Florist Gina Lasker’s Home Meets Workspace Is Blooming with Colour and Charm
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour florist and founder of Melbourne-based floral studio Georgie Boy, Gina Lasker's home.
Floral arrangements have a unique ability to completely transform the look and feel of a space. They bring a natural element indoors and can uplift our mood with their beauty. Founder of Melbourne-based floral studio Georgie Boy, Gina Lasker's exquisite creations not only bring pure joy to recipients but help elevate a home, event space, or restaurant, tenfold.
But like any artistic field that produces a beautiful end result, floristry requires plenty of dedication and hard work behind the scenes and a keen eye for detail. "The work we do can be intense, fast paced, and require focus, but we are people too, with lives and challenges. The balance between work and life is very important to me, albeit hard to achieve sometimes," she shares with Bed Threads Journal.
Although Gina kickstarted her career feeling as though retail floristry was quite creatively oppressive, she credits her eyes being opened to the possibilities of floral art to Grandiflora founder Saskia Havekes. "Saskia and her team were doing such incredible work and I knew it’s what I wanted to do," she says. This inspiration and the subsequent creations Gina has produced for individual enjoyment through to large-scale installations led her to open her own studio and become one of Melbourne's most sought after florists.
Gina's charming home conveniently sits above her workspace. It's peppered with a a mix of contemporary and mid-century furniture and decor, and of course, an ever-changing array of alluring blooms. "There wasn’t a plan for the interiors, it really just happened over time. It’s a balance of old and new pieces that we will no doubt have forever," she says. From the kitchen island to the bedroom walls, this home is clad in light timber that exudes an organic and relaxed look.
No stranger to colour, Gina has embraced a neutral base with lashings of various hues throughout her home. The cosy bedroom nook celebrates warm tones of Turmeric and Oatmeal encased in light timber walls for a cocooning effect.
We spoke to Gina about how she got into the floral industry, her creative process, and the thought process behind the way she's styled her home.
Hi Gina! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
Georgie Boy is the floral studio I opened in 2015. Our work spans from events and large scale installations to commissioned pieces.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I love this question because it is quite literally in “the making” that I am my most creative and fulfilled. Not before when I’m choosing the flowers and not after when the finished product is in front of me, but right in the middle of putting it all together. I tend to move around a space from piece to piece when I’m installing an event. I can be quite erratic and change my mind as things evolve but I always have a good sense of stability in the overall concept. I think that those who know me would say that is definitely a reflection of my personality - erratic, sensitive yet grounded (and many other shades of grey).
Recreate Gina's look with our Olive throw.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
No, it wasn’t on my radar as a career. I got a job at a flower shop purely because it was beautiful and available when I left school. There weren’t really that many people working with flowers in this way when I began in the industry. It was more about the retail experience which I was never drawn to. I found retail floristry quite creatively oppressive. I definitely credit Grandiflora for opening my eyes to the world of possibilities outside of the more traditional constraints of the industry. Saskia and her team were doing such incredible work and I knew it’s what I wanted to do. It just made more sense to me.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
It depends on what I’m working on. In an event setting I like to first have an understanding of where the flowers are going to be and what will be around or next to them. How the flowers are going to interact with the space around them very much influences how I construct them. Second is colour. I am very particular about the placement of colours, it’s probably the direction I give most to anyone who is working with me. I’ll ask them to put certain colours together and keep others separate. After those two things have been established it’s all in the making. I begin constructing, often shuffling things around a lot until I get the shape and movement I want in the piece and until the colours are interacting the way that feels right to me and for the brief.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your business?
Hiring people who fill in my gaps. My brain very much works in a disorderly manner. I bounce around from thought to thought and find organisation and processes quite difficult. That’s why having people within Georgie Boy who can do that is essential for me. Give me a process and I’ll follow it.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your business?
Boundaries. Understanding where our lines are and not crossing them. Saying no to the things that aren’t in keeping with our values. Saying no to unrealistic time constraints. Saying no when it means that we will all be completely burnt out at the end of it. The work we do can be intense, fast paced, and require focus, but we are people too, with lives and challenges. The balance between work and life is very important to me, albeit hard to achieve sometimes.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
This is hard to answer. I’m not sure I have a single thing. One is definitely moving into our space on Albert St. Another is the people who have contributed to the business over the years.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
After you have gained a foundation of experience to draw from, stop looking around you so much and just run your own race.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
Going on 3 years in June.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
When I had the pleasure of working for Katie Marx before Georgie Boy existed, her workshop was in this very space. Kirra Jameson, the artist, had her studio behind Katie’s and lived upstairs, and Paige Anderson had her studio here too. When it came up I knew instantly that it would be perfect for everything I needed but it also had this sentimental value. Katie’s partner, Greg is responsible for some of the fit out of the space. As very dear friends of mine it’s pretty special to have those reminders of them.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
Yes, my partner Dan and I needed to make it more liveable. Dan’s mum, Glenys was the architect who figured out how to make the most of the space. She designed us a bedroom with plenty of storage options. This involved moving the stairs that led from the workshop to our home and then filling in the void with what is now our bedroom. We still have more we would like to do to the space but when the pandemic hit we had to put it all on hold. It’s still heaven on earth to me even with the parts that aren’t finished. Most days I wake up, look out the windows and think about how lucky we are to have this space. It will all get done in good time!
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
Dan and I love wood and colour. There wasn’t a plan for the interiors, it really just happened over time. It’s a balance of old and new pieces that we will no doubt have forever. Everything was brought into the space for the space or built by Dan to fit the space. It’s a neutral base with colour dotted around, a mix of contemporary and mid-century things. We still want more art on the walls, but again... everything in good time!
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I would say the mid-century dining table and chairs because it fits so perfectly in the space and they used to belong to Dan’s parents. Beautiful design and sentiment.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
We want to put a beautiful light over the dining table at some point but haven’t found the right one just yet. Other than that and more art it’s really finishing the renovations that we’re wanting more than anything.
Recreate Gina's look with Turmeric and Oatmeal in our Build Your Own Bundle.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
I think the main space which is the living/dining room and kitchen. It’s really one big space other than the bedroom and bathroom. It’s flooded with light and can be filled with people. What else is there?
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
For me with a bedroom, less is more. I like where I sleep to have as little in it as possible but this means you can be bold with the bed linen. Dan in particular loves some colour on the bed, I like to mix it up from neutral to colourful. Styling is so personal, what you surround yourself with has a huge impact on how you feel so as long as it works for you, you’re doing it right.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
There are a few but the most imminent is, Georgie Boy Store which is set to open late November/early December. It will be an online space offering a careful selection of work by artists and makers both locally and internationally, as well as floral arrangements by our studio. I wanted to fill it with work by people that I would own or personally do own. The focus is quality over quantity with things to enrich your life that you can have forever.