A coolroom warbles away in the back of the private studio, filled with the heady scent of roses, the beauty of a garden and the sound of pop ballads jamming from inside.
“The acoustics in the coolroom are fantastic!” Melanie grins. “When I prep a bouquet, I pump up the music and sing LOUD. There’s Whitney, Bryan Adams… they all help the job get done!”
We are visiting the private studio of Mayflowers Vintage Florist – home of the vintage tea cup posy.
Ben’s sister, Melanie Stewart, tells us how she opened Mayflowers Vintage Florist four years ago, “With $20, a teacup collection and some Mother’s Day orders!”
Now a booming fulltime business for Melanie, we take a look into her passion for everything pretty.
An advocate for the use of seasonal blooms from local growers, she loves supporting the local flower farms and believes that the best smelling flowers are ones produced naturally, at the right time of year.
“I want brides to be able to bury their head in their bouquet!” Melanie laughs.
“Floristry is to paint a picture with flowers, it is an art and every florist has their own form of expression, their own style,” Melanie explains.
Melanie’s expression is to blend her lifelong love of flowers, with her ever-present passion for everything vintage and Victorian.
Melanie’s Nan,had a magnificent garden, where a love for foliage and colour was ignited, while her Aunty May further fuelled the flames sending exquisite bouquets to young Melanie home every sunday, via her Grandmother Ethel-May.
Its a beautiful botanical nod of the head that the business is called Mayflowers.
And the vexation for vintage?
“It started with a pink Victorian jug that Mum displayed in my room as kid. I would take it out of my room and she would bring it back in. It grew on me eventually, then I became an antiques addict too.”
Studying Naturopathy and Aromatherapy while working in Glebe, Melanie would purchase a special tea cup set each week from various second hand and antique shops.
“Each cup is specially picked, some are from the late 1800s while others are unique gifts, like sets from people as they went off to war in the early 1900s,” Melanie tells us as we take a look at her extensive collection, cups adored with Remember Me and Think of Me sit lovingly on display.
“I love roses, and Queen Anne’s Lace is gorgeous to work with,” Melanie tells us when we ask about her favorite bloom. “Also, garden Carnations have a wonderful smell if they are the heirloom variety.”
Being in this industry, Melanie has come to know and love many of her clients, “Grooms return each year to buy a bouquet on anniversaries – clients have become friends as I get to collaborate for their special occasions.”
Melanie recently provided a tea cup posy to be displayed in lieu of a casket spray.
“A lovely local family had been buying tea cup posies from me for four years for their Grandmother. Last week I was honoured to complete her final bouquet.”
Melanie’s passion for everything vintage and anything blooming is alive in every corner of her bright smile. Her love for her craft and the community that she serves is infectious.
“I’ve been in Mayfield for sixteen years now, we have raised four children here and its just beautiful,” we are told as we ask what Mayfield living is like. “Not only is it a great place to live but its rich in history – obviously something that I appreciate!”
“The old homes, the architecture, the community and the remnants of an old orchard here and there. It really is a place with a rich history and an exciting future.”