Emily Michele Smith – Boutierre girls
Creative Series – Florist
BY JERRI JONES | 08.11.18
Introducing Emily Michele Smith. Emily is the creative floral master behind Boutierre girls. Chances are if you’re on instagram, you have scrolled across the spectacular floral creations Emily and her team create for some of the most beautiful weddings and events in Sydney and beyond. Having created impressive floral installations for DIOR, Tommy Hilfiger and even landing the cover of Real Living magazine, Boutierre girls is undeniably a floral force on the rise.
Obsessed with Emily’s floral artistry, dreamy instagram feed, catching glimpses of her enviable cool-girl wardrobe and sweet tunes playing on her BTS stories, I had to get to know more about the Woman behind Boutierre girls, who loves roses even more than I do.
Tell us a little about yourself, how Boutierre Girls came about and what the name means?
I am 27 and have grown up in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs. My family now lives in the Country. I have two cats.
I love interiors, gardens, fashion and anything I can make really beautiful. I have always loved being creative since I was little.
I have sewn and quilted since I was about 6. I have always claimed an area of Mum’s garden, in every house we have lived in-as my own.
Boutierre Girls was a name I made up because I wanted to make an instagram for my baking and flowers- which I just did for a bit of a laugh/hobby.
The “Bou” stands for bouquet, and the “tier” stands for cake tier. I added an “re” on the end to add a finishing touch!
I used to make wedding cakes while I was studying. My cakes tasted great but I mostly enjoyed making them because I loved decorating them with fresh flowers.
I pretty quickly came to the realisation It was flowers that I had a passion for. I stopped making cakes about a year into starting my business (four years ago) and am now a full time florist.
We loved collaborating with you on JERRI.JONES x Boutierre Girls, where do you find your inspiration / creativity?
I loved collaborating with Jerri Jones too! My leather jacket is one of my favourite items of clothing- a regular go to.
I draw inspiration from lots of different places (probably without even realising it)
I always try to follow colours of the season. I also try to add to the style and palette of my arrangements tying in with current fashion and interior trends, whilst trying to maintain my own style.
They are forever changing and every season brings a new challenge.
“My leather jacket is one of my favourite items of clothing- a regular go to.”
Tell us what pieces in your wardrobe do you find yourself reaching for time and time again?
You will mostly find me dressed in jeans and a tee for work. I always try and dress my not so glam outfit up with a cool jacket, earrings and boots.
I live in boots and sneakers for work and have some really fun pairs.
What is your go-to/never fail outfit?
Black jeans, black or white tee, bomber jacket or an oversized jumper, pair of hoop earrings, and a cool pair of designer boots! (I’m a real shoe fanatic)
How did you get into floristry – Did you study or have a background in Floristry?
I have always loved flowers and my Mum has always been a great gardener. I have grown up with really beautiful gardens and spent a huge amount of time outdoors as a child, so I had pretty good knowledge of what flowers I liked and their names etc. I always wanted to do something creative, but didn’t ever realise that was a career option.
I enrolled in floristry Cert 3 at Tafe whilst studying at Uni. I had already started my business on the side. I didn’t end up completing Tafe, as my business took off and I was getting work via instagram. Things kind of snowballed through there and I would say I am mostly self-taught. Lots of trial and error and figuring out what worked for me and what didn’t.
You have a team of Boutierre girls, it looks like you girls have SO much fun at work! What does a typical day look like for you and your team? And what is the song you have playing on repeat?
I sure do. I also have some amazing boys that work for me too. The “Bouti Boys” haha. We have a lot of fun at work. I really love working big jobs and having lots of staff on. We have a great time dancing around. The song we have on repeat at the moment would be Stir Fry- Migos.. otherwise I would say Kendrick Lamar, Drake, ASAP, with the occasional 90s banger or boy band song in there too haha!
If it’s a market morning, we get up at about 3.30-4am and head to markets for a 5am arrival. I like to try and be back at the studio by 7am to start prepping flowers and get them into water asap. It’s always a busy day working with perishables, because we have such a small window to get everything done before its out the door.
What time do you hit the flower markets in the morning and how do you manage the early wake up?
