Growing up surrounded by the natural beauty of Australia in her grandparents’ gardens, it was inevitable that Leah’s love of flowers would one day translate into her own business. L.J. Bannister (Flower dealers) brings the gift of beautiful, bespoke bouquets to clients all across Manhattan, featuring a unique Australian touch combined with locally-sourced seasonal blooms. Read on for the story of Leah’s success and an exclusive discount code for AWNY readers.
It sounds like such a small thing, but the first repeat customer I received was exciting. The city holds so much opportunity—though, of course, it can be intimidating at times—so just launching the business felt like an achievement.
Perseverance and sticking to your guns.
We’ve been quite discreet so far—we’re growing through social media and word of mouth. Flowers are such a personal thing so when someone receives something that speaks to them, they’re more likely to then order themselves.
If you’re passionate enough, get started, stick with it and don’t give up. Surround yourself with other creative people who’ll be critical, honest and supportive.
We are really spoilt in Sydney with the variety and quality of flowers available. That’s been a good building block to develop my aesthetic. I’ll hunt out one marvelous flower—it’s usually a field rose—and build around it with interesting textural elements. I’ll then add something that you’d not quite expect, like a too-tall, grape-colored anthurium, or I’ll tie a cluster of pomegranates to the outside. Then it’s always grey paper, and thick ribbon in a rich electric blue. They’re both signatures of the business.
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