Young florist's 'museum of flowers'

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 07:52 03/12/2012
tdn sofie stand
ROBERT CHARLES
Sofie Park has opened and florist called Petal & Prickle in the old Montrose building in Liardet St.

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A young new floristry owner says her central New Plymouth boutique is "like a museum of flowers".

Two weeks ago florist Sofie Park, 24, opened Petal & Prickle in the old Montrose building in Liardet St.

The building, which used to house Montrose wine bar and Taste restaurant, was recently purchased by Our Place and Club 55 co-owner Mark Louis and a business partner.

Louis, who planned to open a cocktail bar in the old Montrose space, had leased the former Taste half to Park.

Park said she was thrilled with the building's location and space.

"It's a light airy space and it's perfect for a flower shop with its big glass windows," Park said.

Liardet St also provided a good amount of foot traffic and so far the response from customers had been positive, she said.

The public were more than welcome to visit Petal & Prickle for a "nosey", she said.

"It's kind of like a museum of flowers; just come in and have a look."

Park had practised floristry for three years, having learnt at Western Institute of Technology Taranaki night classes and at another florist she previously worked at.

Next year Park would travel to London to attend a two-week course on wedding and events floristry, she said.

"You can always learn more."

This was Park's first time opening and running a business on her own and so far she was enjoying the experience.

"I'm totally loving it. I couldn't be much happier at the moment."

Petal & Prickle was designed to make flowers affordable for everyone, she said.

"I just want to be really reasonable in my pricing so everyone can find something here, no matter what their budget is."

She described her style as vintage with more of a focus on flowers than greenery.

Park sourced most of her flowers from the Strandon flower market but also bought from growers throughout New Zealand, such as her roses, which came from Christchurch, she said.

Park said she discovered her love of floristry while walking through Amsterdam's flower markets.

She left New Zealand for London as an 18-year-old and learnt a lot from checking out flower stores throughout Europe before returning to New Plymouth, she said.

Park enjoyed floristry because it allowed her to express her creative side.

"As a kid I was always being creative and playing or doing something with flowers," Park said.

At this stage Park was operating the store by herself.

Mark Louis said he hoped to have the cocktail bar up and running by mid-January.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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