The Green Room is at its heart, a small business run by a group of women with a passion for petals and behind it all is the queen of florals, the guru of natural creations, Rachel Benton.
How long have you been a florist?
I've been a florist for about 7 years!
How did you get into floristry?
I worked for the Green Room under the previous owner, Charlotte, as a summer job! I was in the middle of doing my Horticulture certificate as a wine maker. I was in-between work and decided i didn't want to be in kitchen anymore so reached out and worked for Charlotte for a few months! And then when she ended up selling the business, I was gutted as I loved it so much and its where I found my creative calling.
So, after a wee bit of discussion, Charlotte offered the business to me, so I ended up buying the Green Room in 2017 and 7 years later we've got this beautiful studio.
It's grown from strength to strength and we've got an amazing team. Couldn't do it without them, we definitely have a dream team.
What's your favourite part of being a florist?
The flowers of course! I absolutely love flowers and I surround myself with flowers and indoor plants whenever I can. I love walking in when it's delivery day and we've got flowers sprawled across the benches and the girls are squealing with delight! I love that each season is so completely different.
In the spring, bulbs pop up and you get Tulips, Daffodils and sweet smelling things, and then in Summer you've got all the wild flowers, lots of locally grown Dahlias, Peonies, and then come Autumn we get the Proteas and harder stems, and then blooms such as Roses and Gerbras all year round.
And of course, my team! I love turning up here and seeing how passionate and creative the girls are getting every day doing creative stuff! They work so well as a team and they love what they do!
I love our brides too and helping them create their big visions for their day. It's such a special part to play.
We get to be the messengers of messages from people around the world, sending flowers of love and thoughts to other people in Wanaka and Queenstown. It's such a happy industry to be in.
Any advice to budding florists?
Just get in there and ring some people! Pop into florists, work in a garden centre, work for a landscapers, learn about the plants, learn about flowers, take flowers home, buy flowers from your local flower shop and just get creative! Even grow your own at home if you have a garden or allotment. You've got to be passionate in this industry.
It's always good to try at home or offer your time at your local florists.
What's your favourite flower?
Ooh thats a hard one! Where to start?! I love Hydrangers, i think i've always loved them. I just love that they come in and they're just in the most amazing colours and they're huge! They fill up so much space and they're such a statement.
I also love that they're a little bit salty you know? They they wilt right down and most people think you just chuck them out then but if you cut the stem and dunk them in hot water, it'll draw those air bubbles out of the stem and put them into fresh water again, they'll burst into life again. You can also dunk them in water and they'll drink through their petals!
But really, every flower is my favourite! I've got too many!
How would you style them?
On mass! They look great on their own, in a beautiful vase. I try to do this at home whenever I take flowers home from here, I get a lot of the same thing and decorate throughout my house with it.
Whats your favourite floral trend at the moment?
Flowers on mass! Single variety bouquets all put together in bundles and arrangements really makes a statement. It really showcases that flower variety.
Definitely colour is coming in hot this year as people are a little bit more confident to use it. I think once people see an example of how cool it can be, they follow on. We've found over the last few seasons, brides aren't afraid to use colour, which is great fun for us!