A Day in the Life: Kerry’s job is blooming busy
BEING a florist is not just about smelling flowers all day while making whimsical bouquets, although that's a definite perk.
For Alstonville Florist owner Kerry Thomson it's often a 24 hour-a-day job.
Serving walk-in customers, ordering hundreds of fresh flowers, and co-ordinating floral creations for life's memorable moments is nothing to sneeze at.
Take last Friday, for instance, when Mrs Thomson was tasked with preparing flowers for three funerals and four marriages over that weekend.
She was up late on Thursday night on the phone to her suppliers, as the holidays is a notoriously difficult time to source fresh stock.
But the flow of marriages, births and funerals, and special occasions never lets up.
"The flower quality is critical but we've got some wonderful local growers who came to our aid," she said.
First thing Friday morning she was down in Lismore at 6am picking up flowers in time for a funeral at noon.
Then it was off on an hour-and-a-half road trip to her first wedding of the weekend, a fairly massive affair.
The car was over-flowing with 55 arrangements for the reception tables, eight button-hole flowers for the VIP gents, assorted hair flowers for the ladies, and four bouquets.
"I got my husband to drive because when I'm thinking about things I prefer not to," Mrs Thomson noted.
"It's not a huge car, but it is set up for flower deliveries with carry trays and its all waterproof."
After the wedding it was back to the store to prep flowers for more special events, while taking calls, cleaning up, and ordering yet more flowers.
Between brides and bridesmaids that weekend, her team managed to create 17 bridal bouquets.
"I usually ask brides what they want their wedding day to be like; the most important thing is to give her the feeling she wants when she's holding her flowers."
"If she doesn't know, it might take two or three consultations."
It's another busy day for a florist but it's a fulfilling job for someone who loves how flowers bring joy and reverence to those special occasions.
"We're in this business because we love what we do; we love our flowers and we love working with our customers," Mrs Thomson said.
"We're very privileged to be working with people at those very important times of their lives," she said.