Merci Bouquet

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An appreciation and love for nature was always something that resonated with Jennie Keogh, owner of Merci Bouquet. As a young child growing up on a farm, she would spend her days wandering around the back paddocks, exploring everything the charming countryside had to offer. But it wasn’t until well into her adult life that Jennie decided that working with natural elements, in the form of floristry, was her true calling. ‘When I was studying Interior Design and working for an Architectural firm in North Sydney, I would buy flowers every Friday and take them on the hour-long journey home. I would then have a lovely time arranging them and incorporating them into what lasted from the week before. I also befriended the local florist when I moved to Neutral Bay and often was given the leftovers at the end of the day. They made me happy.’ She transitioned from the not-for-profit industry over a year to pursue her new floristry venture, studying at Pearsons School of Floristry on Saturdays and working a few days a week at a local florist. ‘It was a lot of hard work, but when you’re determined you’ll do whatever you need to achieve your goal.’ Jennie now owns her own shop in Camden, and a studio in Bowral, where she is able to craft full, lush, textural designs, drawing inspiration from nature and other florists from around the world. ‘I love networking with passionate and creative people in general, not only florists. They inspire me and keep my mind ticking over.’ Her florals of choice are hydrangeas, closely followed by dahlias and fragrant local field roses. ‘My dream arrangement would be big, voluptuous and airy in a low, antique, beautiful cut crystal vase. It would have a lot of foliage with rich coloured flowers of different textures, with berries, a touch of gold leaf and maybe even some fruit in there sitting on antique French linen.’ She also prides herself on running an eco friendly shop, reusing packaging material and sourcing locally grown flowers and foliage where possible. Jennie operates her business with the help of wedding coordinator, Rebecca, who shares a similar design industry background to her. Together, they are able to look at a wedding as a complete vision and craft inspiring arrangements. ‘I love the creativity involved, hearing about the couple’s story and customising our work to reflect who the couple are. No wedding is the same and we love when the wedding is personalised and a little bit quirky.’ Merci Bouquet encompasses a range of services so that each wedding styling is catered directly to the couple. They offer Wedding Day Setup, including styling props, place cards, candles, bonbonnieres, etc; Styling Proposal for those who are looking for DIY options and need some guidance; Ready to Wear for brides who want simplicity and ease; and Bespoke for a completely customised floral service. Jennie also hosts a range of workshops to network with people who share the same appreciation for flowers. ‘Our most popular is our Flowercrown workshop for Hen’s Parties. It’s a very casual affair and I teach by what I call “guided creativity”. I show you the technique and then I let you go crazy with the flowers! I love seeing how ten plus people can have the same ingredients/flowers in front of them, yet each one is different and reflective of who they are.’ Jennie carries the belief that flowers are food for the soul, and is motivated by the idea of creating beauty through flowers, making life that little bit more inspired for everyone.

Carly Tia
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