A Japanese florist’s love for creation makes this shop, Hanasho, a unique place filled with fresh flowers and exotic art works.

Hiroaki Eba, who has been a florist for 35 years, opened Hanasho in West End six years ago. There he sells flowers in various forms including gift flowers, flowers for households, potted plants and hanging ball plants which are one of the most popular right now. His excellence in flower arrangement has been recognised, but his passion for creation does not stop there. His shop also deals in art works by local artists, including ceramic products he made himself.

“I have been a florist for a long time,” Hiroaki says. “I also love the arts, and creating things myself, and it naturally turned out that way.”

The art includes ceramic works, accessories, postcards, and paintings. There are no standards or limitations to works that can be displayed in the shop. “If I like them, then I will put them,” he says.

His life as a florist started with a word from the owner of his favourite coffee shop 35 years ago. Having studied interior design at a vocational school, Hiroaki sent a resume to a Japanese company which declined him for his lack of university education. It was then that he was introduced to the idea of working at a flower shop. “At that time, I was drawing children’s books,” Hiroaki recalls. “Then, the owner at the coffee shop said to me ‘why don’t you go and work at that flower shop over there? It would be lovely if you sell your children’s books and flowers together. It would be like a fairy tale’. I said ‘right,’ and straight away I went to the flower shop and got hired on the spot.”

West End MagazineNow he really enjoys his job. “If you are a florist, you can create your work in five or 10 minutes, and sell it straight away, just in front of your eyes. I found it so interesting that I forgot all about drawing children’s books,” Hiroaki laughs.

Even at times when he was not working as a florist, he found himself looking at things from a florist’s perspective, and being inspired as a florist. It is the same when he works on his ceramic products, which he started learning last year. His products are always flower-related because “it is my advantage, being a professional florist for 35 years.”

Hiroaki came to Australia 14 years ago with his Australian wife. After working at flower shops in the city and South Bank, he opened his shop in West End. “I was looking for somewhere nice,” he says. “I came to the West End market, and felt there was something different.” It was the atmosphere of the area which made him decide on the location. “I’m in the shop all the time, so I chose the location as if choosing a place to live or a country to live.”

Asked about the key to creating gift flowers, he names freshness of flowers as a primarily important aspect. The appearance comes the next, though he does not worry about it too much because “it naturally comes if you do that every day.”

“I put my heart into every flower arrangement I do,” he says. “I want to make everyone happy.”

His goal now is to hold a one-man show of his ceramic products at the shop. What kind of products? “Flower vases, of course.”

Hanasho opens 8am-6.30pm from Monday to Friday, and 9am-4pm on Saturday. Orders can be made at the shop, via phone (07 3844 2777) or via e-mail (hanasho@bigpond.com). Deliveries are available for Brisbane area.

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 Words and image by Manami Odahara