Holly Hipwell is a wonder woman.
A self-taught Floral stylist living and working on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Holly’s work is bold, oversized and colourful. Naturally we felt a radical affinity to her approach.
Working with a palette that is continually changing with the season, Holly’s lifestyle is carved around her passion for creating unique floral works that have redefined traditional ideas on the genre and in just four years has created global demand for her signature arrangements. Coupled with a loyal following of fans on her blog and instagram feed, Holly’s world is a spin of floral adventures far and wide.
We felt instantly drawn to Holly’s radical ‘no-rules’ approach, and so we asked her to create a ‘Mother’s Day ‘take-over’ of our website. The brief was to create a Holly Hipwell ‘virtual bouquet’ our web-store customers could visually indulge in. Using our BIG LOVE oversized bags as a ‘vase’, why not? Lacing our Dharma Loafers with foliage and ribbons. YES!
Working in collaboration with our Sydney based photographic contributor Holly Graham, the particulars of the arrangements where left completely to Holly’s creative direction. And we think the results are totally radical, YES!
Photography by Holly Graham. Interview by Kerryn Moscicki.
Tell us a little about your work, what do you do? Why do you do it?
Its hard to describe what I do! Florist just doesn't cut it!
Event design, styling and floristry. I'm the boss of making everything look beautiful.
Every day for me is different. One day I'll be creating a hanging floral installation 15 meters off the ground, the next I'll be rummaging through the flower farm snipping hydrangeas and the next day spray painting a room full of props gold or hosting floral master classes for avid flower enthusiasts.
Why do I do it? One reason would be probably because I’m too cheeky to work for anyone else!
People always say " You are so lucky working with flowers and being your own boss" but it comes from working hard 40 hours a day, 8 days a week! Sounds impossible right?? I wouldn't have it any other way.
The early mornings are tough, but once you arrive at the flower markets and all the growers are there with millions of buckets of flowers it just puts the biggest smile on my face. Its like we have a secret flower society. They're my pals and have taught me so much. I'm forever grateful.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have any work rituals or habits you follow?
Lots of coffee and lots of naps! I’m not joking!
I’m a night owl and often work very late through the evening whether it be designing concepts for clients or hands on prepping for an event the following day.
I visit the flower markets a few times a week. This means a 5am start, so after I finish unloading the florals and bathing them in water I take off for a little kip! When I wake up, it’s like starting a whole new day!
The change of season gives me a bit of a creative shake up. Through the summer time you get so used to working with big showy florals - roses, peonies, dahlias and then when autumn/winter comes around, the florals are more delicate... tulips, sweet peas, ranunculus. So you are challenged and inspired by new materials as they become available and the others fade out of season.
Describe your work environment. Do you work from a studio, office, on the road or at home? How does the space you're in influence you?
I work from home. I’ve tried to work out of a studio away from home, but I found myself still pottering around in the garage at midnight. It suits my creative process!
As the business has continued to grow, I found I had to move to a larger base. Now I’m in a beautiful house with all of my treasures. The house is surrounded by jungle, which comes in handy for last minute floral creations! I’m so lucky to have this space as my work and my home.
We concocted this shoot as a tribute to all the radical mum's out there. We have heard that Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year on many Florists calendar. What does Mother's Day look like for you?
Whilst I don't operate as a retail florist, it is still one of the busiest days of the year for me! I've partnered up on a few projects, and have spread the Mothers Day love near and far to make sure all the Mumma’s out there feel appreciated!
What does being ‘radical’ mean to you?
Genuine. Authentic. Fully Sick.