Graduate Success Stories

Tamara Evans

A chance meeting with a florist ten years ago planted a seed that blossomed into a wonderful career for Tamara Evans.

Now 28, Tamara worked in banking and administration for many years before returning to study, enrolling at Academy New Zealand and sparking a passion for nature and the outdoors.

“When I was 16 I had an interaction with a florist that really got me thinking, but it took me a long time to act on those thoughts. Once I did, I never looked back and I wish I had pursued this straight out of school.”

When Tamara was at college she studied most of the sciences and struggled with the balance of achieving good results in subjects that her parents wanted her to do and also doing the subjects that she was passionate about.

She highly recommends any students interested in the floristry industry to keep design-focused subjects in mind.

“Understanding the principles of design will set students up with a good base knowledge that will help in any aspect of floristry. Being a creative person and someone who likes working with people is important.”

The class at Academy had eight students, which was the perfect number to allow everyone to be individuals and have one-on-one time with the tutor. A minimum of three days is spent working with a florist to get practical experience, and there are opportunities for casual work at wholesalers and assisting on projects like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, where extra hands are needed to fulfil big flower orders for retailers.

Tamara loves working with slightly unusual flowers such as succulents, or using mainly foliage rather than just flowers. Creative outlets are endless and she is currently freelancing, picking up contracts through the contacts she has made, including doing a few styled photoshoots for advertising and magazines. The Floristry course at Mt Wellington in Auckland is situated among a hub of industry retailers, and close to where the flower auctions and wholesalers are located.

Tamara admits that although it took a few years before deciding on which way her career was headed, studying floristry is the best thing she’s ever done.

“In the future I’d definitely like to start a business, not necessarily a shop but a wedding and event styling and coordinating company. With the basic business principles I’ve learnt and a little extra study I feel really prepared to start that journey.”