Relocating to Dubai to start a new job on the brink of a pandemic would be a challenge for even the strongest among us. Finding your footing in these uncertain times is exactly what the creative director of the chic flower company Fine Blooms had to do.

With a background in fashion, Chloe Szukilojc’s approach to a fabulous bouquet is a little different to what you have seen before. With her creative eye and desire to create something unique has been a hit with the younger clientele who prefer another take on traditional arrangements. Implementing trends and keeping an eye out for the latest developments in the world of beautiful flowers has made Szukilojc’s one of the most in-demand florists in the Dubai – and she’s only moved here from Australia in February.

Below, we find out how she made the unexpected circumstances work in her favour. job dubai florist fine blooms

What was your favourite subject at school?

Textiles and Design.

What was your first job?

Flipping burgers at Carmel’s café in Palm Beach, Sydney, Australia. It was a little boat shed that was quite literally on the water. Palm Beach is also known as Summer Bay—it’s where they film the Australian television drama Home and Away.

How did you know you wanted to be a florist?

I have wanted to be a florist for as long as I can remember but I didn’t feel like it was something I could pursue as a full-time career when I was at school—there was more pressure to follow the traditional route of going to University and studying. So, when I finished high school, I studied fashion business and then worked in a fashion agency for a few years before realising I wasn’t truly fulfilled. I have been lucky enough to come back to my passion and really make a career of it. I have been mentored and taught by some incredibly talented and renowned people in the industry. Being surrounded by people that hold such a strong passion for the same things you do where you can learn and bounce ideas off has shown me that this is defiantly the right path I took. I love flowers. I love nature. I’m constantly in awe of how such beauty is formed from very little. It’s such a deep passion that drives me every day.

What are the key elements of your role?

Trying to stay creative and keep up to date with what’s happening in fashion, events and global trends. I really like to think outside the box and try to use multiple platforms to continually inspire me. Leading a team and business making sure that everyone is working in harmony and sourcing. I am constantly sourcing new products from Holland, plants, vases and tools that can push my creative visions and make them come to life.

Talk us through your daily routine.

I guess this is one of the things I love about my job so much: every day is so different.  Working in a field that’s very fast-paced I try to take my time early mornings going to the gym and sit and relax before heading off to work for the day. One day is never the same as the other at Fine Blooms. A lot of the time is making sure flowers are here on time. Being here in Dubai you have access to products from all around the world. I was lucky in Australia with the environment being so fruitful for flowers but in the desert, it’s a different story. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes to make sure flowers are delivered on time. 

That advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

That anything is possible! Cliché I know but I truly do believe this, and I think it’s very prevalent in my everyday work. I think it’s so important to remind ourselves that we are capable of many things, almost anything. Don’t let the fear of failure or lack of confidence stop you. I did that for years and it was a waste of time.

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Which fashion brands can we find in your work wardrobe?

Issey Miyake Pleats Please—it’s my uniform. I love the classic style and simplicity. I can wear it when I work with flowers, out on a job and out at night. Also, my new pride and joy that has been on my wish list is my very own Cecile Bahnsen dress.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Just turn up. Be it a social commitment or a job interview, it’s important to not let any opportunity go and by turning up you are always putting yourself out there, meeting new people and continuously learning.

And what is the worst?

That some of my ideas are not possible or too outrageous. This has only pushed me to stay true to myself and to achieve more. As they say, “When someone tells you it can’t be done, it’s more of a reflection of their limitation not yours.”

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

I came on as Creative Director here at Fine Blooms in February and three weeks later we went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year has been the most challenging year yet—I left my home country of Australia, family, friends and came to a new place I had only ever been to once and I knew no one in the industry. As much as it’s been challenging, I think I thrive well in challenging times and try to push forward and persevere as much as possible, and it has paid off. I am so proud of how much Fine Blooms has flourished amidst the madness. I have a huge network of friends and met and worked with some of the best in the industry in such a short time. This ‘biggest’ challenge has changed my life and I have been able to discover my capabilities and strengths.

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Images: Supplied, Instagram