Conversations + Colour: Holly Hipwell (AKA The Flower Drum)
If you've never heard of Holly Hipwell - where the bloody hell have you been? She's one of Sydney's (and Instagram's) most eminent florists - creating mystical, almost mythical creations for events, parties and everything in between. A hilarious funster with a magnetic personality, she's the epitome of creative visionary - and is always making magic.
The self-taught flower flinger with an innate style for the wonderful, lives on the Northern Beaches, and invited us over for afternoon tea (who are we kidding, we invited ourselves over).
Holly Hipwell - tell us what we should know about you: My name is Holly Hipwell and I am a flower addict. I have my furry little sidekick Ruffy (a Kelpie x Collie x human) who participates in 98% of the activities that I do. I spend most of my time sourcing flowers and designing installations for events all over Sydney. My approach to work is all about colour, texture, unique and organic shapes and of course, having fun!
Where do you live and why do you love it? I have lived in Sydney for about 16 years, and on the Northern Beaches for about 12 years. This house I have only been in for a year, so still settling in! When I spotted this house it was love at first sight… maybe because it was on Hollywood Road - and I, Holly Hipwell just had to live there! I actually missed out on it twice, fortunately the agent surrendered to my incessant pestering and made it happen! My favourite thing about it is the sunroom at the front, each month I style it up with different decorations for the neighbours, they love it! Oh and I love the jade green tiles in the bathroom, and the checkerboard flooring in the kitchen… and being able to hear the waves crashing from my bedroom… Ok, I just love everything about it!
How did you become a florist? As a child I always wanted to be a florist, however I explored many different careers from Helicopter Hostess to marketing + PR… floristry was always sitting in the back of my mind, and after countless applications to sweep the floors at numerous flower shops around Sydney - (each one rejected my application - I might add!) I just decided to jump into it and haven’t looked back. I have learned so much along the way… but I feel that my approach and being self taught sets my style apart from the others. I think it's been nearly 12 years now!
What’s the proudest moment of your career to date? Everyday I am just so grateful to have found a career doing what I love.
Do you have a favourite flower? I can't pick just one.. that's like trying to pick a favourite child isn’t it? Right now peonies are in season so they have to be the fave… for this week!
Best bit about being a flower flinger? It's so satisfying to dream up a concept and then create it! Being surrounded by colour and fragrance, and meeting some incredibly fun and inspiring characters along the way!
Worst? Cleaning vases / buckets and getting stabbed by roses! Oh and when the flowers eventually die.. I wish they lived forever!
If life handed you a bunch of dandelions, what would you do? Make a wish!
Favourite toasted sandwich set up? I like to think of myself as quite the sandwich connoisseur.. it's all about the order of construction! I have to say, one of my local cafes “The Hungry Ghost” makes the BEST Bolognese toastie… must try!
At a dinner party I am likely to be… I’m an anxious guest, so I love to host! After dinner you’re likely to find me commandeering the music and dancing on the table.
Favourite Little Tienda piece? My favourite piece right now would be the Britta Dress!
Someone you love following on Instagram? To be honest, I love following accounts that post cute photos of puppies - but for design inspo I adore @Lynda.gardener (who also has a cute puppy)
If you could travel anywhere in the world, no Covid or money hassles, where would we receive a postcard from and who would you be with? Ruffy and I just got back from a week in Byron, it was bliss! I do hear the streets of Portugal calling my name though!
What would be your karaoke song? Anything by Madonna…. Holiday!
Tell us - what’s coming up next for you and The Flower Drum? After 4 months of lockdown, we now have back to back events booked for the foreseeable future… stay tuned for more flower flinging fun!
Ruffy Pup wears her own natural coat throughout.
Photography: Jacqui Turk