- interview -

oh flora


Oh Flora is owned and operated by Tanya Shaw who, originally from the Far North Coast of NSW, moved to Sydney in search of a little adventure. She was there for a summer and then decided to stay permanently to follow her childhood dream of working in flowers and events.

photography by Sophie Thompson


As a child, Tanya’s family lived close to nature in Byron Bay and Tanya always dreamt of working with her hands, designing events and creating beautiful things. In 2014 Tanya opened Oh Flora, a flourishing, nature-inspired creative studio based in Sydney specialising in floristry, event planning and design. 

How did you get started in the floral industry?

I really just jumped in the ‘deep end’. Growing up I was very ambitious and independent and always wanted to run my own business. While studying two courses at the same time, Floristry and Case Management as well as working part-time, I decided to start my own floral business because I couldn’t help myself, I was absolutely obsessed with flowers! I soon realised flowers, events and designing was my path. 

Why weddings?

I love helping couples bring their vision and inspiration to life! It’s an honour to be part of something so special. It’s the biggest celebration of their lives together and I get to help create a beautiful and unforgettable space for both the couple and their guests to enjoy.

Favourite winter flower?
Hellebores! They come in so many gorgeous shapes and shades and are the most exquisite winter bloom for me. 

Current trends for a wintery wedding bouquet?
I’ve been seeing a lot of shades of deep plum with peachy tones and burgundy foliage. I love this dark and moody look for a cosy and romantic themed wedding.

Which winter flower colour palettes are underrated?
Taupe, pastels and citrus. In Australia we still have such a beautiful climate in most areas in winter. In fact, a lot of spring flowers can come to bud quite early and are usually available as soon as autumn flowers have finished. This means brides can add a little winter sun to their wedding flowers by incorporating soft petal blooms with trailing and textural vines, golden grasses and pops of citrus fruits for an unexpected touch. I love incorporating citrus fruits like cumquats into my arrangements and I always forage for something a little different.

Where do you find inspiration for new arrangements and floral styling?
Fashion, art and travel play the biggest parts in finding inspiration for my designs. Whenever I head off on a trip near or far I always come back more excited and inspired to create. I really enjoy spending time in the United States and Canada because there are some exceptional designers, growers and event planners pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in events. 

The outdoors also provides so much new beauty each season. I often find myself daydreaming about putting together a wedding or styled shoot in a desert oasis or along a beautiful beach surrounded by pine trees... I’m inspired just thinking about it!

Floral embroidery, sparkles and layered silky fabrics within the fashion world also ignite my creative spark along with Dutch Masters from the 16th and 17th centuries as well as modern art. I especially love Craig Waddell and Morgan Allender.

Best thing about being a florist in Sydney?

I love having an array of different client personalities and tastes, so many beautiful venues on offer and the frequency of travel opportunities to destination weddings surrounding Sydney and beyond. Each wedding I create is unique and true to a couple’s tastes. I love that not one of them has been or will ever be the same. 

Best advice for couples when planning their wedding flowers?

Choose a florist with an aesthetic you love and trust them! This is really important. I think all florists would say they do their best work when they have the most creative freedom. Of course discuss your inspiration, budget, venue and style but if you can also be a little flexible and consider suggestions your florist might have about styling and best value for money, you really won’t regret it! We want to make your florals unique to you and have you absolutely fall in love with your bouquet and arrangements.

What’s on the horizon for Oh Flora?

More planning, designs and destination weddings. For as long as I’ve been running my floral business I’ve had many clients ask for advice about design and planning. This topic has been something I’ve always loved and so I’ve recently taken on this kind of work with Oh Flora and I am absolutely loving it. Especially for destination weddings, having a planner is essential to keeping the stress at bay and it allows the couple and their families to simply enjoy the engagement!