I get up at about 3.50am. I literally have an alarm set every five minutes from 3.45 through till about 6am because my world’s biggest fear is that I won’t wake up! (Yet to happen though). It’s not too bad in summer, but on a freezing winter morning or a rainy day its relatively devastating. I always grab breaky with my little group of close florist friends <3 . I love markets because it’s the one time I get to catch up with them. It’s always a highlight of the day and puts me in a good mood heading back to the studio to start a long and often stressful days’ work. The little florist community that I’m in literally saves me every day. We are all in the same boat and are in contact throughout the day whether its memes, rants or making everyone stop what they are doing to look at an insane flower we bought.
I wish I went to bed early! Night time is the few hours I get to unwind, and power through some emails. I often work late into the night if I am prepping for a big job. A lot of events also require a midnight bump out which is always fun after an early start. I try and grab a few hours’ sleep in the afternoons if I can, and I’ll often spend an entire day on the couch or in bed powering through my emails and giving my body a rest.
Where would we find you on a day off?
How do you unwind / switch off from this plugged in world we are living in?
Day off? Haha! If I have a day of, I’ll be running around collecting vases, or getting supplies. Or most likely at home responding to all of my emails and getting out as many quotes as possible. It’s like having two different full time jobs.
I will often race over to the beaches or Balmoral for a few hours if I can. I absolutely love spending time by myself- whether its walking or reading or going to a cafe etc. My group of mates will often try and drag me out to their regular favourite pub if I have the weekend off- which I loathe after a market morning, but secretly really appreciate.
What is your most memorable / favourite job to date and how many hours does it take to conceptualize and bring to fruition?
Ahhh there are so many! I’m so in love with flowers that I genuinely love every job we work on.
I always get a real kick out of working for a fashion label that I really admire, or with any label that I am a strong advocate for.
I think on every second job I’ll probably announce to everyone that this is my “most favourite job ever” at some point.
It’s so different with every job. I take bookings over a year in advance sometimes- which can mean I am planning a wedding for a very long time.
Sometimes I have jobs come in 24 hours before delivery date and it’s a super quick turnaround!
I think for me it’s just trying to get the best possible understanding of the client/bride’s ideas and then bringing them to life.
I always try and guide them towards palettes/styles that I think will suite the season/space and their personality.
What are your tips and tricks for managing your business via instagram and taking the perfect photo?
Instagram used to stress me out so much! I don’t feel like I am great at taking photos- and was clueless at how to edit them.
You also need good content to be able to take a good photo!
I had my best friend Reuben (@reubenmarkstewart) over from Canada- we met through work. He is an incredibly gifted photographer and florist.
He helped teach me how to take good photos and edit them through a few different apps over the year. I was like his little student haha! I still send him photos occasionally when I can’t get the edit quite right haha!
I also use an app which my lovely friend Tara (milk tea) showed me. It’s a pre gram app where you can load another 20 or so pics before you post them. You can shuffle them around until your feed looks good. I have about 12 pics always lined up ready to post, so I don’t have to worry about it- they are just there!
Instagram can be tricky as a florist because you work with so many different palettes. I often have to wait a while before posting certain jobs because they look so out of place in my feed. Sounds a bit ridiculous but it’s such a struggle! When someone new clicks on your profile for the first time – they are looking at it as a whole- so I have always tried to not only post beautiful pictures, but to keep my feed flowing nicely and to look great as an entirety.
“I always have orchid plants or some orchid stems in the kitchen and the living room at my house. Mostly because as you can probably tell I absolutely love orchids and they have such a good vase life and are easy to look after.”
What flowers / arrangement would we find in your house?
People always ask me if my house is full of amazing flowers!!
I always run out of flowers and don’t have much left to take home- If I have some flowers spare, I’ll often give them to my Mum or to a friend as a gift.
I always have orchid plants or some orchid stems in the kitchen and the living room at my house. Mostly because as you can probably tell I absolutely love orchids and they have such a good vase life and are easy to look after. I also have lots of dried hydrangea and honesty.
I always love being given a beautiful bouquet as a present (which rarely happens) because it’s not something I would ever make for myself.
You can find Emily and her floral artistry by visiting her dreamy account @Boutierregirls