Like so many Covid-inspired resets, Everbloome began with the unnerving sense that Australia had shut down overnight. Founding director Elleni Pearce had recently launched boutique party supplies shop Lenzo in Malvern and bought a supply of preserved flowers (plants treated with a solution of glycerine, water, stabilisers and dyes, and then dried) for special events. But suddenly events weren’t happening.

After walking past those flowers for a few weeks, Pearce decided to start an adjacent business with those colourful, long-lasting blossoms at the centre. Teaming up with general manager Alexandra Collins, who runs Malvern-based graphic design studio One Mimosa Please, Pearce got Everbloome up and running in record time.

“We did this over – and this sounds ridiculous – a space of about 10 days,” she says. “We shot everything, we ordered everything. It was really manic, but we were working towards a Mother’s Day deadline.”

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As hectic as that was, it gave the pair something tangible to focus on during a tough time. Of course, there was a definite learning curve to overcome. “Neither of us are florists by trade,” says Pearce, joking about the lacklustre results of their first prototype. But they soon assembled a team of expert florists, establishing a high level of quality control that’s seen them attract corporate clients such as David Jones, and all manner of other customers.

But Pearce and Collins are still the ones sourcing the flowers, and they’ve introduced some small quirks to the arrangements. “We love to include little intricate details in every arrangement,” says Pearce. Collins adds: “It doesn’t go unnoticed.”

By specialising in preserved natural flowers, Everbloome’s arrangements can be a semi-permanent addition to your living space, rather than a fleeting pleasure. Not only are they ecologically and economically appealing, but they’re also completely pollen-free – a blessing to the allergy-prone. In keeping with their sustainable business model, Pearce and Collins even turn the bright and cheery offcuts into no-waste confetti.

The flowers, including masses of hydrangeas and amaranths, are sourced directly from growers, who pick them “at their peak of beauty”, says Pearce, and dry them out naturally. They’re then preserved and dyed “to create any shade of the rainbow you can imagine,” says Collins.

“It’s more of a homeware rather than a room fill,” Pearce says. “Instead of needing to go back and replace them, they can last. And even though they’re preserved flowers, they don’t have the sense of traditional dried-flower arrangements. You [initially] wouldn’t even know the flowers were preserved. They’re real flowers that last.”

The business also encompasses bridal and holiday arrangements – Pearce says the Christmas-themed candy cane wreath is the current bestseller “by a country mile” – and in both cases the bouquets are lasting, meaning the whole bridal party can take them home to keep.

While the pair weren’t sure what to expect when they started Everbloome, the demand quickly outpaced their ability to honour them. “The orders kept coming and coming,” says Collins, recalling how they carted whole boxes down to the post office and pulled shifts that lasted till 1am. During an online sale, they wound up with more than a thousand orders in a single weekend. They’ve since levelled up to an online fulfilment centre in Moorabbin, which services all their corporate jobs, and a pop-up retail space within Lenzo, which opened in mid-November.

But it’s at the Malvern store on bustling Station Street where you can bring a vase and a photo of your home space to the gloriously hypercolour flower bar for a one-on-one consultation to find you the perfect blooms. (Some flowers are even sold as single stems.) And for a quicker alternative, customers can pick up pre-made arrangements in-store or online.

The next step for Everbloome is to offer personal and corporate no-waste subscriptions, where arrangements can be changed on a whim. With the goal of doing a new photo shoot and design theme quarterly, Pearce and Collins have a bona fide success on their hands. And to think they had no inkling of this business at the start of the year.

“It has been a rollercoaster,” says Pearce.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Visit Victoria. Support Victorian producers by buying online through Click for Vic and hitting the road to visit in person.