Hi Gina, it was so lovely to discover that you are our studio neighbour recently! Can you tell us a little bit about your floristry business Georgie Boy and how it came to be?
We found out we were neighbours with Coco Flip when we were on our way to pick up our coffee table! We love being based in this little industrial part of such a residential area. It seems to have fostered such an interesting and creative community.
Georgie Boy came about after years of working in the industry for other people. With a healthy dose of encouragement from people around me I decided to go out on my own with an aim to focus on events and large-scale installations. The business grew pretty quickly in the first two/three years but then plateaued for a while. Six years on I have a team of 5 incredible people working with me, a great workshop space for the business (albeit ever evolving) and a growing portfolio of work that is really creatively fulfilling. 2021 has breathed some new life into Georgie Boy, it’s been very fulfilling so far!
I know that you work incredibly hard – can you talk us through an imaginary day in the life of Gina Lasker?
The greatest misconception of this career path is that it’s a slower, less complicated option for one’s life. The reality is there’s not actually very much time to ‘stop and smell the roses’ if you will! It’s physically demanding, can resemble the hours of shift workers and can be incredibly high stress dealing with perishable product and time constraints on events. However, there is no typical day in my life which is one reason why I love this work, but to give you the best idea of peak event season it’s easier to lay out what a Thursday and Friday could look like:
2:30am - Wake up for market
3:00am - Rush around market buying for multiple events with different briefs and budgets flying around my head. Load it all into the van (pray it fits)
6:00am - Get back to the workshop and head straight upstairs to rest for a few hours, sometimes I sleep, sometimes I’m too jacked up on market energy
9:00am - The team arrives at the workshop. They unload, clean and prep the flowers. I brief everyone and allocate the jobs. I weave between Clare, in the office and making in the workshop most of the day
5:00pm - Take a quiet moment once the team has left to look over the paperwork and flower to make sure we’re prepared for our install the next day
5:30pm - Walk the dog, which is sometimes a really nice way to decompress
6:30pm - Dinner
8:00pm - In bed and asleep in minutes (usually)
5:30am - COFFEE
6:30am - In the workshop making bridal flowers
7:30am - Team arrives to change water, load van and get organised to leave
8:30am - Head to install and event
4:00pm - Back at the workshop to unload and tidy up/organise all of the waste
5:00pm - Collapse on the couch maybe glance at the emails, probably fall asleep for a minute
6:30pm - Dinner
8:00pm - Struggling to keep the eyes open
I would not cope with all of the early starts! What keeps you motivated and inspired?
I have never really gotten used to the market morning starts; it can make you feel almost jet-lagged. There really is something to being awake and productive before the rest of the city has woken up. It can be a very introspective time for me, driving to and from market. Motivation comes to me when I’m fulfilled by the work I’m doing, which fortunately I definitely am now. I’m never more inspired than when I’m in the midst of making something, slowly building it, stepping back to take it in. It’s what it’s all about!
What do you think is the biggest challenge that you face in business?
The biggest challenge has been managing the intensity of event season. It can be non-stop for weeks on and it’s very hard to stay on top of your wellbeing. I have become much better at managing my team and delegating the tasks but there are times when the logistics are incredibly complicated, and we all end up pulling massive days. Lack of sleep leads to more stress, less productivity and burn out. A very common story in my line of work.
How do you like to relax, and where are some of your favourite spots to spend your downtime in Northcote or further afield?
My idea of a perfect relaxing day would be staying in bed until at least 9:30 with a coffee. Walking the dog to go and get some breakfast at Mitte in Fitzroy. Ending it all with dinner and drinks at Longplay in North Fitzroy or having some friends over for a big family meal and calling it a day at 11pm. Perfecto!
Learn more about Georgie Boy here
Images by Dan Roberts