“I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue when I was about 20, at this stage I was working in hospitality and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I ended up spending the following years housebound, where I started baking as a hobby to kill time,” recalls Boutierre Girls founder Emily Smith...
This challenging period ended up changing the direction of her career (there was a time when she wanted to be a doctor or a psychiatrist). Smith would decorate her cakes in fresh flowers and before she knew it, she was inundated with orders. Her now thriving Sydney-based business Boutierre Girls focuses on flowers only (she’ll still do the occasional wedding cake for close friends).
Her mother Julie has been a great source of inspiration and she has vivid memories of her mother baking afternoon tea or whiling hours away in the family garden. “Mum would spend hours watering and weeding the garden. I always chose garden chores for my weekend jobs at home. I remember mum used to get really upset when we would get home after the summer holidays and the garden would be burnt to a crisp and her pot plants would have died from not being watered. She would have it looking beautiful again a few weeks later,” says Emily who has inherited her mother’s sunny outlook on life. Read on to find out more about the world of one of Australia’s leading floral artists and how her mother has influenced her life.
“ My mum has taught me a million invaluable life lessons. I think one that has always stuck is to not let my mistakes defeat me or define me ”
SHOP: Emily wears Kailis Hope Pearl & Diamond Earrings in Rose Gold; LIFEwithBIRD jumper; her own denim jeans. Julie wears Kailis Swan Earrings in White Gold; Kailis Swan Ring in White Gold, Mother Of Pearl blouse, from Parlour X; her own denim jeans.
What have you taught each other about life?
Emily: My mum has taught me a million invaluable life lessons. I think one that has always stuck is to not let my mistakes defeat me or define me. I have been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember. I struggled at school because of this. Mum never airbrushed things while I was growing up. I was always made very aware that it was part of life to make mistakes and fall short and that was ok, and that even adults make mistakes.
Julie: Gosh! My girls have taught me a million things but what stands out is that while I could love and shape them, and guide them as little people, they will all eventually grow into their own person as an adult. I’ve learnt that you have to let go.
What would your advice to your younger self be?
Emily: To spend more time doing the things I enjoy and that I am good at. That it is not a cop out to want to pursue a career in the creative industry. I grew up as a high achiever and relatively academic. I never thought that doing something creative was an option for me as a career. As much as I love studying, I found school and uni very difficult for this reason.