Identifying a gap in the market for affordable, realistic and eye-catching flower arrangements and décor, Unreal Florist started out as a rent and return service for corporate clients in and around Auckland. Founder Cate Macdonald soon discovered a need in every home for beautiful bespoke artwork in the form of floral arrangements and elegant pieces. Created with beautiful family homes in mind, they offer gorgeous, unique floral arrangements and décor to enhance any space. Their timeless pieces add a special touch to brighten up the home and create a sanctuary for families to enjoy. Cate talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind her business and her desire to add beautiful touches to homes all over New Zealand.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Parenthood can often be a time for change – re-creating spaces to cater for both work and relaxation in the home. I personally, found it so beneficial re-working and enhancing different spaces in our house before the birth of our first baby. Flowers and vases gave a bright, lively feel in the family room, a relaxed welcome in the kitchen and a crisp, clean touch to the bathroom – a feeling of calm in those first few weeks. Artificial flowers and foliage add warmth that’s cost effective, without allergy worries or a vase full of stagnant water. It’s such a lovely, subtle way to achieve a sanctuary amidst the chaos of broken sleep. In recent years, availability of high-quality artificial foliage has definitely been the inspiration behind Unreal Florist. Sourcing timeless pieces that add a special touch for even the most discerning eye is what we love. Making them available to everyone is what we do.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
After raising two great kids, I wanted to do something that enabled me to be on call. Working from the Unreal studio at home provided work/life balance and artificial flower design ticked the creative brief – that was really important. After discovering a gap in the market for affordable yet realistic and eye-catching flower arrangements, Unreal Florist was born. Starting out as a rent and return service, I initially created, delivered, and swapped over reception arrangements for corporate clients in and around Auckland.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough for Unreal Florist was the realisation that there is a place in every home for bespoke artwork and for a lot of people, whether given as a gift or as a treat for ourselves, art comes in the form of beautifully designed flowers. To be able to source beautiful design elements to create long-lasting displays for people to cherish at home was a lightbulb moment.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
The Unreal Studio is located at home which brings a very manageable balance between work and family. Being onsite allows a lot of flexibility between work and family commitments. Weekends are strictly for family and friends and that’s really important.