“Grown with love, for love” it says on their website, and for Sarah Sammon and her mother, Jan Slater, it’s been a labour of love.
Their Simply Rose Petals business is celebrating 10 years in 2014, but building business success has not been a bed of roses. (Their enterprising story today – AFR Weekend, 28 June 2014).
As the first niche grower of rose petals in Australia, Sarah supplies petals as a replacement for paper confetti at weddings, but also as an alternative adornment for table settings for all sorts of parties. The “romance” business is growing too, where hotels scatter petals on beds. One client even covered their whole swimming pool with petals!
They grow about 6000 rose bushes on their property near Swan Hill, in north-western Victoria – all drip irrigated. They produce about 20 million petals a year and supply about 50 different colours – with cannons and cones for special effects – all of which can be ordered online.
Sarah has been inspired by – and has met – the man credited with bringing petal confetti to the world. Charles Hudson is behind The Real Flower Confetti Company in Worcestershire in the UK. That was on a Churchill Fellowship she won in 2007 – and now she’s off on another, in July 2014, with a Nuffield Farming Scholarship.
One wonders if ever she’ll find the time to stop and smell the roses!