Drue Daly spent her childhood days helping her Grandmother in the garden, but never dreamed that it would someday become her career. Drue was in the banking industry when the 2009 Global Financial Crisis hit, and lending people money soon became a thing of the past. From a fast-paced and highly stressful industry, Drue now loves that she has created a calming space where you can stop and “smell the flowers.”
Tell us a little bit about your business Botanique New England -
Flowers were never something I dreamed of until the 2009 GFC, when my banking career became unpleasantly bleak within a day. Lending people money was a thing of the past, and my days were now spent calling back in loans. I stuck it out for a few months until I saw an AD for a job at the flower market and thought, what a way to spend your day!
When I started Botanique, I decided to have a studio in town and do a few bunches of market-type flowers. Soon people wanted to come in. By opening the doors, I decided Botanique needed to become a space for others is enjoy. We now have a gorgeous spot in the old Post Office building where you can shop for our beautiful blooms and gifts for your loved ones. Our aim at Botanique is to make the gifting process more enjoyable.
Have you always had a green thumb or a love of beautiful blooms?
I love the nostalgia of the garden and cottage blooms. My grandmother was an avid gardener, and she would let us help. I especially love the smell of watering the geraniums; it always triggers one of my favorite memories. My garden doesn’t compare to hers, but I love it anyway!
What is unique about Botanique New England?
Botanique is a calming space that inspires creativity. The flower industry is fast-paced, and we have tried to slow it down here at Botanique. It is somewhere you can actually “stop and smell the flowers.”
What’s the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
We did a Coke and Pepsi case study in Business Studies at school. Coke had a lengthy, uplifting, inspiring mission statement, and Pepsi’s was basically ‘Beat Coke.’ My take home from that and what I try to instill in the business is BE COKE. Coke just runs its own race, and they don’t spend too much time dwelling on what everyone else is doing. They do what feels right for them.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at any given stage of your career?
I don’t feel like I have sacrificed anything significant for my career, I chose to stop working while my children were young, but I feel privileged that we were in a position to do this. Having the time with them at home clarified what is important in life and allowed me to start my own business without the pressure of losing an income.
Women have long represented the archetype of the ‘juggler.’ How do you balance work & life responsibilities?
The balance is always tricky, and mother guilt is very real. But having my beautiful team behind me allows me to navigate all the juggling; I couldn’t possibly do it without them. I work school hours, take time off on school holidays and run out for events.
My main staff member Anna swooped in and saved me at the right moment, and I would be lost without her. Having a team, you can completely trust and rely on is the difference between actual growth and the idea of it.
What would you say is your personal definition of success?
Our loyal customer following, I love how they have watched us grow and feel proud that they helped make that happen. Also, I’m proud of Botanique's workplace; I love coming to work and know my staff does too.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Jump in before you are ready. If you wait, it might never happen.
What’s on the horizon for Botanique New England in 2023?
We are expanding our range of Botanique branded products, which I am very excited about, and of course more beautiful blooms!
Location: TAMWORTH, NSW
Photography: Lucina Catherine Photography