Welcome back to the Ecopotter series! We come to you from the other side of the world with New Zealand’s plant and event stylist duo HapPea Events, made up of Claire and Rocky. With backgrounds in event design, floristry, and horticulture - and an overarching passion for sustainability and aesthetics - these guys are speaking our language.
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Welcome guys! When did you first come up with the idea for HapPea Events and how did you turn your ideas into a reality?
Kia ora everyone. We launched HapPea Events back in early 2020, a few weeks pre-Covid lockdown. Despite the challenges due to the pandemic, the journey has been a beautiful one so far. People close and far have been very supportive of the concept. The idea is based around offering greener services in the event’s industry, and limiting waste, whilst showcasing our New Zealand native flora. Using living plants as the main element of our designs seemed like the right thing to do. Beautiful and reusable - the perfect combination for the event’s industry! It’s our passion for events, plants and the love for our planet which led us to our business concept. And we just went for it. We built a plant home, started our plant collection, and went head first into the business planning, branding, website creating, finding suppliers for pots (thanks Ecopots!) etc. After a lot of sweat, tears and laughs… Tada! It hasn’t been easy, but the satisfaction is totally worth it.
Please tell us more about the wonderful services you provide.
We offer styling, plant hire and florals for all types of events from weddings to corporate functions, public events, etc. Our styling clients receive a full design plan based around their vision, and we organise all the styling elements and bring the design to life on the day! We create garden islands, living walls, floral arrangements, and hire out potted plants, table plants, hanging baskets. A one-stop shop for all your décor needs! Our florals are foam-free, and our pots are made from either natural or recycled materials. Reusable, recycled or second-hand is always best!
What roles do you each take on in the business? What do you believe is key to running a happy business?
Rocky is our creative director. She is the main lead on the design side of things. From creating concept designs, to executing the florals or garden islands on site, Rocky is our creative superstar. Claire is in charge of the communications and logistics, making sure everything gets to location on time and setting up runs smoothly. We share the care of the plants, and both get highly involved with our clients. Roles definitely overlap a lot, and we are constantly exchanging ideas, and brainstorming together.
Balance is definitely key to running a happy business. A lot of passion and perseverance is clearly needed, however breaks and time off are essential too.
Tell us about your collaboration with Trees that count and why it is important to you?
Trees that Count is a Kiwi charity which facilitates planting projects throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand. For each booking with us, a native tree is planted through this organisation on behalf of our clients. It’s a small gesture to give back to the planet. Hopefully each year we will be contributing to more trees being planted, and consequently to a healthier planet.
What are some ways in which sustainability and being eco-conscious is incorporated into your everyday life at home?
We live in a tiny house and strive to be as self-sufficient as possible. Our power is generated by solar panels. We collect rain water. We grow our own veggies and have four chooks providing us with eggs daily.
We have just started creating our own fertilisers through the use of a worm bin which produces ‘worm wee’, which is great for our plants! Also, the chicken manure can be used on the gardens. Composting is part of our life. Seeing the earth get richer is a real pleasure.
Also, second hand clothes are the best! We’re lucky here in NZ to have great op shops, there are many treasures to be found.
Which plants native to NZ are your favourite?
That’s a tough question! The flora here is very unique as it has evolved in isolation for millions of years. We see beauty in every aspect of our natural environment. Saying that, we do have a soft spot for ferns. Their fronds are incredibly elegant as they dance and sway in the wind - truly beautiful!
Are there any cool like-minded independent Kiwi brands you have discovered recently that you would like to give a shout out to?
Less Stuff More Meaning is a fantastic Australia and NZ-based community, which offers great tips and tricks for brides and grooms to keep their wedding as kind to the planet as possible. I would definitely recommend checking them out for anyone thinking of tying the knot! 😉
What’s next for HapPea Events? Any big plans for future?
At this stage, we are slowly but surely navigating the difficulties the event’s industry are facing due to Covid-19. As we speak (August 2021), we are back into strict lockdown, so a wedding and two corporate events have been postponed this week. It’s very tough on everyone. For now, we are just focusing on staying positive, and being of assistance to our present and future clients. We’re constantly adjusting our offerings to respond to what our community is after. Let’s see where this takes us! But be assured, it will always be based around nature, and our native flora.
To the Ecopots team, thanks for having us!
No, thank you HapPea Events! We love your work!