Twenty-one years ago, on November 15th in 1999, I opened my first florist shop. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was the start of the big, beautiful, and occasionally slightly stressful flower-filled world of Mala Rose Events – something I am enormously proud of, both professionally and personally. I’ve never missed an opportunity to honour this special day, whether with a celebratory dinner or just a quiet moment reflecting on the important milestones I’ve passed as the business has evolved in wonderful and sometimes unexpected ways. I remember the sacrifices I’ve made and all the extra hours that my tight-knit little team puts in, all the thorny roses we’ve handled and our failures along the way, but I also cherish the smiles, tears of joy and lovely comments from our brides. Just like these laughs, the creativity and gratitude make it worthwhile, so too do the setbacks that have allowed me to grow as a businesswoman and employer.
As many of you know, I started off in retail before shifting my focus to weddings and functions with the launch of Jade McIntosh Flowers in 2007. This was the first of several changes and I’m so glad I made it! Since then, we’ve been lucky to work with some incredible couples who’ve made our jobs that much more enjoyable. We’ve also been a regular at Love: The Wedding Festival and featured in magazines like Vogue Australia, Bride to Be, House & Garden and Hello May.
2017 was a breakthrough year for us. In March, we were named as Top 5 finalists in the floral design category at the Australian Bridal Industry Academy Designer of Dreams awards. Receiving accolades like this, especially when they’re based on real-world feedback in a four-year period from our brides, is a solid reminder that what we do is valuable and that our success isn’t based on short-term trends.
A few months later, Jade McIntosh Flowers relocated to a gorgeous warehouse in Carrington to join The Wedding Collective – a collaboration between some of the Hunter Valley and Newcastle’s most well-respected, innovative, fun and down-to-earth wedding vendors. While flowers are obviously our passion, we love everything to do with weddings and are committed to making your big day as easy and extraordinary as it can possibly be!
To this end, I acquired a new business in 2019 – White Roses Styling. Along with Jade McIntosh Flowers and alongside The Wedding Collective, it is part of my umbrella company, Mala Rose Events. It’s been challenging and exhausting but I continue to get so much inspiration from the senior stylists who are just as dedicated to our vision and values. Everyone involved in the business is honest and transparent and eager to contribute to unforgettable wedding day experiences for each and every one of our beautiful brides.
Of course, the story of Mala Rose Events wouldn’t be complete without mention of our bright and bubbly longstanding assistant, my daughter Marli. She’s now a teenager, but from a very young age showed a keen interest in all things floristry and a unique creative flair. Look out, world!