Picture: TAFE NSW Brooke's floral design
Western Sydney locals will be spoilt for choice when it comes to buying flowers, after a proud Wiradjuri woman and St Marys resident launched her own floristry business dedicated to supporting local growers.
21-year-old Brooke Clifton-Gomez completed a Certificate III in Floristry at TAFE NSW Nepean and fell in love with the creative elements of assembling bouquets and arranging flowers. She went on to study the Certificate IV in Floristry at TAFE NSW Richmond and opened her business, Brooklyn’s Blooms, almost two years ago.
What started as a hobby making flowers for friends has now blossomed into a thriving home-based studio in St Mary’s where the young entrepreneur has had multiple jobs including weddings and vowel renewal ceremonies. Brooke has been selected to represent TAFE NSW in the prestigious National WorldSkills Floristry Competition next year.
“I never thought I’d be this busy so soon after launching my business but there is a big demand for florists in Western Sydney, particularly for special occasions or delivery of last-minute bouquets,” Brooke said.
“With flower imports on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve made an effort to support smaller local flower growers and am making conscious changes to my bouquet designs to incorporate Australian native flora,” Brooke said.
With around 7,800 florists predicted to be employed by 2024 and sales on flowers spiking as Australians use alternate ways to connect in the age of social distancing, there has never been a better time to study floristry at TAFE NSW.
“The hands-on, practical skills I’ve learnt in the Certificate IV in Floristry, combined with the knowledge teachers bring to each class, has set me up for success in the industry,” Brooke said.
The rise of e-commerce and social media marketing has also allowed Brooklyn’s Blooms to thrive, with most of Brooke’s customers enquiring through Instagram. According to the 2019 Skills Forecast report, online sales of flowers have grown over the past five years at an annual rate of 6.4 per cent.
TAFE NSW Floristry teacher, David Berger, said Brooke was a testament to the quality of training TAFE NSW provides in preparing students for a career in the industry while they are still studying.
“Brooke is proof that the floristry courses at TAFE NSW equip students with the practical skills and experience they need to launch their own business as budding florists,” Mr Berger said.
To find out more about studying floristry at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au/courses/floristry-courses, or call 131 601.
Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211.