WOMEN WHO INSPIRE INTERVIEW SERIES – KATE HILL >
If you want me to throw about some hashtags that come to mind when I think of Kate Hill, here goes > #goals #ahhmaze #inspo #mumspo #squadgoals #everythinggoals #flowerspo – yep, to say that I am obsessed with Kate’s incredible work would be an understatement (and a lot less creepy descriptor than I really am). I am so excited to welcome the lovely and very talented Kate Hill, to the SISJ Women Who Inspire series.
ABOUT KATE: Born into a family of designers, Kate has always had a keen eye for style trends and a passion for beautiful design in all its forms. A promising interior design career took an unexpected detour when Kate accepted a casual invitation from a friend to help out in her florist for a weekend. ‘Helping out’ turned into a full time job and the beginning of an obsession with floral design. Juggling freelance work with a full-time job with Australia’s largest flower wholesaler helped Kate form close relationships with Australia’s best growers and suppliers, while also building her portfolio. Word quickly spread of Kate’s talent and before long she opened a private design studio from where she could take on large scale projects and attract the skills of Melbourne’s best floral designers. Today, seventeen years since innocently helping out in her friend’s florist, Kate and her team continue to push the boundaries of floral design and styling. Their passion ensures you nothing less than an absolute indulgence in innovative design, quality and style.
As a first-time mum I’ve come to the realisation we CAN have it all, just not always at the same time! How do you manage work life, family time and me time?
90% of the time, my work and family life are melded into one. My husband and I founded Kate Hill Flowers together and have worked side by side literally every day since it’s inception. Along the way we have had two beautiful little girls literally growing up on the workroom floors, so we really are a family business in the truest sense!
With my first born, Zara, I was working on the bench the day before she arrived, and two weeks later I had her strapped to me while setting up Spring Racing marquees in the Bird Cage. A lot has changed since then, but ‘Me time’ is still very rare. Having said that, ‘Me time’ is not something I’m preoccupied with as I feel blessed to do what I love everyday with my family, even if it can all be a bit of a juggle.
What are your personal and professional highlights to-date?
Personally, my two little girls, Zara, 5 and Sascha, 5 months. Nothing will ever come close.
Professionally, a highlight continues to be the trust given to us by a growing ‘who’s who’ list of both Australian and International celebrities and business elite. These clients are highly discerning and extremely private. In addition to inviting us into their worlds to design for them, they also trust us to convey their personal messages. Designing for these clients is an honour but also an immense responsibility. Aside from our private clients, our relationship with Tiffany & Co, a client of over 7 years, has been a highlight. They have given us the opportunity to do some really stand out work that has even resulted on one occasion in our design direction being implemented in their stores throughout the world.
What are your favourite spaces and event types to work with?
I love the varied challenges of working with both plain canvas and a detailed interior. Luminare and Myer Mural Hall spring to mind as two of our favourite venue spaces to work with.
In terms of events, it continues to be the beautiful weddings we are invited to be part of. It’s always such an emotional journey and nothing is more fulfilling than seeing all the photos of the big day and hearing the couple loved what we did for them.
Pinterest has allowed us all to become experts at just about everything (!!!), but what are some of your basic/beginner tips for creative floral design at home?
My first tip would be keep the flowers simple, on-mass and preferably one colour. Secondly, if you have a vase that you love, take it with you into your florist. They’ll help you choose from a range of blooms that will work perfectly with the vase, including varieties that you may not have thought to buy.
Much like perfume scents, colours and fashion, I believe in flower symbolism (Floriography to be really fancy!), and that we often will be drawn to certain flower based on our personality. Do you agree and do you see this coming through in your events/weddings?
Yes, I completely agree. I believe we are innately drawn to a particular style, colour and variety which works in a way to express who we are. Considering this is a phenomenon that goes back hundreds of years and across many cultures, it is interesting to see there is a consensus of meaning developing for common blooms.
We have always seen it come through in weddings, and occasionally in events. If you don’t believe in it, try sending out white blooms as a gift for an Asian client! I promise you’ll never make that mistake twice!
The natural question to follow on would be, what flower are you and why?
I am going to go with an Orchid variety, most likely Phalaenopsis. I simply love them for their beauty and grace. They are also very long lasting, which I hope I prove to be!
WHERE CAN THE SISJ READERS FIND & FOLLOW YOU:
537 High Street, Prahran / katehillflowers.com.au
SOCIAL > Instagram/katehillflowers Facebook/katehillflowers Twitter/katehillflowers