A Canadian born city girl with a degree in event management, Carolyn Giroux did not foresee a future in rural Australia. Having spent years travelling the globe, working on events such as the Chelsea Flower Show in London and the Vancouver Winter Olympics, it was a detour via Australia on what was supposed to be her way home that saw her meet her now husband and change her destiny. Home is now a large dryland property 40 kilometres from the small border town of Mungindi, and it is from here that she runs her bespoke felt flower business, The Felt Flower Company.
An experienced crafter with a background in quilting, Giroux came to work with wool felt quite by chance. Attending a rural women’s day with a “bring your best mug” theme and inspired by the guest speaker, wool industry advocate Chantel Renae, Giroux sourced some wool felt and created a floral mug cozy that went on to win the coveted “best mug” crown. Soon after, early in 2019, The Felt Flower Company was born. Passionate about every detail of her creations, Giroux sources wool felt with a high percentage of Australian grown wool, which she cuts by hand and fashions into bespoke floral headpieces, homewares, wreaths and bouquets.
A lifelong love of flowers fuels her creativity and the detail of each piece references its botanical namesake. She is drawn to native Australian flora, with its unique architecture and diverse palette. In some instances, the simplicity of her design is striking, in others it is the exquisite detail that tells the story. Whichever way, Giroux loves the process of bringing her blooms to life. “Wool is such a unique fibre. It really is satisfying to create art from such a humble material.”
When contemplating the effect of starting a business in the height of drought, Giroux reflects that the need to do something positive was perhaps part of her motivation, but the ongoing dry did not prevent the fledgling business from growing steadily over its first year. Nothing, however, could have prepared her for the response she received when her 2019 Christmas range was featured on the Buy from the Bush site one Saturday morning in November. “The response was astonishing!” Carolyn laughs. “I was in St George delivering stock when the post went up. One of the girls in our craft co-op told me about it; I didn’t even have my phone with me!” By the time she arrived home her Etsy shop was completely sold out. Her social media following more than doubled in the next few days. What resulted was a rather hectic six weeks of making and packaging with many long, dusty trips to the post office, but Giroux would not change a thing.
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