Meet The Maker- The Little Local Posy

Emily Vergara - The Little Local Posy
Emily Vergara

We recently caught up with local Taree florist, Emily Vergara to learn all about how her local flower posy brand, The Little Local Posy, which was born in the middle of the COVID 19 pandemic. It was inspiring to hear her journey and how she has been drawn back to her home town to provide a local service to local people using local flowers.  Emily’s business ethos really aligns well with the Jack & Co brand and we are delighted to stock her blooms at our Taree West store.

Grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy our Meet the Maker story with Emily Vergara.

How did you get started in floristry?

 

I’ve always loved flowers and wanted to be a florist as a small child, but didn’t really consider it to be an actual job. After finishing high school, I moved to Sydney and worked in a law firm, graduated from Business College and studied fashion at the National Art School in Darlinghurt.

Funnily enough, the highlight of my days walking the inner-city streets, was passing by the bustling florists and admiring the opulent floral arrangements that would bring life to stark marble clad foyers. However, it wasn’t until many years later, back home in Taree after having and caring for my 4 babies, that I began to consider options that would allow me to work from home and to be available for my kids, have a creative outlet and an income.

Then it hit me! One day, it was as if my four-year-old self was screaming ‘Remember! I want to be a florist when I grow up!’, and so I began. I registered my business, got to work learning ALL the things and launched right from my kitchen bench. Turns out, my family don’t enjoy slipping on leaves when walking inside our house, and so the studio was born.

How long have you been creating with flowers?

When I was four years old, my parents bought a ‘fixer upper’ in my home town of Taree. The house was a disaster, the backyard was worse. It was an absolute jungle and I loved it! I would spend hours exploring the yard and was enchanted by the exotic looking flowers and leaves. I would arrange flowers on a little bench near our old timber shed, with my cat Blossom and would give the arrangements to my parents who assured me that they were ‘without a doubt the most beautiful floral creations they had ever seen in their whole entire lives’. Look, I’ve seen the photos, they weren’t great. My parents were either blind or they were just really really great parents, either way, they taught me a valuable lesson… flowers make people happy. 
Tell us about your different brands Flora Adora Studio and The Little Local Posy.

Flora Adora Studio launched in 2019 and specialises in weddings, workshops and flower deliveries. We know that wedding overwhelm is real and that life is crazy!

We’re on a mission to make organising flowers simple and easy, without compromising on luxury, quality and bespoke design. We gather only the finest locally grown and premium florals, then combine found and foraged seasonal elements, to create luxury experiences with nature. 
 
The Little Local Posy was born in 2021 and provides an opportunity for local retailers to supply local people with local flowers. That’s a whole lot of local and makes a whole lot of sense! Our posies are freshly made by us, using premium ingredients and are a convenient ‘grab and go’ option for flower consumers. 

What is your favourite thing about being a florist?

 

My favourite thing about being a florist is creating unique wedding designs that encapsulates the couple’s individual personality and style, so much so, that when the photos arrive from the photographer, it’s almost as though the florals are an extension of themselves. That makes my heart sing!
 

What do you like least about being a florist?

Endlessly scrubbing and sanitising buckets.

What are your favourite spring blooms and why?

 

Oooo tricky, that’s like asking me to choose a favourite child. They’re all special and unique, but I do absolutely adore Sweet Peas, Wild Peach Blossom, Bearded Iris, Icelandic Poppies, and Flannel Flowers. 

Sweet Pea - The Little Local Posy
Wild Peach Blossom - The Little Local Posy
Bearded Iris -The Little Local Posy
Icelandic Poppies - The Little Local Posy
Flannel Flower - Taree Florist

We know you source your flowers locally, can you tell us more about this?

 

Absolutely, grab your popcorn! To be honest, up until about 4 years ago, I hadn’t really given any thought to where flowers come from. I knew that Sydney Flower Market existed, but that was the full and total extent of my knowledge. It wasn’t until I started my business that I discovered that the majority of flowers available to Australian consumers through florists and retailers are in fact, imported. Yep! Those moody toffee Roses you see gracing arbours in pinterest perfect wedding photos are grown in Ecuador. The stunning feature Antheriums found in modern boho bouquets are flown in from Hawaii. If you see a Peony in May, you can bet your bottom dollar it emerged from the snow during the Alaskan spring and was FedExed down under. Most retailers however, are supplied with cheap, imported, D grade flowers that have been rejected by florists at the wholesale markets and have been held in cold storage for weeks. These flowers simply don’t last very long once purchased by consumers. 

Even with this newly acquired knowledge, I’m ashamed to admit that it wasn’t until one beyond crazy weekend involving a wedding, a bushfire, 22 metres of foliage garland, no cool room, driving through the night, sleeping rough and a floral wholesale assistant that was visibly shaken by the disheveled appearance of my husband as a result, that I realised the necessity of establishing local industry connections and the importance of locally grown flowers. 

One morning while chatting with another Mum, Rachel, at a kids birthday party, I discovered that she was a farmer florist and a firm believer in the slow flower/grown not flown movement, AND that her orange orchard at Caffrey’s Flat – The Little Orange Farm is the exact orchard that my great-grandfather, Henry Mills, originally planted! 

Upon sharing the ‘wedding story’ with my new kindred friend, Rachel had the genius idea to begin a flower collective. The establishment of the Manning Valley Flower Collective, the friendships and industry connections formed within it, have completely changed the way I operate my business. I am inspired everyday by amazing local growers and am privileged to be able to work with the exceptional quality floral ingredients they produce. 

The importance of having strong local connections was amplified, when Covid 19 put a stop to imported flowers being allowed into Australia. Consumers were ordering flowers to be delivered more than ever before during the lockdowns, because as my parents taught me, ‘flowers make people happy’. The floral industry experienced an absolute boom, right at the exact moment they faced massive flower shortages unlike ever before. Although many florists struggled to source flowers, I am thankful that was not my Covid experience due to the invaluable local connections formed as a result of the legendary wedding that rose from the ashes… literally! 
Taree Florist- Emily Vergara - The Little Local Posy

Why is a posy the perfect gift?

 

As we all know, flowers make people happy, so a little posy of fresh, fragrant and long lasting seasonal blooms really is the perfect gift. The fact that they are conveniently available to ‘grab and go’, makes them even more fabulous!
 
Jack & Co Fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers Taree - Jack & Co

What do you love most about Taree?

 

As a fifth generation Taree born gal, I have to say that the thing I love about Taree the most, is that it is my home. Sure, it’s nestled in a magnificent valley with some of the most beautiful beaches and rainforests in the world nearby, but it’s the sense of home, and of course my family, that has pulled me back each time I have moved away. 

We hope you enjoyed our Meet the Maker story on The Little Local Posy. To read more stories, head over to our blog.