PUREGREEN • workplace WHEN ASKED ABOUT HOW YOU BEGAN WORKING WITH FLOWERS, YOU TOLD ME A CHARMING STORY ABOUT HOW YOU OPENED A SHOP AND PANICKED BECAUSE PEOPLE THOUGHT YOU WERE A FLORIST! YOU’VE EMBRACED THAT TITLE NOW, CREATING FLOWERS THAT ARE UNIQUE AND DISTINCTLY “CORIANDER GIRL.” I’M ALWAYS DRAWN TO PEOPLE WHO DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING THEY LOVE AND BECAME A SUCCESS. DO YOU MIND SHARING A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES OPENING A SHOP AND STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? It’s totally true, and I can admit it because I’ve officially graduated from the school of hard knocks. When I decided to open my little shop of flowers, antiques, and gifts, I had planned on doing the occasional arrangement for a walkin or maybe a couple of small dinner-party type events. I even recall saying, “I don’t think I’ll do weddings; they seem a bit stressful.” Ha! I just booked wedding number 40 for this summer and I can’t believe how blessed I am. Stressed? I can think of a few other appropriate adjectives. Yes, happy and delighted, you guessed them. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT MAKES CORIANDER GIRL UNIQUE? I think it’s unique because it’s me; I’m the “girl” in Coriander Girl, and I’m a little different—those who know me will agree. Anyone can sell antiques and flowers and plants and cards; what makes a shop unique is the personality behind the product. I have dance parties to relieve stress on a regular basis, I blog about my dear fiancée and our darling rabbit, I’ve got the Coriander Dad by my side showing up with sangria for me and the girls when we’re pushing eight hours on a wedding prep (and he even takes the garbage away)! I’ve got incredible support from my amazing Parkdale community, neighborhood friends popping in to say hello regularly. I wanted Coriander Girl to be a stop on your pleasure journey. That’s all it ever has to be. DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN WORKING ON A FLOWER ARRANGEMENT. I’m not a religious woman but some days, there is a higher power working through me. And other days, I should have stayed in bed. WE LOVE YOUR “CORIANDER GIRL” SUGGESTIONS FOR GIFTING A BOUQUET. IS THERE A STORY THERE? Let’s just say I may have been on the receiving end of one or two, possibly three of these bouquets in one or two of my former relationships.
32 | PUREGREEN • issue 5/summer 2011
WHAT FUELED YOUR DECISION TO USE ONLY LOCALLY PRODUCED FLOWERS? IN YOUR WORDS, WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT? Gosh, this is huge for me—let me get my soap box. When you buy from a company that doesn’t care where they buy their flowers from, you might be buying from a farm that employs young kids with no laws protecting them, women who are often mentally and physically abused on the job, flowers grown in warehouses no longer producing scent because there are no bees to attract as well as incredibly toxic pesticides, dips and sprays that you should not be inhaling as you bury your nose into that giant grocery store bouquet. Truthfully, it can be hard to maintain buying local in winter months, as it isn’t always a priority for the suppliers. Thanks to companies like My Luscious Backyard, Eco Flora, and eco|stems, people are becoming more aware of the importance of buying local flowers; it’s just as important as the food we eat.