Arnie Way, owner of Flowers in a Vase in Woodend had for many years thought she would like to move into floristry, but hadn’t really gotten around to it. However, after 25 years of working in banking and hotels and following a bout of ill health, it was time to make the move – and she hasn’t regretted one minute of it. Starting out in Macedon, Arnie moved to her Woodend premises in 2014, learning along the way as she is totally self taught. Being very much a people person, Arnie completely involves herself with each bridal couple – discussing their colour palette, seasonal blooms and availability and from there, spends a lot of hours creating the arrangements that are individual to her clients with an emphasis on colour, form and texture. The life of a florist isn’t all pretty flowers and arranging, it’s a lot of hard work. Each week, come rain, hail or shine, Arnie is out of bed at 2am and heading down to the wholesale market in Melbourne to find the best and freshest blooms. Arnie works mostly alone, with husband Barry lending a hand and a band of trusty casuals helping out in the very busy season between October and April. The wedding market is growing rapidly, especially in the Macedon Ranges, so it keeps Arnie, Barry and their team on the hop. However, Arnie has a special affinity with designing and creating flowers for funerals. She says, “It is the last act for people in life, so it has to be special, I confer with families about their loved one’s favourite flowers and build a beautiful farewell arrangement for them”, adding “It is my tribute”. Flowers in a Vase is at 35a Anslow Street, Woodend – www.flowersinavase.com.au.