in the fields with Sophie of Muscari.
Rothwell went on to work alongside and collaborate with various industry heavyweights including My Violet which gave Sophie many a career highlight including a location wedding at Lake Wanaka, New Zealand, “We did a lot of foraging for that one. The markets over there are run on an auction system so it was quite challenging in that respect. We also did a Tiffany + Co job together at a beautiful heritage house in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with waves of cascading irises spilling out from everywhere even the fireplace, which the guests walked through… the irises matching the signature scent.”
“But the plan was always to move back here [to the coast]. I love this lifestyle.” So two years ago, move back she did, right before covid first hit, “it was an interesting time to relocate...” Sophie smiles, but she most definitely made use of the bonus time, “all my work dried up instantly – no weddings or events so I tried to network, to meet likeminded locals and introduce myself to venues with similar style. How on earth did she navigate that when everyone was in lockdown? “I would go wandering and when I noticed a beautiful garden I admired I’d leave a note in their letterbox, saying I love your garden and maybe we could meet and have a wander. I had such a wonderful response to my letters.” It’s such a romantic and lasting method of meeting people that I have to stop myself from sighing wistfully as I listen to her kind and grounded approach, “I’ve met some wonderful new friends; having a cup of tea and discussing their plants. And of course, now I know who has what when I might need to call on them and buy a bucket of chrysanthemums or whatever it may be…thank you Dulcie!”)
Greer mentions that any time there are Muscari flowers in the store, customers gush – “the Mother’s Day flowers Sophie created for us this year were outstanding and so popular, our customers were really moved by her work."“I love bold statements. I prefer not to have too many rules, in terms of colour palette or texture, and I love a bit of quirk, something perhaps a bit off – but I am always influenced by what that particular job might be.” Floral styling, local and destination weddings (she once did a wedding in Sydney and LA on the same day), events, corporate, editorial and collaboration are all on offer and you get the feeling Rothwell loves the variety and yearns for it after two years of lockdown.
“I like a bit of mystery – that sense of who is Muscari and where is she based… I can work locally or internationally, both are equally challenging and exciting. If I got an email from a bride in Tamworth I would be thinking great, let’s do a country wedding…”
Destination weddings are particularly challenging and therefore a favourite for Sophie; the sourcing of flowers from the local markets makes for wonderful stories, “I once did a friend’s wedding in Bogotá in a run-down art gallery. That was very challenging; learning to work with the Columbians at their markets, it’s a different pace; very casual with no real timeframes so that job was demanding but equally rewarding.”
I wonder how being regional has impacted Sophie creatively speaking, “well it’s definitely put a positive spin on my creativity – due to our location it’s that much harder to get to the flower markets so I have to be flexible and open, always thinking on my feet. I love that challenge. Being regional has been a great thing for me, it makes me think a little harder, broadens my perspective and there’s a greater emphasis on face to face working and therefore a deeper connection with people.”