The Gatherers - Industry Expert Interview


This week we are excited to share with you more behind the brand and introduce Natalie Munro from The Gatherers. A Taranaki based Floral Stylist, creative junkie and a truly passionate business owner.




We asked Natalie about her journey with her brand The Gatherers and how she got started in the wedding industry. We talk to her about how to be prepared for the week of a wedding, how she manages her busy schedule during a wedding day as well as what it is really like running a Floral Design business.


 

Can you please tell us a bit about The Gatherers


"I have always been a creative person, I spent years exploring photography and fashion. I was that girl with a camera in her hand everywhere I went. When I was 17 I ended up moving to Auckland to study Fashion Design as I loved the idea of it and to be able to create every day. I quickly discovered that sewing was very much not for me. I was not patient enough and struggled to ‘follow rules’, I ended up moving to London to work in a renown boutique fabric store right in the high fashion district. This was the most inspiring place to be at the time I was working with up and coming fashion designers, hat makers and magazine editors.


I really discovered flowers while I lived in London. I would walk the Columbian road flower markets every week and I loved the madness, the chaos and the sheer beauty in it all. I didn’t really consider floristry as a path for me until then. I became really obsessed learning all I could. For me it felt like a natural progression and the medium that I had been looking for. This really was my true passion. When I moved back to New Zealand I spent a few years working with different florists before starting The Gatherers. I wanted to explore my own style and create using different textures and colour palettes.




What advice or words of wisdom could you give to someone wanting to get into the Wedding Industry or wanting to further expand their skills or interest?


"Be passionate, love what you do. This industry is hard work but if you love it then it is worth every minute. In terms on expanding skills I recommend attending workshops, travel and learn from others in the industry. I find a lot of my biggest lessons learned have been along the way, you pick up from things that could go wrong or just from refining our processes. I have attended some amazing workshops with florists who have been incredibly generous with their knowledge."




What have been some of the most rewarding moments since you first started ‘The Gatherers’?


"Truly I feel like every season is as rewarding as the next. There is nothing more rewarding for me than being able to create for my couples. I have been so lucky to travel to beautiful destinations, meet amazing vendors and work with the most inspiring couples."


 

We love that you have your very own studio space at home that lets your creativity run wild. What would be some of the advantages to this? What would be the biggest disadvantages that you have experienced?


"I love having my studio at home. For me my creativity towards flowers and home life is one in the same. I want to be inspired by my surroundings and I really enjoy incorporating both sides of me in everything I do.

The biggest advantage is during those really late nights on wedding weekends. I might be working until midnight and then back down again at 4 or 5am. I love that I can just go down and get straight to work. I also love being immersed in my garden, I am hugely inspired by landscape and seasons so it feels right for me to have my studio close to nature."



Running a creative business is not an easy task. Can you tell us a bit about what goes on behind the scenes of a Floral Stylist?

"The many hats in business means that the behind the scenes can mean every day is a little different. There is a lot of planning that goes on for months prior to any event. After my first initial consult with a couple, we start putting together a detailed proposal. I do this for all of my weddings as I like being able to show a detailed visual of all the elements of the day. Once the proposal is confirmed I create flower orders, source the flowers – this can sometimes mean going to three or four different suppliers and growers. Then there is of cause the planning and scheduling. How can I put all of this together? What do I need? Who do I need? etc.

Of course there is other elements that are important in the business such as marketing. I tend to use mostly Instagram for this and I like to collaborate with other creatives to create content. I like to work on photo projects that have no bounds and they are really just working with other creatives to put together something they are passionate about."



How do you prepare yourself the week before a big event?

"The week before is full prep for the wedding day. I always start with a clean space - sorting all of my buckets, packing all of my tool bags and preparing all of my packaging.

I would be collecting all of my blooms from the markets and I tend to use a few different suppliers so this can mean a bit of travel collecting everything. I prep all of the flowers and I like to group my blooms in to areas. One big bucket will be for bouquets another for table pieces, ceremony, installations and extras. I will create a list of a loose plan for each element on how many blooms I will use. I don’t always stick to this as I like to really let things come together naturally. Although this is a great way to ensure that I have enough product and can achieve the desired look.


The week before I always without fail make sure that I am super vigilant on early nights, eating well and up my skin care game. The weekend of the wedding is usually crazy and it can mean minimal to zero sleep for me. I will make sure to do a couple face masks and general extra care on lead up to the wedding week to keep me going."


 

On an event day we can see you manage a range of different floral designs and styling areas. How do you manage your time as well as your team?


"I create a detailed schedule for every wedding and event for the few days leading up to the wedding and the wedding day itself. This is truly the best thing I ever started doing. I find it really easy having time frames for each area I need to make ensuring I have enough time to get the job done. This also is great when I have people working for me for quick reference on what I need them to be doing to make everything come together."



Where do you find your inspiration when working with on a client brief?


"I am hugely influenced on location and season when it comes to putting together client proposals. I tend to do a bit of research on the location and what I can incorporate into the brief that will make it feel natural as though the designs belong in their space. I am also inspired by the couple themselves I like being able to propose designs that truly resonate with the couple. I am a big believer in the uniqueness of each event and how I can make it feel true to the couple."


 

Lastly, what would be your most favourite flower and why?


"Favourite flower for me is always a hard one as I tend to love a flower for its texture or colour even the slightest variant in tone. If I had to choose one today it would probably be the Julia rose as it is the perfect combination of dirty blush and a creamy peach. I think garden roses are really special they tend to have crazy stems or variants in size unlike the imported roses which tend to all be the same"



Check out Natalie's beautiful work here -


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Instagram - the.gatherers

Website https://thegatherers.co.nz/