Floral artistry is a thing and Adelaide’s Nadia Travaglini is at the helm.
Her arrangements are big, and the thought and tenacity that goes into the placement of every single stem is the reason she’s risen to the top of her game.
She’s the founder/director/head designer of Studio Botanic on Gilbert Street – they’ve just moved into the new space after six years in a small warehouse just around the corner on Frederick Street. “I’ve been wanting to move for the last two years or so,” says Nadia, “so it feels like it’s been a long time coming!”
The new space is perfect for her craft, and not just because it’s bright with white-washed walls and stunning north light, but also because it’s super handy – Nadia lives just two doors down with her husband, Michael, and their two boys, Hugo and Louis. The couple moved here from Melbourne in 2009; they had been living in North Fitzroy so the vibrancy and bustle of city living appealed to them.
Studio Botanic’s inception was bore out of a need to be busy and creative, rather than a desperate desire to start another business. She had been the co-owner of a florist/café in Hawthorn since she was 19 but a start-up in Adelaide wasn’t really at the top of her list. “I didn’t have the intention to start a business, I was thinking I could just do a few weddings here and there. But one wedding turned into two, then three, then 10! Next thing you know, we are dressing corporate events, designing runways, flower bombing the Malls Balls, all out of a tiny warehouse space,” she laughs. The reference to the Malls Balls is perhaps one of Nadia’s biggest works – literally. The large-scale installation was for Vogue Festival in 2018 and comprised of over 1000 flowers intricately placed around one of our city’s most known landmarks.
Luxe and large scale is now Nadia’s niche, although that wasn’t necessarily part of the plan. “It wasn’t a niche I sort out,” she says, “but it was a style and type of work I was passionate about and, conveniently for me, there was a hole in the Adelaide market.”
The visuality of her work is her main marketing tool, that and word of mouth. Social media is also a big part of her business, and an important ingredient to building her brand – although she is quick to admit this is an area she needs to improve and develop. “I’m constantly learning,” she says.
It’s Nadia’s openness in identifying and highlighting the hard bits that make her so instantly likeable – another reason, perhaps, why success seems to have followed her. When asked what her biggest obstacle in business has been – outside of COVID – she points to work/ life balance, echoing the voice of working mums everywhere. “Being the mother of two small boys and having a career where the majority of the workload falls on the weekend, my family time is very limited,” she says. “On top of this, we seem to be ‘wired in’ 24/7 with social media; it’s challenging to navigate the balance between constant customer service and private moments with my children. Honestly, I would be lying if I said I’ve overcome this challenge.”
A solution could be to take a step back, if only ever so slightly, and this may be something she considers as the years roll on. “As I’m getting older, hanging from the rafters seems like something I’d like to step back from,” she says, hinting that the design aspect of the business might be her focus in the years to come. “I have a lot of amazing talent in my business and they are growing every day, I’d love to see them as successors of the Studio Botanic brand.”