Lee Bouras has always been an artist, and after she got married she turned her creative skills to flowers, opening her own wedding floristry business Wyld Orchids. “I’d never done flowers before, I’d spent most of my time doing art based work,” Bouras says. “I just transformed my artwork into flowers, which is pretty easy to do and I think that’s what makes my work so different”.
Following training at Teatree Gully Floristry Tafe, Bouras has been running the business, from her home in Adelaide’s Semaphore, for five years. “My business has been doing really well, I’m very booked out. I do most of my work and business consulting online and book one to two weddings every weekend. It’s exclusively weddings,” she says. With growing demand within the thriving wedding industry the clientele is more choosy these days, Bouras comments. “I think brides are a lot fussier when they get married now, they want something different not what everyone else has been having.”
The current trend is for embellishments within bridal bouquets, including bouquets made out of crystals, material from the brides dress, beading and brooches, Bouras says. “I also do a lot of work with a close friend of mine who runs a cake store, 2 Nice 2 Slice, and we do a lot of work together so our creative works intermixes and, more importantly, the bride gets a follow through with all her flowers featured on the cake and they do an amazing job.” Bouras uses online marketing, her website and Facebook to market her brand, with as many as 1000 photos on the business’ facebook page and a sleuth of followers. “I also have about 12,000 photos on my computer so I’m happy to share with people,” Bouras says. “Working online works well. We can share a lot of photos, and nut it out. Because I don’t have a shop front, I work from home, I don’t have any interruptions from customers coming in and out and my whole focus is on the task at hand,” she adds.
While Bouras’ favourite flowers are orchids, hence the business name, she works with all flowers. The florist handpicks flowers from markets and has close relationships with her suppliers who import flowers from overseas. Bouras imports roses from Ecuador, Colombia and Kenya, orchids from overseas as well as growing all her own succulents.
“It’s a really big job from start to finish, nothing can go wrong, there’s no room for error and attention to detail is really important,” Bouras says, adding, “there’s no second chance for a wedding and if problems arise you have to fix it and fix it fast.” With seasons all over the place and the recent spate of disasters, keeping in contact with suppliers and growers is vital in the industry. “Growers might say floods have hit, droughts have burnt all our rose crops, depending on what natural disaster is happening lately,” Bouras says. “You can’t promise what you can’t deliver and Plan B is always really important just in case things don’t work out.”