Even at a young age, Yvette Timmins knew that she wanted to be a florist. Often taking the time to pick things from the garden and make arrangements for her family home. “I was always wanting to pick things out of the garden and often getting in trouble for it,” Yvette says.
“I remember my uncle had his wedding at our house in our garden and nobody had thought of flowers. I was quite horrified and demanding of my parents to take me to the local florists so I could arrange some flowers in vases to have as decoration for the wedding. I couldn’t imagine not having a wedding without flowers.”
Yvette then went on to study an apprenticeship straight out of high school which led to a series of jobs in Melbourne, including her own business, a stint teaching at the Gordon and the creation of Bloom College two years ago. While Yvette’s career in floristry has always had a clear path, for others the decision to become a florist isn’t quite as easy, and that’s one of the reasons behind creating Bloom College.
“For those who don’t know about it and are looking for a career change or looking for something a bit different or perhaps an add on to their current profile, then we have the ‘Career Change Course’ available to them,” she says.
There’s also a ‘Flower Basics Course’ where attendees can learn the basics of working with flowers, get an insight into the industry and learn how to make great arrangements for your home or presents for friends.
Attending these workshops stems much further than just creating something pretty to take home with you, there are actually many therapeutic benefits of flower arrangement. Realising this and not wanting to limit the rewards to those who can afford the class, Yvette offers a few places up for those who really need it through organisations such as Barwon Health.
“We understand the importance of beautiful things for those suffering depression, so it helps if they can immerse themselves in beauty. They’re also doing something creative with their hands and that has had a huge impact too,” Yvette says.
Bloom College seems to stem from caring foundations, as the company also donates to charity, ensures they try to purchase flowers from local florists and have an app and dvd for those in rural locations who can’t access their classes (which are based in Geelong, Port Melbourne and Collingwood).
“The contribution part for me is a really important part of the business, so this enables us to do that and in a way that really affects peoples lives in a positive way,” she says.
Though one of Yvette’s greatest joys is watching the benefits attendees get from doing one of her workshops. Whether that be the beginnings of a career witnessed on social media, the friendships made in class or the gifts that are created for friends.
“I love the idea of sharing the skills and knowledge that were once shared to me,” Yvette beams.
“There’s a wide and different variety of skills that we can all learn and it doesn’t take one particular type of person. If we’ve all got the will and the want to try something knew then we can learn that.”
With Alice Shepherd of She’s A Wildflower also on board teaching workshops, there’s really no better place to further your knowledge of floristry.
“It’s a beautiful, fantastic and therapeutic hobby that’s an enjoyable thing to come and do and we’ve tried to create a space in there that’s welcoming,” Yvette says.
“There’s no pretences or judgement of any kind and everyone’s arrangements are equal because it’s been created by them. One of my teachers explains it as kinder for adults, because in our Port Melbourne classroom we’ve got pigeon-holes for them to put their bags, hooks for their aprons and little mats to sit on. We just tried to make it as comfortable as possible.”
Classes are available year round, for more information visit bloomcollege.com.au.
Where: The Bloom College Creative Outlet, 33 Little Ryrie St, Geelong.
By Amanda Sherring