Last year Hattie Molloy had three cubic metres of soil dumped in her previous studio in Collingwood, arranged in mountainous waves as part of an epic in-store display (she later planted seeds in the soil, creating a living, sprouting installation). This week she spent 19 hours straight installing a runway installation for David Jones at VAMFF, bright red bursts of 4000 roses and 4000 dahlias arranged down 30 metres of runway. For Hattie more than most people, there is no such thing as an ‘ordinary’ day.
For one thing, Hattie’s alarm goes off at 2.35am two or three times a week to get to the flower market. ‘My work does not allow for much routine’, Hattie says. ‘I start my day with a cuppa and my skincare routine, but that’s about it’.
After having to vacate her previous space in Collingwood due to development, Hattie has only just put the finishing touches on her new studio, not far away on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. ‘I designed this space for myself’, she says. ‘I wanted a beautiful place to work and create out of, and to showcase my arrangements. While it won’t be open to the public, there will be pop-ups (like the one she hosted for Valentine’s day last month) and workshops.
We followed Hattie for a (relatively chill) day last week to see her new space, and learn more about her totally un-ordinary day-to-day!
If it’s a market morning on Tuesday, Thursday and sometimes Saturday, my alarm goes off at 2.35am. I splash my face with cold water and get dressed.
If it’s a non-market morning I tend to wake up around 6.30ish, make a cuppa, and get ready for the day.
I generally always have brekky out. Sometimes that means grabbing a pastry, or if I have time I love breakfast at Napier Quarter in Collingwood. I’ll catch up on emails and get a general plan for what I need to get done for the day.
After this, I head to the studio. My assistant Belle and I will start the day around 9am, prepping flowers and doing admin. My days vary so much depending on what jobs we have on! For instance, this week we’ve been working on David Jones runway show for VAMFF (4000 roses, 4000 dahlias, and 30 metres of runway!)
Earlier in the week, we’re installing our weekly arrangements to restaurants and stores all around Melbourne, then later in the week I’m usually working on an event or wedding.
Lunch is usually quick and easy, like a local banh mi from down the road on Brunswick Street.
If I’ve been at the market I tend to fade by about 2pm and my brain turns to mush. You do get kind of used to just pushing through it though. I don’t drink coffee but I do love a cuppa, and that’s generally how I sustain my energy levels.
In the afternoon, if we have an event, we are out installing. Otherwise, we are in the studio working on quotes, new concepts or photographing arrangements.
I love that there is always a challenge. A new project to work on. New ideas to develop. And I love that I get to work with the seasonal flowers.
I generally finish around 5-6ish, but depending on events it can also be up to 11pm. Quite often my friends will come by the shop for a knock-off – we love people watching on Brunswick Street. Otherwise, I tend to just go home, cook myself or friends a yummy dinner and watch some trashy TV!
I feel like I never truly ‘clock off’ even when I’m home, I’m generally working while I watch Netflix. I’ve learned to function on very little sleep. Some nights I get 3-4 hours if I’m going to market. Other nights I try to get 7-8.