From starting with "a fridge and some benches" at her home in Canberra, florist Larissa Hrstic has seen her business Wiluna Flower Studio grow "slowly and organically".
She now has a studio in Wiluna Street, Fyshwick which has been all about doing flowers by appointment and for events such as weddings and corporate functions and, more recently, doing orders online.
There hasn't been the opportunity to pop in and buy the desirable arrangements, except for small pocket posies at cafes around Canberra.
But now Larissa and her team are preparing for the next step - turning Wiluna into a retail outlet in Canberra for customers to come in any time to buy dry and fresh blooms.
The opening date is slated for the first weeks of spring in September and opening hours are still to be confirmed, but the idea will be for as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the gorgeous flowers.
"I never really wanted to open an actual shop. We've always operated more like a catering company. People order in bulk, we do the wedding or we do the workshop or the function," Larissa said.
"And the last year with Covid, we had a lot of postponements and I thought, 'We'll have an online shop and just deliver bouquets' and then we started the pop-ups around Canberra where we have a few little grab-and-go places.
"And just recently, I'd thought a shop is what people wanted. I love the area and we've got the space. I just feel we're always evolving and growing. It might not be a permanent thing but I'd like to give it a go."
The shop will also be a chance to promote their flower school classes and drink-and-draw events to a wider community.
"We'll still continue with the deliveries and see how it goes. I think it will be a nice little experiment," she said.
Larissa grew up in Canberra, attending Orana Steiner School in Weston and Narrabundah College. She also studied graphic design at both CIT and the University of Canberra.
"I've always done floristry in Canberra and kind of fell into it when I was doing work experience for school and then it turned into my weekend job and then my full-time job," she said.
"I moved overseas to London for a couple of years and set up a business through Instagram set up a home studio with a fridge and some benches and would do weddings and corporate functions until I was able to support myself as an independent business."
The studio has been transformed. The exterior bricks, "cig-butt yellow" when she took on the lease", were painted white, as were the walls inside "so the flowers would do the talking and add the splash of colour".
The business late last year expanded into the space upstairs, creating more room for stock and work space.
"The timing wasn't ideal because all the Covid stuff was happening but I didn't want to miss the opportunity," Larissa said.
Larissa has been at the front of the curve of the dry flower trend but says people are turning back to fresh blooms.
"I think the trend is slowly moving back to the fresh," she said.
"Dry is nice because it's something you can keep but there's something really beautiful about the fresh flowers, even though they die, it's what makes them special."
The latest challenge has seen her business progress almost the reverse of others - taking a strong digital presence and relaying it into sales from a bricks-and-mortar shop. She credits a lot of her creativity to Orana.
"That was amazing and I really do think that's where I learnt to think outside the box," she said.
To make way for the next chapter, Wiluna is having a sale of existing stock of blooms, vases and props for events on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.
Entry is free. There will be food and drink for sale including Li Dumplings and tea and kombucha.
Wiluna Flower Studio is at 3 Wiluna Street, Fyshwick.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: