My name is Kelly - wife, and mother of three beautiful daughters who are beginning to share in my passion for all things floral and botanical. I am also a keen gardener, foodie and avid cookbook collector.
Born in Tauranga I have lived in the Bay of Plenty my whole life, growing up in the small town of Katikati, and later in Omokoroa. My childhood was spent around flowers always, with parents and grandparents who have grown flowers for export, had rambling flower gardens to play in, and dried flowers hanging from an old wooden ladder in our home, this is where my passion and natural admiration for flowers have come from. After I left secondary school I was trained by the team at Tauranga florist "La Fleur" where I worked for almost 3 years, and then in retail for a number of years, before having children and settling down with my husband.
We purchased our first home in December 2014 in the beautiful town of Waihi, which is on the border of the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato, and we just love it here. We enjoy the outdoors, spending time bushwalking, fishing, and enjoying our local beaches. Having Waihi Beach, Whiritoa, and the Karangahake Gorge all in close proximity is really special for us and we think it's a pretty incredible place to be able to raise a young family.
An opportunity arose early 2015 to become involved with flowers again, this time in the wedding industry with an amazing Tauranga based floral stylist. Spending a wedding season working with a completely different variety of flora than I was used to previously, and with a florist who looked at floristry and flowers in a very unique and natural way was a real eye opener for me. It completely reignited my passion and made me realise that I wanted to spend my days working with flowers in anyway that I could. The season soon came to an end, and with this also my time working weddings in Tauranga. I was feeling rather flat thinking about Winter and not having any flowers to play with, so I decided to look for something closer to home and worked for a day at a local florist in Waihi helping with Mothers day madness by manning the phones and the till. But it just wasn't the right environment for me. I craved the freedom to be creative and play with natural, wild, less traditional flowers, and I soon realised that the only way to be able to do that was to do something myself.
I started my business with the intention of growing a variety of fresh flowers, and making them more accessible and affordable to people - hence the name "Where the Wild Things Grow". I wanted to provide people with an affordable alternative to supermarket flowers and show people the amazing variety that was out there - it's not all just Gerbera's, Lilys, and Chrysanthemums anymore, but larkspur, hellebores, dahlias, zinnias, achillea, scabiosa, foxgloves, and so many other amazing varieties! I started to sow seeds and plant seedlings, but soon realised I wouldn't be able to grow everything I needed myself - these things take a lot of time and planning! So I started to order flowers from the auctions and sell them as market flowers and mixed flower bunches through my website and at our local Sunday market. This then naturally evolved into orders for gift bouquets, and wedding and event flora which I was slowly getting requests for...which basically led me to where my business is today.
Now almost three years later I am growing a selection of garden roses, and a small cutting garden of seasonal flowers and foliage which I use for my weddings, workshops, and gift bouquets. I had stopped doing gift bouquets late last year in order to concentrate on my wedding clients this season, which was the right decision for me at the time - when this wedding season finishes for me in May I will have flowered 36 weddings.
As this wedding season comes to a close I will be embarking on a slightly different direction again for my business. Opening my own retail space in Waihi where I will be back creating gift bouquets, stocking indoor plants, a small range of giftware, and a variety of products created using dried flora which is a real love of mine. I will be holding regular workshops which have become something that I really love to do. I am so excited to get back into gift bouquets, it's something I really enjoy and I love the interaction with people that comes with it.
Next wedding season is filling up fast already and I'm so excited for another amazing season creating wedding flora! There are some beautiful trends coming through in the industry and I can't wait to see how things evolve.
I am loving where the last two and a half years have taken me, and watching my three girls learn about the different types of flowers and growing and arranging them makes me very proud. My eldest has even helped me on site at weddings and she's pretty good I have to say! I'm so excited to see what the future has in store for me and my family in this little flower business, thank you to everyone who supports me and what I do, you allow me to be able to live my dream and do something that I love every day, and that's a very rare thing.