Cherry Blossom Floristry is the name of a “budding”new business, owned and operated by Cherry Henry (nee Dewes).
Cherry (Ngati Porou/Whanau Apanui) says the idea behind her new venture was initially cultivated as a young girl growing up in Tikitiki. “I’ve always loved plants. As children we used to help our Mum out the garden – whether it was the vege patch or the flower garden.” However her interest for floristry didn’t really flourish until Cherry felt the call of home. After many years spent working away (including a long stretch in the Navy) Cherry returned to Tikitiki to live in 2000.
Cherry explains, “You know the feeling when you don’t really know what you want in life? When you’re not really sure what your true passion is? It wasn’t until one day after I came back home, and was sitting out in the garden, that I re-discovered what my passion was and found that everything I needed was right there in front of me.”
Over the years since she had that epiphany, Cherry has largely taught herself the art and craft of floristry. Through studying the pictures in magazines or books, or developing her skills by creating floral arrangements for the tables at the marae or for community events. Only recently has she extended her professional knowledge by travelling to Te Aroha to attend a series of floristry courses.
The decision to turn her passion from a hobby into a potentially profitable business was motivated by Cherry’s participation in the Mai Biz and Kiwa Slam workshops. She says, “Although my husband and I used to run our own retail store in Edgecome, specialising in sports, hunting and fishing , it was my husband who dealt with all of management side of things. I knew if I wanted to start my own floristry business I would have no problem doing the practical activities, but I would need to learn business skills such as how to do my own marketing and budgets. Although I found the workshops a challenge, they were also quite rewarding. The facilitators really put you on the spot.”
Cherry hopes her new business will fill a current gap in the market. She says, “If you want to order flowers for a tangi, a wedding or a birthday you have to ring Gisborne. So there is the opportunity for a Coast based florist to provide customers, both those living at home and away, with a product which can be delivered anywhere on the Coast - from Potaka to Gisborne.”
Although confident about the future of “Cherry Blossom” it has taken a long time for Cherry to get to that place. “I was afraid to take those initial baby steps, to go out on a limb. But the advice I can share with others is to believe in your-self, maintain that passion in your heart and keep doing what you’re doing. There are opportunities out there, but you have to go out and grab them. The doors will eventually open, so don’t give up on your dreams. If you haven’t found what your passion is keep looking. We are all naturally gifted, and we all have something to give.”
Cherry Blossom East Coast Floristry
Contact: Cherry Henry
Tel: 06 8643 714