Cecilia Fox; the iconic Melbourne florist who comprises of a group of incredibly talented individuals, who keep the creative spark alight through a strong sense of community and a genuine passion for plants, flowers and celebrating life's milestones.
Run by powerhouse Melanie Stapleton, the business has grown organically from a small shop on Blyth St, Brunswick to a full scale warehouse operation on Hope street Brunswick; where there is always the perfume of earthiness, mixed with the beautiful scent of florals and of course cooking smells wafting from the cafe next door, and bakery down the road. There is something exciting about entering this somewhat industrial space, where the body meets gritty determination while using intense natural beauty as a medium to create. Cecilia Fox constructs original and detailed floral arrangements and installations for weddings, parties, funerals, birthdays, births...the list goes on!
Through reading and seeing work from Melanie and her team, there is such an overwhelming sense of passion involved in each project. Physical might and sheer willpower seem to keep some of the more delicate arrangements together, while the colour palette and attention to detail is always, always spot on.
We went and visited the team at Cecilia Fox HQ, and sat down with Mel to ask her the serious questions….
Favourite season.. and why?
Autumn, you can't beat the relief of some cooler weather after a long harsh summer. The light is so soft, and of course, the flowers IMO are the best at this time of year. foliage being the star in all of the colours, garden roses come into their own now with muted warm tones, chrysanthemums with a billion petals and rose hips plump and shiny. BUT then there is spring and who can resist a tree peony in all it's flouncy glory or snowball viburnum heavy with spring rain.
What are you most excited about at the moment? Any big projects coming up?
I've got some very exciting workshops that I'm hosting in New Zealand this spring that I can't wait for.
Waking up so early to head to the Flower Markets, can you give advice to those wanting to convert to the early bird lifestyle?
Set the alarm with commitment and under no circumstances press snooze. Get all your clothes ready the night before and maybe ease yourself into it in spring when it starts to get a bit warmer!
Seeing as you are located so close to Ovens St. Bakery… would you say almond croissant over plain? or if neither, what is the team favourite there?
Plain! don't mess with the OG
What is the soundtrack to your workday?
Arthur Russel and our favs Aiya
Career highlight so far?
I'm living my dream which is not really a career it's more of a LIFE. I've created a business that supports my family and my flower family as well. I get to do what I love every day with people that I love.
How do you stay creatively engaged with projects, when you’re busy busy busy?
The busier the better! I work very well under pressure, it's when I'm my most creative.
Who or what are you inspired by right now!?
People, I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by friends and family that are all creative in so many ways. Artists, architects, textile designers, musicians. I'm really fascinated by peoples process. How they show up to creative jobs day in and day out and what that means for their practice.
Most importantly..how do you wind down after a long hard day at the workshop?
When I leave the workshop my second shift starts, cooking and getting my 4 and 6 year old ready for bed! Then i usually fall asleep reading them bedtime stories. I do have downtime and usually, I like to spend it with my family and friends in nature. Wine is also good.
Photographs by Gina Diggle, Words by Gussie Vinall Richardson