Fennel & Fern
(Anita Marie Elliston)
I met this beautiful woman a couple of years back, she makes me coffee at my favourite local spot 'Homegrown Cafe' (You can see a full feature in my portfolio in 'places') Over the years and most considerably the past year, we've become very familiar with each other, she is also a photographer but with many more years of experience and knowledge under her belt. I've always been a fan of her work so inevitably I found myself turning to her for lots of advice.
It came as a surprise to me that someone could be so helpful and generous with their knowledge. She shared her story with me and ended up opening up about her battle with confidence as a creative. She advised me not to waste my money on study and told me 'Yani you can learn all the technical stuff you want, but you can't teach someone creativity' These words are what have given me the courage to pursue my passion, so I'll be forever grateful.
What a lot of people don't know about this girl, and the reason why I have chosen to collaborate with her is because she is an unbelievably talented florist. I noticed that she would occasionally stock her blooms at the cafe, hand picked, beautifully wrapped and placed in a tin bucket with a handwritten sign 'Fennel & Fern'. Anita shared with me that she once had a bad experience with a bride chopping up a bouquet that she spent hours preparing for a wedding, which resulted in her losing her creative confidence entirely. Hearing this made me really mad, no one deserves that and I can't imagine how traumatising that experience must have been, especially when they are so talented. So my mission was to spark that creative flare for her again, So asking her to be apart of this event would be the perfect opportunity.
leading up to the event, I rummaged through my dads shed in the backyard of our family home and scouted for things I could use as props instead of spending money. I came up with some pretty weird stuff to be honest, from wooden frames, old doors, a rickety old chair with three legs and even a big metal swing set my brother and I used to play on as kids. Anita rocked up to my house the morning of the event with her little car overflowing with flowers, odd socks on her feet and we were able to bounce off each other with ideas. This talented girl literally took everything I handed her and transformed it into something beautiful. She even decorated the cake, and whipped it up in under five minutes! I am so proud of this girl and what she created, nothing beats the fulfilment of seeing that spark ignite in her again.
You can find her on Instagram:
ps. To that bridezilla out there, I hope you are watching!
The Ethical Straw Co.
(Kathleen Buckley, Alex Fraser & Samantha Fraser)
1 of 3 Co-Founders of this amazing cause is Alex, and she is one of my closest and most dearest friends. We met overseas in a coffee shop in London about two years ago and have remained inseparable ever since. Throughout the time we've known each other, we have been by each other's side through some really tough and life-changing experiences. She is my biggest support system and that one person I can turn to and count on for everything. For most of my life I wasn't quite fortunate enough to have very supportive friend's around me, but with every opportunity that has come my way in the time I've known her, she has been right behind me giving me the necessary push and nudge to chase my dreams whilst cheering me on. I honestly wouldn't be where I am today without her and I could never thank her enough.
So it's my turn to cheer her on and what better way than by helping her reach her own goals. Alex, along with her beautiful sister Samantha and amazing mother Kathleen, have created a business with a purpose. The Ethical Straw Co. Was Founded in hope of raising awareness of the impact plastic pollution has on our planet. I remember reading a point they stated on their website that 'every single year, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are discarded, after being used for an average of 10 minutes' This left me utterly shocked and ashamed of ever using a straw. Since then Al has continued to share with me research they have found and its very alarming how much of a negative impact we have on the planet, simply due to lack of education regarding waste management.
The Ethical Straw Co. are driven to make a difference in this world. Being proud supporters of the zero waste movement, they have created Stainless steel straws that are 100% reusable to replace plastic straws, not to mention the cute packaging, and that they come with their own pipe cleaner! It's is an amazing idea and such a simple step in the right direction to a solution. By standing up and spreading awareness wherever they can, they have already got a handful of large business's onboard with the movement that have decided to ditch the straw! They have also slowly incorporated new products to their online store, including keep cups & coconut bowls too. So if you aren't into the straw, these are all great alternatives to everyday plastic items that are causing harm to our earth. If more people could get on board and make a small change, we could be on our way to making this world a much better place. The Ethical Straw Co. provided their straws for the event along with the coconut bowls and drinking jars all available for purchase on their online store. These intelligent and inspirational women are making a stance, and I could not be prouder.
You can find these guys on Instagram: