In 2013 Jai Winnell and Edward West opened Hermetica Flowers in the chic urban village of Darlinghurst in Sydney’s inner east and have since watched it well and truly blossom in to something spectacular. A true visionary in his own right, Jai is responsible for some of Sydney’s most visually spectacular wedding and event flowers as well as delivering avant-garde floral concepts for corporate customers such as Dior, Gucci and the Westfield Group.
Jai is a true horticultural artist, refining each and every idea that is bought to him from brides and grooms planning their wedding.
“Weddings are our creative showcase and each one must be different and in some way original.”
His advice is simple, trust in your florist is pivotal and if you allow them creative freedom that is when magic will happen. “Most brides are happy to give some creative freedom, so when I see that must-have amazing bucket of anenomes or peonies at the market I make the call to add something to the display. Trust is really important.”
After over a decade of experience in floristry Jai recommends an overall budget allocation of between 9% and 15% of the total wedding spend. “Flowers pull the whole look together – you need them more than most things.”
After spending the past few years in London freelancing and working for various eminent floral designers, Jai returned home to Sydney and focused his energy on creating a local floral haven. “We really just wanted to open a florist that was different.”
The first time we saw the Hermetica windows masses of giant cacti literally hung suspended from industrial meat hooks in what must have been one of the most unique and unexpected floral window displays we have ever seen. Unexpected yet undeniably mesmerising and beautiful in it’s rawness and simplicity. Opening a florist that was different? Check.
The small shop has been transformed in to a pulsating, white space reminiscent of a stark science lab or gallery space juxstaposed with rich, vibrant botanical colours – designed to reflect Jai and Ed’s ultra modern approach to capturing the perennial elegance and beauty of every single bloom and bud. The spaces exhibits a carefully curated selection of high quality flowers and foliage with a strong focus on seasonal locally grown flowers and fantastical, unexpected combinations.
The creative floral installations garnishing Hermetica’s shop front pay homage to Jai’s extraordinary, organic art. “I didn’t have a portfolio to draw upon to show the customers what we could do, as all my previous work belonged to the business, so I used the window to showcase our looks.”
Perhaps one of Jai’s most memorable window installations is the rose wall. From a distance, deep hued roses miraculously cascade down the glass of the shop front entrance.
“I love hanging installations, nothing looks better than a mass of blooms strung upside down.”