Twenty-four-year-old florist Clare Harmer, the beautiful soul behind Fleur and Threads, talks to us about her spiritual awakening and her journey to self-awareness and discovery through yoga and meditation.
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Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in The Central Coast, in a place called Copacabana. I was a dreamer and still very much am to this day. I didn’t really have the easiest of childhoods growing up, so maybe it’s no surprise that my head was forever buried in some kind of whimsical, romantic fiction.
My love story with flowers and floristry began after reading Mercy by Jodi Picoult when I was only sixteen years old. The novel is about this socially introverted girl who has a hard time expressing herself and connecting with people, so she turns to flowers. Picoult speaks about the language of flowers and the deep meaning in the colours of the blooms. Reading her book planted a seed in me – it touched my soul in a way that I can’t easily explain, so much so that shortly thereafter I decided to leave high school to begin my studies of floristry, where I undertook a two-year traineeship.
When did you start Fleur & Threads?
I technically started the business two years ago while still working fulltime as a florist for someone else. However, it was only six to eight months ago that I made the leap to go into it full time. Since then, the business has gone through a rebirth of sorts—I started to meditate regularly and practice yoga which has helped me gain so much more confidence in myself and in my work. I began to see and appreciate my talent and really trust my own instinct—I learnt to value and listen to my inner voice.
That’s a great achievement at twenty-four years of age. Tell us more about your creative process.
The decision to meditate with my flowers came naturally and it’s made such a huge difference in myself and my business. I start by laying them all out in front of me before sitting in silence and emptying my mind and baring my soul. Because it’s such a personal experience, everything I create through this process is unlike any other—unique, flawed but just as it should be; perfect in its own way.
What inspired you to take that leap? What do you mean when you say your business went through a rebirth?
It was all quite serendipitous—my cousin bought tickets to the Rise Sister Rise seminar with Rebecca Campbell and Belinda Davidson. She was really looking forward to the event but had to cancel at the last minute—so I went in her place. It was eye-opening, and life-changing to say the least. Yoga and meditation play such a huge part in my business now, but that day was the start of my spiritual awakening. It’s changed my whole outlook and the entire trajectory of life. That day, I came to the realisation of what it was I needed to do. I knew something great was in store for me, and all I had to do was walk through the door and take it.
What’s been your biggest lesson so far?
To live in love at all times, no matter what. Yoga is about love—love for yourself, love for others and for the world. A lot of people talk about changing the world. But understanding yoga, means understanding that in order to change the world you need to change you. Understanding what that meant and taking responsibility for myself has been pivotal for my business. I wouldn’t have been able to run this business effectively, I wouldn’t be where I am now without having worked on myself as a person first—I just can’t see how it could work any other way. Not when I needed to make the changes needed to flourish and succeed.
What does it mean to listen to your inner voice?
Listening to your inner voice is being authentic and staying true to your true self. It means being seen, tall and proud, naked, powerful and strong, with all your doubts and fears, in all your perfectly imperfect glory for all to see. You’ll know what it sounds like when it speaks. All you have to do is reprogram your brain to let go of your own limiting beliefs to allow yourself to find your way back home to yourself.
How well have you gotten to know your inner voice?
I’m still working on it, every day. I haven’t fully gotten there yet but I’m closer to where I was before. There are still times I feel like crap and allow my own fears and insecurities to cloud my thinking, but I’ve gotten a lot better and faster at pulling myself back out of it.
If Fleur and Threads were a person – she would be a fiercely authentic woman. I’d imagine her pushing the boundaries in writing her own story, and her only ambition would be to become the beauty the world needs more of.
“You have the power to build a life that you truly desire. Get out of your own way and share your gifts with the world…”
What kind of beauty is that?
Beauty on the inside. It’s not an aesthetic beauty. It’s not one you see but one that you feel. I want to help people, not just to want to look beautiful, but to strive to become beautiful from within. That’s my mission in life. That what I aim to do, every single day.
One concept unique to Fleur and Threads are chakra bouquets—what are they?
Every human has 7 chakras represented by 7 different colours that each signify different areas in life—survival, feelings, personal power, the right to love, the right to speak, intuition and knowingness. They manifest themselves in your relationship with yourself and others, and the entire universe. Before I started to really, really enjoy yoga and meditation, I first became obsessed with the idea of healing and balancing chakras. I remember thinking to myself that maybe working with chakras could be something I could do instead. I wondered whether I could give up on floristry—but I knew that would break my heart. There just would have been no way!
Then one day, after yoga, it just came to me. I said to myself, “this is how I can help people heal, this is how I can do it!” I now make chakra bouquets every Friday to spread love and happiness and help heal people. So far, it’s been very well received and they’re very popular. But the best part about it is knowing I can make a difference in people’s lives—seeing their eyes light up and making others happy. When your mind is clear, it’s open to receiving all that the universe has to offer. My mind was clear and I heard her whispers clearly. It was my responsibility to make it happen.
What’s your most exciting project to date?
I was recently hired to design a mini flower wall for The Strand Arcade’s 125th birthday and also recently designed garlands for a whisky company. Their brand was quite masculine and unique in their space so I used dried barley, cotton, banksias and fun foliage. It was exciting to work on such an edgy project because us florists are usually hired to add a feminine touch. This time around, I had the opportunity to accentuate the exact opposite of that instead. I find it really exciting that Fleur and Threads has been able to attract such an interesting and diverse clientele and look forward to seeing what other projects the future has in store for us.
What advice would you give to men and women who are thinking about or have started to build their own businesses to pursue their own passions?
You have the power to build a life that you truly desire. Get out of your own way and share your gifts with the world because there can never be too much of anything—there is always more than enough work to go around. Put yourself out there and start a new chapter with more love and appreciation for your gift. Because if your heart is in it, people will feel it when they see or experience your work, and they’ll want a piece of it. I do what I do because it makes me feel alive. It makes me feel connected. And that’s a beautiful thing to have.
What about for couples looking for a Florist?
When you’ve found the right one, you’ll know it. The florist you choose will set the vibe for your whole day—you’ll instantly connect. Keep looking until you find the one you click with the most and guaranteed you’ll create pure magic together.
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Awaken your senses and discover more by visiting www.fleurandthreads.com.