In Full Bloom: The Botanist's Diana Pan

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Since its launch in 2018, Newmarket’s The Botanist has quickly become one of Auckland’s leading florists. Diverting from traditional floristry rules, the business prides itself on unconventional, fun, and bold creativity, creating bouquets that they would love to receive themselves. We caught up with founder, Diana Pan to learn more about The Botanist’s story and what goes on behind the scenes.

NEWMARKET. Have you always had an interest in floristry?
My interest in floristry bloomed relatively late - I must have been in my late 20’s or early 30’s. I have a psychology degree from the University of Auckland and worked as an HR Manager prior to that.

N. What advice would you give to someone who may be thinking about becoming a florist?

D. Be prepared for a lot of hard work, especially in the first few months or so. You might not even get to make any bouquets, as you will be focusing on processing flowers, cleaning, and a lot of admin work. So, make sure you’re in it for the right reasons. Floristry is actually a very tough profession. It’s almost like a tradie's job.

N. How did The Botanist come about?

D. The original owner of The Botanist cafe (at City Works Depot), Antony, came up with the idea of a “Cafe
& Florist” after a trip to the States. I purchased the florist side of the business back in 2018.

N. What do you love most about your job?
I love the process of turning floral design ideas into reality. The planning, the buying, the execution, and all sorts of unexpected challenges.

N. Have you had any unique requests from customers over the years?
Somebody once asked me to make a unicorn-teddy bear bouquet!

N. What are your top three tips when creating a bouquet or arrangement?

D. Colour combo, texture, and stick with the brief.

N. Could you describe what a day in your life looks like?
From 4:50am to 7:30am, I’m on the auction floor buying flowers. Between 9:00am to 3:00pm, I’m busy getting all the fresh flowers processed, sending bouquets out, responding to client emails, and site visits sometimes. After 3:00pm, pick up the kids and home time.

N. Where’s your favourite spot in Newmarket to grab a bite to eat?

D. Bowl and Arrow. I love their healthy treats.

N. Tell us something people might not know about floristry?
Working with beautiful flowers is but one aspect of floristry. We must do a lot of digital marketing, social media, running a website, SEO, blogging, photography, and personally, as a florist, I have to constantly deal with a pair of very rough florist hands.

N . What do you do to relax?
Whisky, Netflix, and cooking.

N. Do you have a favourite flower? If so, what is it?
Anthuriums. They are very long-lasting flowers. I love their form and the unique texture they bring to an arrangement.