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Businesses of Banyule presents Floral Impressions, East Ivanhoe

Kathleen Farrell has always felt a personal connection to Ivanhoe.

Just recently, she learned that her family’s local connections go back to the mid-nineteenth century and that her ancestor, Thomas Farrell, was trustee for construction of Heidelberg Road and reconstruction of St John’s Church in bluestone.

Kathleen’s profession as a florist and proprietor of Floral Impressions in Ivanhoe came from a need for new challenges after working in retail for some time.

She took a leap of faith, gave notice without having another job and began a floristry apprenticeship. Kathleen has now been a florist for thirteen years and is locally popular and nationally recognised. She has won the local district Interflora Florist of the Year, and has received accolades from Interflora and the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

Starting a business from scratch was not easy. She described the first year as a “white-knuckle ride” but the business since then has evolved and she has come to value the connections made with customers and the community when designing arrangements for special occasions.

“When it comes to flowers, there’s a very real emotional connection with customers, because they are usually thinking about someone else. That’s one thing I really love about floristry.

“It’s important to listen to the brief you’re given and then to guide and make the best arrangement of flowers possible. One of the biggest skills in floristry is to accurately interpret what people are looking for.”

Kathleen is on a first name basis with many locals, and has some cheeky ways of luring customers closer. She loves dogs, has a large dog bowl by the shop’s front door and offers doggie treats. “We get a lot of doggie visitors who stop for a cuddle and a treat,” she said.

Floral Impressions is at 227 Lower Heidelberg Street, East Ivanhoe. For more information visit