Cecilia Fox

Lucy Feagins
Lucy Feagins
1st of November 2012
Melanie Stapleton of Cecilia Fox in her sweet retail store, with baby Dusty!  Photo - Sean Fennessy
Cecilia Fox details.  Photo - Sean Fennessy
Cecilia Fox details.  Photo - Sean Fennessy
Today I feel compelled to send out a big, heartfelt THANKYOU to all the amazing creative Melbourne kids for making such bloody amazing stuff all the time. I truly cannot keep UP with the awesomeness - it really makes my job far too easy.  Case in point - the gorgeous new Cecilia Fox florist shop, which has just sprung up in East Brunswick.  I mean SERIOUSLY.  COULD things get any cuter or more bloggable than this?! Melanie Stapleton is the clever local lass behind this sweet retail venture - in fact, Cecilia Fox is Melanie's alter ego of sorts.  You might recall we've featured Melanie's stunning floral work before (she also contributed to our Guest Blog many moons ago!).  Whilst she started on the shop floor in her native New Zealand 20 odd years ago (!!), in recent years Melanie has gained a stellar reputation for her floral creations for weddings and events, which she takes on under her business name, Cecilia Fox. Melanie's new retail space is OURAGEOUSLY cute, featuring a very basic but gorgeous little fit out which incorporates a custom concrete basin and the prettiest geometric paint job!  The shop is tucked amongst a bunch of super cute little cafes on Blyth st, near corner Nicholson st, Brunswick East (Northsiders will know the spot, near Triple RRR). If all this wasn't cute / inspiring / hipsterfabulous enough for you, get this - Melanie opened her sweet little shop in late September, and just two weeks later, she had a baby!  That's right, little Dusty entered the world in early October - and let's not forget, this is all happening smack in the middle of wedding season!  AMAZING, no!?  Melanie isn't too fazed... she has a wonderful little team, and in her own words, she's happy just 'winging it'! My hat is firmly tipped to you Ms Fox.  VERY impressive work. Read on for a few questions with Melanie of Cecilia Fox! -
Double congratulations are in order, you just opened Cecilia Fox AND just had a baby! You're either crazy or a botanical version of Wonder Woman. Please explain how you had time become a shopkeeper and a new mother, only weeks apart?
Thank you! Most days I feel like I'm a little of both! We opened the shop just two weeks before I gave birth to little Dusty. An old friend once told me that babies bring abundance - abundance of creative energy, ideas, courage, and strength. I'm just rolling with the punches and loving it. Of course I could never done it without my amazing partner and my awesome team.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background as a florist – how did you get your start, how long have you been working as a florist and what do you love about the job?
I've been a florist now for close to 20 years. Wow, that makes me feel old! I started as an apprentice in a suburban florist in Auckland, New Zealand, sweeping floors and making coffee. There are so many aspects of my job that I really enjoy. I love being really in touch with the seasons, I love the amazing people I get to meet and places I get to go. I love that every day is completely different and  I love the challenges of nature.
What motivated you to move from your backyard studio to a fully fledged retail space, and how long has the Cecilia Fox store been in development?
Well, we still have our back yard studio that we run our weddings and events out of. With baby Dusty's arrival it is fantastic that I can oversee everything from home. The shop was a little bit of a no brainer, I had been looking for a space to have a Cecilia Fox spring pop-up store and the tiny space we are in now became available. It just seemed right. I really wanted to have a public space, a kind of window into the heart of Cecilia Fox. Having the shop was more about connecting with our community and sharing our love of what we do than being a conventional retail space.
What are your top five must have flowers for this season?
Five is not enough! But for this week it would have to be tree peonies, sweet peas, poppies, foxgloves and dogwood.
Are the rumours true, does adding vinegar to a vase of water really extend the life of flowers? Do you have any secret floristry tips to extend the life of one's bouquet at home?
I've never actually tried the vinegar trick, seems like a bit of an old wives tale to me! The best thing you can do for your flowers to help them last is make sure your vase is really, really clean, change the water if it gets murky at all and make sure you always re-cut the stems on a sharp angle before you put them in water. Cecilia Fox (the shop) 221b Blyth st Brunswick East Shop Hours Thursday 9.00am - 6.00pm Friday 8.00am - 7.00pm Saturday 9.00am - 5.00pm Sunday 10.00am - 2.00pm Other times by appointment... hours set to change over summer, keep your eye on Melanie's blog for info.  (Blog is also SO CUTE you must check it out).
Cecilia Fox.  Photo - Sean Fennessy

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