PM: Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and what are some great memories from your childhood?
AP: Well, hi! My name is Alison but most people know me as Ali. I grew up in Hobart and spent most of my child hood annoying my older brother Nicko. I have so many stellar memories from childhood! But one of my first ever memories is from when I was two years old, my head got split open on a skirting board and I remember being bribed with a Kit-Kat at the hospital to stop crying and let the doctor finish putting the stitches in my head. Anyway, safe to say I stopped crying.
PM: What are your favourite spare time shenanigans?
AP: What’s spare time?? Haha nah, a favourite spare time shenanigan is playing cards and drinking funky wine with friends, or writing songs... Or sleeping, for someone my age I think I spend too much time chasing z’s.
PM: Why have you chosen to be a floral designer?
AP: Well I never actually set out to be a florist, and yet five years later here I am. I studied floristry full time while playing in bands and figuring out what I actually wanted to do with my life. This chapter just took off and flung me over its shoulder but I am so thankful as I still absolutely adore every aspect of it.
PM: How did The Floral Criteria originate?
AP: The Floral Criteria would be nothing without Annette and Norm, my former bosses. Annette and I used to always talk about opening a cool little shop in the CBD, ideally on Criterion Street because it was the coolest street in town (not much has changed). For a long time it was just an idea because we couldn’t find the ‘right’ space, but then the lease came up at 9 Criterion Street, previously SureShot and Ultralux. So we put all our brains together and designed the whole concept to be something we would want to walk into, experience and support. We opened our doors on the 23rd of June 2017 and now we’re almost turning one!
PM: You have just recently taken ownership of TFC, what’s it like working for yourself?
AP: I’m not really sure yet… I’m better at doing things for other people than myself so in my head I still say I’m working for someone else. I LOVED working for my old bosses, it’s so rare when you’re an employee that you feel a sense of equality with your employers and to be completely honest I miss that now that I work ‘for’ myself.
PM: Tell me which flowers are your favourite and what type of arrangement do you enjoying doing the most?
AP: My favourite flower changes almost daily, but my favourite seasons are autumn for the colour and spring for the fragrance! I really love creating tribute flowers. I always feel so humbled and grateful when asked to create flowers for a celebration of life.
PM: Where do you find your inspiration?
AP: People mostly, the best thing about being a florist is connecting with people and working with them to create something truly unique. That process of connection is inspiring. Sometimes however, you’ll find me standing with my arms crossed looking into space - that’s a tell tale sign that I’m ‘looking’ for inspiration.
PM: Best thing about your business being in Criterion Street? 😊
AP: Criterion Street is mostly made up of small independent businesses like yours and mine, and we’re all so keen to see each other succeed. I love that sense of community the most.
PM: Do you have tips for people wanting to become florists?
AP: Play with flowers as much as you can, experiment and get a portfolio together. Then go around to every florist you can find, share with them your passion and what you’ve done off your own back and hope that they’re looking for an apprentice.
PM: What do you think is the best thing about Tassie?
AP: Everything is the ‘best’ thing; but for me, the fact that the landscape is so grounding. Have you ever noticed that no matter what’s going on in your life, as soon as you see kunanyi you realise how insignificant you actually are and that our life is not the most important thing in this world. That is my favourite thing about living in Tassie, is its ability to keep you humble.
PM: Favourite clothing buys? (doesn’t have to be from PM) lol
AP: My top two buys from Pitty are my Lunar & Storm Lilly Top (an oversized black linen tee) and my newest addition, the Lois Hazel Transverse Rib Dress. I wear a lot of second hand stuff but when I do buy something new it’s either from you guys or Lou at Oyster & Pearl.