Alanah Conner runs her shop, A Twisted Bunch, in Darfield, Canterbury. Having worked locally, internationally and as a tutor at the School of Floristry, Alanah's experience shows in her work.

1.What does it mean to you to be a NZ florist?

I love being a florist in New Zealand. We are so lucky to have the diverse landscape and native flowers and foliage available literally roadside. We have such variety in what is grown domestically and we have crazy talent throughout NZ in the floristry industry.

2. What do you love about NZ Flowers and foliage?

I love the diversity and variety of flowers and foliage available in New Zealand. I adore seeing the clear seasonal changes we have in our floral markets from Autumn to Summer and the differences in availability from the North Island to the South Island.The quality is always amazing and you cannot beat the freshness aspect, direct from grower to market.

3. What sparked your interest to become a florist?

It’s really just in my blood. My mother is super creative, she loves gardening and flowers and always had them inside the home. She dried them and dressed the fireplace at Christmas time with conifer, gyp and pinecones; so, I was always surrounded by beauty.
The catalyst for me though, was when I was living in London and working part time for a lady who was saw potential in me and encouraged me to train as a florist.

4. Where did you study/practice floristry?

I did some work for a florist in SW London before returning to New Zealand and completing level 3 cert. in floristry at Unitec, Mt Albert, Auckland.
I then went on to complete level 4 and 4 advanced through external assessment in Christchurch.

5. How long have you been working ‘in the biz’?

16 Years.

6. What has been your biggest challenge as a florist so far?

My biggest challenge as a florist to date is probably the opening of my shop. It was a huge step and risk giving up full time employment! Blood, sweat and tears have gone into it.

7. What has been your biggest highlight as a florist so far?

I put my heart and soul into everything I do as a florist. There have been so many highlights in my career, it’s really hard to narrow it down.
Opening my shop was the realisation of a dream, it is so amazing to be able to work to my own style and run my own business.
It’s really such an extension of me and I am so proud to call it mine!

8. How would you describe your design style?

Diverse and unique.

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