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  • Writer's pictureElle

Chatting with Laura from Fred

*We aim to aspire to inspire as we chat to others, picking their brains, exploring their gifts and practices.

All posts are raw & unedited because f**k none of us are perfect & it is time to celebrate that - I'm here for the honest & real, you?

Who are you?

I am Laura, more commonly known as Fuzz or Fred. I am a floriculturist, and floral artist. I grew up on the South Coast NSW, surrounded by my two major loves, the Ocean and the Land. Most recently I have shared my time between Australia and New Zealand, educating and indulging myself in the hardcore world of flower growing as a way to know the medium of my artform as close as possible. I love being able to call both countries home. My passion most deeply lies in nurturing the Earth, growing and creating with the most sustainable product possible, bringing light to the importance of locality and seasonality in the flower world.

A song or movie to represent your life?

Roxette - The Look. This song was put on a dancing video of me when I was around 5 years old and I feel like I've carried it through life ever since. It suits my Taurus personality to a tee haha.

What has a challenge been when establishing your business?

I first started working under my own business name 'Fred' while working on a flower farm in NZ's South Island, just before Covid kicked off. Just as I felt like some momentum was behind the business with weddings and shoots booked, the pandemic took hold and I found myself abruptly back in my hometown. I remember feeling so lost during that time without the flowers surrounding me, and not knowing how long it would be until I could get back to the farm. After some time of the borders staying closed I decided to stay put and put my time to good use, so I got a hold of some land to lease, began sowing seed and tending the land. In hindsight it was the best thing to happen for Fred, as I got to put into action all that I'd learnt the previous years of growing under someone else into my own little plot. Nothing like throwing yourself in the deep end to prove what you are really capable of! With all the wedding work I had booked being cancelled or postponed due to Covid restrictions I needed a place to get these flowers out into the world, and so came the Fred pop-up shop. I transformed an old storage area at the back of MilkHaus in Milton into my dream flower shop. I feel this was the turning point for my business, and personally, as it gave me the opportunity to share my passion with my community. I could go on forever about how lovingly supported and held I have felt by my little hometown, my own personal Fred cheerleaders! It's been so amazing to know that there are humans out there who give a shit about where and how their flowers are grown!!

If you weren't in your field, what do you think you would be doing?

I have a fashion degree behind me and although I haven't touched a sewing machine since graduating (i'd rather have dirt under my nails) I dream of designing a clothing label specialising in good quality womens workwear, but make it fashion. The amount of times I've been looked at funny for wearing a long skirt or dress while working on the farm but little does anyone know how damn comfy I am! Add a few more functional pockets for holding tools etc that would be the dream! Maybe one day :)

What is next for yourself or business?

As I write this, I've just touched back down in Aotearoa. Apart from the weddings I have booked, I'm using this year to be a bit of a gypsy florist, freelancing around the country until finding a spot to settle. Although it feels so strange to not have anything in the ground or a season of growing ahead of me, I'm excited to work with some amazing florists and hopefully visit some inspiring farms around NZ on the way. I feel there is much more to learn before locking into the 'forever farm'. There are also a few secret projects I'm working on so stay tuned for what's next for Fred!

What sets your soul on fire?

Sending out flowers into the hands of others that I truly trust and can wholeheartedly say are grown with love and with minimal impact to the Earth in the making. The world of preserved/dyed/imported/industrial grown flowers is a hugely damaging one to the planet and still so surprising to most. Doing my own small bit for the planet while gently educating people on its importance fills my soul. From the sowing of the seed to nurturing young seedlings like my own babies to watching them grow and tending to a variety of different needs, to the final harvest and arranging the final product. It's a slow and hard slog at times but the feeling of connectedness is so rewarding. Whether it be a gift bunch or for a wedding, nothing else makes me happier and prouder to be able to tell people exactly where each and every stem came from, who grew it and how.
Also collaborating with my many insanely talented friends. There is nothing like pulling on each other's strengths to create some magic!

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