When Jai Winnell first opened Hermetica Flowers on Darlinghurst’s Victoria Street in 2013, his vision was for a florist that produced high-impact bouquets using only the best botanicals. Doing this and more, Hermetica became famous in Sydney not only for its stunningly stylised floral gifts, but also for the organic artwork of its street-facing store windows. It wasn’t long before the little florist was struggling to keep up with the demand of its loyal clientele.
Now, five years and 40,000 bouquets later, Winnell has moved Hermetica to a new, much larger space in Woolloomooloo. “I was originally looking for a storage space,” says Winnell. “We’ve been doing some larger scale event work for a few years – we had all these beautiful high-value flowers and absolutely nowhere to put them.”
The new space on Dowling Street (previously a coffee roasters) ended up being the perfect opportunity for the second incarnation of Hermetica.
With a fresh coat of paint, the warehouse-style location now provides Winnell and his team with 300 square metres of space to work on more, and larger, displays. The new store’s minimalist design and clean lines echo that of its predecessor, but its soaring ceilings and vast wall displays usher in a new chapter in Hermetica’s story. Where originally the bulk of Hermetica’s business was in personalised gifting, now the store services a vast number of Sydney’s biggest restaurants, as well as creating bespoke pieces for corporate events and lavish weddings.
But not to fear, loyal Hermetica customers can still treat their loved ones to a birthday bouquet in the florist’s trademark style. "Our core business is still luxury gifting,” says Winnell. "We send out dozens of premium arrangements every day all over the city – and our signature wrap is iconic.”
And what about the famous Hermetica window displays that Sydney has grown to love? “In the new space customers can walk in and see what we’re working on; every single bouquet is on display,” says Winnell. “We’ve got more space to play, more space to create.” And now, Hermetica’s visitors get to watch the artists in action.