The story behind Miriam Avery
Owing your own business can be quite the eventful journey. When I first started out on my own in the weddings and events styling world there was a clear and definite style around; shabby chic and rustic. I personally love this style but trends change and morph over time. Tastes become more sophisticated and demands more fine-tuned. What started as a hire and styling business quickly grew into so much more. Before I knew it clients were asking me to style their whole wedding or event. They wanted chairs, furniture, table décor, ceremony fit outs and reception miracles! I bought more and more beautiful decorations. I had so many they were piling up in my house and I was stepping over chair covers in the hallway! My clients were becoming more high end and I decided having a showroom in the front room of my house wasn’t going to cut it anymore! Plus they had to walk past my 2 year old daughter’s art gallery of Hairy McCLary to get to my show room. I had to expand! This was quite a pivotal moment in my life; stay small and manageable from home (and possibly work part time) or become big and plan for world domination. I had a young child, my husband is a farmer and lives over 45 minutes away from Margaret River and all of my family live in the UK so help with babysitting was limited. But I’ve always been very ambitious (and maybe a bit crazy – actually my friends would say I’m a nutter) so I made the decision to expand. We moved into a huge premises with room for a showroom, studio and warehouse. Before I knew it I had bought over 500 wedding chairs, 2 transit vanes, hired 4 staff and was turning over 100 weddings and events per year. I worked and worked and worked.
In amongst all of that I discovered a love for floral design and quickly realized that I was good at it. Finally, at the age of 33 I had found my true calling as a floral designer. This enabled me to offer the full styling and floral design package to clients. Business was, well, busy! Chic Rustique became the “go to” business for anything pretty in the events industry. The industry was booming in the Margaret River region and more businesses started opening up. Margaret River now has a plethora of brilliant wedding suppliers. Brides can pretty much get whatever they want and I am proud to be a part of this industry. But I started to realise over the last 5 years that my true love lay with the flowers. I would dream of ideas and creations in my sleep. Every single bouquet I created would make me nervous when delivered to the bride. Every one of them was a masterpiece! My floral ambitions grew bigger each day and I started to become the fearless florist. No hanging installation was too big, no arbour design too complicated. I thrived on the challenge. I decided to sell the chairs and furniture side of the business and start concentrating on the smaller decorations and flowers. This was the perfect solution to my ambition but it meant that I was no longer the biggest hire business in the region. So I decided to down size and to rebrand. The name Chic Rustique was starting to pigeon hole me a little. I had some clients tell me that they nearly didn’t even look at my website because they thought my work would be too rustic and not elaborate enough for them. Once they saw my work they were surprised at just how sophisticated my designs were but always with a natural “Miriam Avery” edge.
So, here is where the business journey changes again! It is important not to be scared of change but rather to embrace it. It’s ok to change course in your career I am finding out! Now (as I enter into my 40’s – eek!) I have a very clear vision of the future and where I fit in to the weddings and events world. I will be curating and designing a limited amount of weddings and events per year. I will be offering full floral design and styling to discerning clients. I will style and design their wedding or event from start to finish from the smallest details to the largest. I will no longer be offering dry hire of decorations. These accessories will be exclusively available to my floral design and styling clients. I will deliver the complete bespoke package to all clients.
Times are changing and I am excited about the next steps in my career. Chic Rustique was perfect for its time and it allowed me to develop a reputation that I am proud to boast about (5 awards in floral design and styling!!) but its time to say good bye to Chic Rustique and move on which is why I am so thrilled about the new brand and the new website. I am truly excited about becoming Miriam Avery.