Grow Fund Me

I have bought my flowers, foliages and hardware from the Sydney Flower Market since 1994. I styled the places I worked in abundance and was wildly fascinated about Saskia Havekes, George Low, Tracey Deep and Ferdinando De Freitas.  In my twenties in that environment was like nothing I had seen. It was old fashioned but so city smoke and hard to take it all in.


You see, at market no one tells you the rules. If you don't ask questions you will never  work it out. So you start out as a street kid and work your way there. I learnt quick about forklifts and being respectful to the originals that pathed our industry standards and competition.


I have seen it all at market if I hadn't seen it backstage. You could buy anything back then, it was all rock and roll.


Then it all changed.


When the world’s governments staged the pandemic between February 2020 through to May 2023 retail floristry boomed.

So did the cost of flowers. Event floristry was banned for each lockdown and retail were classed as an essential service.  Some bunches tripled and paying cash to get out of the GST no longer existed. Quickly came new florists working their corporate jobs from home and selling bouquets on the side via instagram. It was a confusing and frustrating time and a lot of money was made.


Over the past ten years there has been an increase in growers and agents at the market to buy imports.  I do not understand this business model as we have a large amount of growing capacity around the outskirts of Sydney. If a florist buys a bunch of Nina roses from Ecuador, their cost to customer has to match freight and quality from pick to purchase.


With all the things I know about the markets, the many florists, growers and agents that have come and gone, there are still the originals, the stayers. But little have moved with what florists want to sell or install.  Florists styles have evolved with world flavour, a lot to structural, bold colour palettes and rare ingredients. This is not available at market so florists  forage and upscale or if they have space grow their own product.


Remembering back to the early 2000's when the old timers would sing in the aisle and the first day of spring was like a gala ball if it fell on a market day. Between 2012 and 2018 were like no other, I played the same ACDC track on my way there 5 days a week to what felt like going to a party in a shed. I lived for it.


I see missed opportunity at the market, from my side to theirs.   Sydney Flower Market is the only market open to the general public in Australia, and in most parts of the world. Florists pay $1,900 per annum for a premium spot to park their vans. We get half hour from 5.00am before the floor is open to anyone. The problem here is florists are paying the same price the general public are, for us to sell back to them at a mark up to cover the expense of having a beautiful flower shop. For weddings, DIY brides go to market on a Saturday to buy blooms at half price picked on Tuesday. Monday market is most expensive with Wednesday and Friday better ingredients for sale. 


My thought is the market has kept still, not moved forward.  If I were a grower at market you could eat off my stand floor, I would have music on neat, prices on all my things, no plastic, healthy snacks and branding. The market is a trading place, a business for an industry to buy from to then on sell. If there is nothing at market to buy how does it then get sold. Flowers are a luxury item and my view is they should be promoted liken Chanel No.5.


With all that our government has dished down to us it is sad to see something so wonderful fall so hard to the ground. I know the veins of that shed, the generations of grandparents, parents, uncles, aunties, nephews, nieces, daughters and sons at market who have carried on the growing. I think about these people as much as I do Michael. 


There will be six jobs lost at market this July taking away the cashiers and replacing them with a boom gate gaining entry via vehicle registration recognition.


Visit the market, it is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5.30am. Saturday's you can buy the flowers then a small stroll for fruits and vegetables, bric-a-brac and live birds.


The flower industry is in need of support and nurturing, just like a parent to a child in the time of crisis.


Flower on.