From a young age Sumiya Shaik Abdulla has poured her heart and soul into blooms of all kinds. Hers is not only a luxury flower boutique that stops passers-by in their tracks, but also one that affords everyone the means to bring florals into their homes and spoil loved ones using this symbolic gesture of luck, hope, loss, healing and love.
A true love story, and fitting for the ‘month of love’, Sumiya’s love for flowers began when she met her husband and business partner, Eesa.
“His family owned a floral business and he has enormous talent when it comes to flowers. When we first met, he spent weeks wooing me with the most gorgeous bouquets and arrangements. I was always amazed at how he managed to top each previous delivery! They were so beautiful and unique and would literally take my breath away.”
From roses in every colour to imported flowers from far and wide and vividly coloured tulips so carefully arranged they were almost crafted like art. Each delivery led to a lesson for Sumiya. “I was constantly learning about an industry I had no experience in or knowledge about and I consequently became more curious and became drawn to buds and blooms.”
Now a mom to her two ‘very busy body boys’ – Muhammed Talhah (8) and Muhammed Huzayfah (3) – and ‘wifey for lifey’ (as she lovingly puts it) to Eesa, Sumiya’s is the beautiful face locals have come to know and love at the helm of Durban North’s most renowned floral haven, The Flower Market.
With brilliant business acumen and floral passion, Sumiya and Eesa embarked on a journey to build a business and brand that offered something different, something special and something with a personal touch.
The couple opened up their cosy flower shop in 2013 and, from that moment on, they began a life that encompassed parenting duties, early morning visits to local flower markets, admin, sales and floral arrangements for everything from traditional bouquets to aesthetically enhancing, out-of-the-box concepts that have created incredible talking pieces.
“There are definitely some no-no’s in this line of work – like internet pictures – I don’t work off of those! I also don’t work with artificial flowers at all! I prefer fresh blooms. There is just something about the fragility of them not lasting forever that mesmerises a person and makes you appreciate them more. I draw inspiration from the things around me – people, places, movies and even scents. I like creating unique pieces, so when I pass a thrift store, I always look for treasures I can use, like crates, teapots and little teacups to giant wishing wells and even bicycles and hula hoops! It’s all about perception. I love how we are getting more and more creative on a daily basis, using more unconventional items to create show pieces. There’s a certain type of magic you create when making a floral arrangement, because no two arrangements will ever be alike. They may be similar, but the hues of colours vary and the thought process behind it brings me a sort of comfort.”
When it comes to her favourite seasonal flowers, Sumiya is a huge fan of stargazer lilies.
“They smell like morning dew to me and I love the process of watching them bloom. It is so difficult to put into words why I love what I do every day, but I guess a great portion of it boils down to the fact that I love being a part of the special moments we create for people. I love that people share little bits of their joys and sorrows with me, and the fact that it is up to me to craft an arrangement that depicts the emotions associated with the occasion.”
Floral trends for 2021
Roses are always timeless at any time of year, in any way or form. For 2021, I would say rustic, less contemporary trends are definitely in. More king protea, hydrangeas and peonies are making a mark this year, as well as pastel and earthy shades, which are trending for weddings. So many of our brides opt for simplistic, asymmetrical floral arrangements nowadays, while others prefer a sophisticated, feminine arrangement. Corsages and flower crowns have also been making a steady entrance, and this trend is certainly here to stay.
The best bouquet for…
Valentine’s Day is not just about roses and the colour red, it’s about something special between two people. Most often than not, a red rose symbolizes this, but other times it’s a special flower that carries sentimental value to that person. This can be lilies, tulips or even sunflowers.
This depends on the person’s preferences. If it’s a congratulatory bunch, I would do a mixed bunch in bright and warm hues.
…a new house
I would suggest sunflowers for the warmth they bring, and potted plants which have a nurturing aspect.
The bigger the bunch, the more forgiveness you are bound to receive LOL!
Mainly whites as they are a symbol of peace and hope. Soft pastel shades also work for sympathy bunches.
…a new baby
Depending on the gender of the baby, we do these stunning baby boxes with a mix of pink roses, daisies, pink hydrangea and stargazer lilies for girls and blue hydrangeas, yellow or white roses and yellow arum lilies for boys, all arranged with a whole lot of love and good wishes.
…a big, desperate, romantic gesture
A pathway of rose petals leading into a room full of blooms is, by far, one of my favourite works of art, especially for surprise proposals, milestone anniversaries and birthday celebrations.