Eventually I want to start my own business that mixes
flowers, desserts, graffiti art and music. I love classic heavy metal.
People ask me how it will all work together and I tell them I can't
see it not working, it all connects - Ally, Sydney TAFE
something that's normally associated with graffiti art. But for Sydney
TAFE Floristry student, Ally, the two can make a happy, if slightly
Ally is currently in her first year of a Certificate
III in Floristry at Ultimo Campus. And although she's surrounded
by flowers, leaves, twigs and stems, floristry has
been a fairly recent, and unexpected, development in her life.
"I was a fully qualified chef. I had an Advanced
Diploma in Hospitality," she said. "But then I had a
bad car accident, so I had to give all of that up."
Ally's injuries were so serious she was bed-bound for three months.
But then a chance encounter with a complete stranger changed her life
and put her on a totally new and unexpected trajectory.
"It was at the time of my sister's wedding and there was a
beautiful woman who was decorating my sister's house with these
amazing bouquets," she said. "She was the one who inspired
me to do floristry. Now she's one of my closest friends."
These days Ally still works in the hospitality industry but not as a
chef. "I make desserts as an aside, so I still feel attached to
hospitality," she says. "It was my true passion. It still
is. I never thought I'd do floristry. I didn't think I had a passion
for it. So I took my accident as a blessing in disguise because it
took me to a whole new world. When you're at home stuck in your
bedroom you have a lot of time to really think. I had three months of
Although hospitality and
floristry don't seem to have much of an overlap, Ally has been
surprised at how much the one has been able to positively influence
"Sometimes there's something I don't understand in floristry but
then I think of recipes and I approach the task as a recipe instead.
It's an integration of the two. It's strange. My mind works in a
strange way. But it works."
Eventually Ally would like to start her own business that integrates
her hospitality background with floristry, such as a café that
specializes in desserts. And that's where she'd like to bring in her
other great love – graffiti art.
"I do understand why people sometimes just see it as
vandalizing," she says. "But I can look beyond that and see
the art involved. It's pure art. In Newtown there's this particular
drawing of Freddie Mercury. I see it when I'm on the train. It's just
amazing and I think Sydney should embrace this kind of art like they
do in Melbourne. I can look at this beautiful piece of graffiti art
and just get lost in it. Or maybe that's just me. I get lost in the
art. The funny thing is, just about the only thing I can't do is draw."
So does Ally have a vision for the integration of these different
passions? How will they all tie in together?
"Part of my plan was for people to come in to the café and
graffiti part of the wall. Get graffiti artists to come in as well as
regular customers. I find that drawing and colouring in can really
bring out the inner child in people. It calms adults because we're all
so hectic. So they'll be able to sip on their coffee, eat a cupcake,
smell the flowers and do a bit of random artwork on the wall. It'll be
a real sensory mix."
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