RITA FELDMANN - FLORIST
Rita Feldmann of Blooming Brides has been with us since almost the beginning. Predominately working over at Stones of the Yarra Valley, we have been lucky to have her do some special events at Meletos both in the cafe and The Warehouse. Rita just gets it, her understanding of the venues and what works makes our relationship an absolute pleasure.
Growing up in floristry, her parents started out in the early seventies selling flowers from a horse and cart in South Yarra. Then her Mum Maggie began working with some top hotels, a time reflected upon as one of creative freedom and comfortable budgets. “I used to work a lot with hotels, I have fond memories of event launches with swimming pools full of carnation heads.”
Our visit to Rita’s workspace in Emerald gave us an insight in to the preparation that goes in to a wedding. “I get a lot of resumes from young people that say they just love flowers and want to do weddings, what they don’t know is the fun stuff is 10% of the time, the other 90% is getting up first thing, driving all over the place, picking up orders, phone calls, heavy lifting, dealing with suppliers”.
The preview we had of “the fun stuff” was exactly that. Piecing together arrangements over cups of coffee, Maggie and Rita made it look easy. It’s a life amongst flowers that brings that talent and understanding, “Couples come to me with an idea of a colour palette or name a flower or two and I just run with it”. With the flowers comes the stands, hangers and vases, many that Rita has designed and made herself or had custom built. Some of these are built to go unnoticed and some are as much a feature as the flowers they’re holding. “The foam most florists use for arrangements is horrible stuff, it’s rarely reused and once thrown out it doesn’t break down”. Talking to Rita as she put together mixed bunches she really was in her element, with Maggie alongside her it was lovely to see the generations working together and the passion for the craft so strong.
We were lucky to be enthusiastically invited by Rita to the home of industry legend Eddie Wasbutzki, a short drive from Blooming Brides HQ. Eddie’s garden was stunning, occasionally acting as a saving grace for Rita if she can’t source a particular flower in time, his own private nursery looks out to the rolling hills and valleys of the Yarra. We walked and talked, hearing of industry insights, gossip and stories of his years at The Lone Hydrangea, the infamous florists on Glenferrie Rd. Like out of a dream, the garden paths snaked through beds of countless plants and flowers, greenhouses and aviaries.
Finishing off our morning with a visit to a couple of commercial dealers Rita’s been using for years and walking through massive cold store fridges full of flowers, we left with a better understanding of the effort involved and the delightful lady behind Blooming Brides, Rita Feldmann.