Career change leads to Ellerslie Flower Show win
18 March 2013
Career change leads to Ellerslie International Flower Show win
It was while working on insurance claims after the Christchurch earthquake that Hollie Sarten began re-examining her life.
“Like a lot of people at that hectic time, I reassessed what was important. I decided to pursue what I have always loved, floristry.”
Hollie quit her insurance job, which she had held for over five years, and enrolled at Manukau Institute of Technology’s School of Floristry.
It was a good decision. Hollie’s talents are evident and were recently recognised at the Ellerslie International Flower Show, where she was awarded a Silver Distinction for her creation of a florist shopfloor within a 4m by 4m space.
Hollie was selected from hundreds of applicants to take part in the competition. She was flown to Christchurch and given a day to prepare her entry.
Each contestant was given the same selection of flowers, plants and equipment. Hollie’s only point of difference was the original backdrop she was allowed to select.
Her creation, themed “Whatever the Weather”, impressed the judges with its welcoming shopfloor and windswept wall arrangements.
It was nerve wracking waiting for the results.
“If you’re not selected the judges move straight past you, so you stand there willing them to slow down as they get closer to you,” Hollie says.
Visiting Christchurch was a wonderful experience for Hollie, but also a shocking reminder of the devastation caused by the February 2011 earthquake.
“The family I was staying with took me around the Red Zone. It is a whole lot worse than I thought it would still be. Two years later and it is still rubble.”
granddaughter of renowned Taranaki florist Winsome Sarten,
says seeing the devastation reaffirmed how precious life is,
and she is pleased she followed her heart into