower heads are looking already quite open and soft they are OLD... Choose tight buds so you get longer lasting flowers

2: BUY LOCAL, support your local florists and growers. Ask your florist what flowers have been grown in NZ as opposed to imported flowers.

3: I hate cold baths! So do flowers, pop them in warm water and re-cut their stems.

    4: Sometimes less is more, buying too many different colours and varieties of flowers can be harder to arrange. If you keep it simple you have a better chance of nailing a bouquet or vase arrangement.

    5: STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES! if you happened to walk by a house with a beautiful home grown rose or any flower really, make sure you stop to smell and enjoy it. Mother nature is pretty cool.

     For floral inspo stay in touch @ludiamondflowers 

    Lucy wears Saben Mae handbag in white from the latest Exhale collection, paired with aptly named Poppy coloured Tilly for her Primavera arrangment. A celebration of spring!

    Lucy Houghton of Lu Diamon Flowers for the Saben Primavera spring collaboration

    Lucy Houghton with family for the women in business interview series

    Lucy Houghton for Saben primavera spring collaboration

    Saben Primavera spring collaboration for Lu Diamond Flowers