Kenneth and Steff Johnson
Tucked away in Port Kennedy’s “Tidy Street of the Year” is a thriving new business catering for the blushing brides of the Peel region.
Rockingham Bridal is the new home-based business of Steff and Kenneth Johnson who recognised the need for a service offering sensibly priced, unique flower arrangements, while they were organising their own wedding last year.
“It seemed that everywhere we went and everything we wanted to do was more expensive just because it was for a wedding,” Kenneth said.
“It was hard to find the people we wanted to do certain things and when we did, I got the distinct impression they were just taking advantage of us.”
Kenneth already had a home based, online business selling Swarovski crystal ornaments and table scatters, so income from that business and personal savings were used to set up Rockingham Bridal.
The business has been running since January 2009 and is showing very good progress.
Although neither Steff nor Kenneth had any floristry experience, Steff’s aunty, Rowan Gardiner came on board and brought her 20 years of floristry experience with her. This, together with Steff’s many years of experience in customer service and Kenneth’s extensive knowledge of IT, has given Rockingham Bridal the perfect mix for a successful business.
Rockingham Bridal’s reliance on the internet for researching new products and trends, marketing its products and services and communicating with current and potential clients is the perfect of example of how Gen Y does business.
“I guess it’s a generational thing,” Kenneth said. “We take it as second nature to do everything online.”
Much of the inspiration for Rockingham Bridal’s unique styles and ideas comes from researching overseas trends. Steff says Australia is often one or two seasons behind the northern hemisphere.
“We’ve had great success with large martini glass designs and clear vases with Hidrogel pearls that no-one here has seen before,” Steff said.
“We get some great ideas from overseas and buy our artificial flowers from local importers, but with the fresh arrangements, we look at ways of customising international ideas using local flowers. Our feather roses are imported.
“We use fresh flowers from all over the State, but wherever possible we prefer to buy locally.”
Although Steff and Kenneth do not have a formal business plan in place as yet, they have some great ideas for the future of their business.
Steff would like to form a cooperative arrangement with other businesses that support the wedding industry because, as she found out with her own wedding planning, it would have been helpful if all the businesses she was using had been talking to each other.
“I think it would be very helpful if the invitation designer could talk to the cake decorator, who could liaise with the florist so that everything is coordinated as far as colours and designs are concerned,” Steff said.
“If I’d had that myself, it would have saved me a lot of running around.”
Rockingham Bridal is currently servicing the local wedding industry and is looking to expand into functions and other special occasions.
“I’m looking forward to doing the flowers for a gothic wedding coming up next year,” Steff said.
“It will involve making black, purple and silver arrangements which will be very exciting.”
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