Can you take us through your journey of becoming a full-time florist?
I used to have a 9-to-5 job at a creative agency. After leaving, I got into full-time social work. At that time, flowers were going to remain a hobby, but as friends began ordering arrangements from me, it slowly took up most of my time and one day I realised, “Hey I'm doing this full-time!” It's been a year and a half since then.
Was deciding to become a full-time florist an easy decision to make? It's not really a common career option these days.
It was easy for me because I didn't have loans to worry about. My friends were extremely encouraging. While my parents were worried, they were also supportive. My mum even helped me prep flowers when I was working out of our house.
Tell us how the interest in flora and botanicals started for you. Was it something you were interested in as a child or did you only start appreciating it later on?
I 've never been interested in flora and botanicals until 2013, when one of my best friends invited me to a flower potluck she organised. The first arrangement I made was truly ugly (not even a retrospective observation, btw). But I somehow fell in love with arranging flowers. I like how time flies when I'm doing it. From that point, I started observing the landscape around me more because I was perpetually on a hunt to snip off plants imagined would look nice in an arrangement.
When putting together a project for clients, what's the process like?
I ask a lot of questions! Aesthetic preferences aside, I also dig deeper to find out what the desired emotional outcome is. If it is a bespoke bouquet order, I like to find out things like the recipient's favourite books, movies and even fashion brands.
Spill your secret: Where are the best places in Singapore to buy supplies from?
I get my plants and flowers from the Thomson Road nurseries. I also like to shop at homeware stores like Crate & Barrel, MUJI and Robinsons for interesting vases!
What's the most memorable project you've done to date?
I recently completed an indoor floor-to-ceiling terrarium for Park Bench Deli. It is really a modern tropical jungle in there and we even had 3D-printed wall planters designed. It's memorable because it’s the most permanent piece of work I've done to date.
What's the most important lesson you've learned since starting Fleurapy?
I still get really excited when I'm shopping for flowers. Sometimes, I can’t resist buying flowers and plants for myself when I see something that's so amazing, but just won't fit into my orders. I also still find the whole process of putting an arrangement together super therapeutic — and that's why it's called Fleurapy!
For more information on Fleurapy, follow Pauline on Instagram at @fleurapy
Photos courtesy of Pauline Ho