Jessica Taylor has been fascinated by botanicals since she was a youngster growing up among Queensland’s national parks. “I was taught to appreciate nature at a very young age,” she tells Broadsheet. “The landscape has always given me inspiration as I had it all – mountains, city and the ocean.”
Drawing from her environment has injected a sense of artful curiosity to her floristry design. “I call myself an experimental florist … Because nothing is the same in what I do,” she says. “I work with a lot of natives but a lot of our dried imports are from Japan and then all the fresh flowers we source locally. A lot of inspiration for my work comes from the ocean and my surroundings, whether it be a pile of rubbish or going out into the garden.”
Taylor’s colourful creations will be on show at her new store Ivy House, which opens on Synagogue Place this Friday. It comes after a short-lived pop-up on East Terrace last year, and several years of prolific work adorning Adelaide’s bars and restaurants (including Hellbound, Sunny’s, Maybe Mae, Good Gilbert and Africola) with her arrangements and installations. The work led to a lucrative contract with Royal Croquet Club during its recent run in Victoria Square.
The new site (formerly Caffiend Coffee Company) is all neutral tones and concrete flooring, brought to life with pops of – quite literally – every colour of the rainbow. There are chromatically arranged rows of vibrant plumed celosia; bright scarlet anthurium; tropical jagged pineapple lilies; and more in shades of ocean blue, canary yellow, fire-truck red, blush pink and vivid violet.
Not only is the shop a space where people can come to select their bouquets, it is also a meeting spot for creatives where Five Senses Coffee and custom cocktails are served during the day and evenings.
“Flowers will be our main focus,” Taylor says. “We’ll have a cafe throughout the morning, with a bar and knock-off area open in the late afternoon so we are collaborating with Maybe Mae, Africola, 1000 Island and Hellbound and they’ll be curating cocktails to match a particular flower.”
Teaming up with Taylor to open Ivy House is her partner Kevin Te, and friend, designer and promoter Noni Yolande.
Yolande was living overseas until a holiday to Australia early last year and the pandemic kept her stationed in Adelaide. She’ll be instrumental in stocking the shop with items from international clothing brands such as Babylon, Full Court Press and The Good Company plus collections from Japan and a line from UK fashion house Jim Longden.
“Noni is quite a globe trotter and so is Kevin,” says Taylor. “They’ve lived in New York, Paris, LA and Milan and so the aim of the store is to bring what we’ve found that we like in those countries back here into this store.”
Yolande, who is now back living in Australia permanently, says Adelaide was missing a space for like-minded creatives where they felt “at home”.
“I’m from Adelaide and trying to find that balance between the world we can’t access at the moment and the city we love,” she says. “So being able to bring those things that we adore ... to Adelaide is something that is just really special for us.”
Ivy House opens at 17 Synagogue Place, Adelaide on Friday March 26.