Posted by & filed under Hairdressing.

Why study a Hairdressing Apprenticeship Melbourne

We asked one of our hairdressing apprentices why study under a hairdressing apprenticeship. This was written for the HBIA awards and we just thought it was fantastic and we had to share it. Also the “Scumbags Down Under” Tour 2015, by The Schorem Barbers of Rotterdam, were the inspiration for Louise’s mannequin work today. 

Hairdressing Apprenticeship Melbourne

Welcome to the wonderful, wacky purple world of Louise.


My roller coaster journey in the hairdressing industry began when I was 18. If you don’t mind I would rather address all the criteria through my journey in my story to follow.

I started my apprenticeship at Kaleidoscope Hair and Beauty under the watchful eye of Gail Collins. I was excited to begin my climb up the ladder to become a qualified Hairdresser, something that I have been dreaming of since I learnt how to braid on my Barbie dolls hair.

After ten months of cleaning, sweeping, answering phones, making appointments, building a rapport with clients, perfecting my tea and coffee making skills and mastering the art of a head massage whilst shampooing I resigned. This was a great disappointment to Gail (my employer) and my mother. I can’t tell you what was going through my head because to be honest I don’t know. I was young and changed my mind every 2 seconds. I thought I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, a hairdresser but I also really didn’t want to grow up. I was simply young and wanted to be young. I also didn’t want to waste Gail’s time, knowledge, wisdom, experience and effort training up someone who no longer had the drive and passion to go far in the industry(or as I thought for a brief, silly time).

After completing my RSA I went into the hospitality industry and worked in a bottle shop. I helped customers find the perfect Shiraz for their Fathers Birthday present, a Sparkling wine for a hen’s night, a spirit for a 21st Birthday or just a simple thank you present. I grew friendships not only with my fellow staff members but customers. I looked forward to seeing them the next time they visited. In store I loved letting customers know the new promotions on their favourite products or just hearing about how they had been since I last saw them.

One of the greatest things I loved about this job was that my boss allowed me to have my hair, the crazy, fun, vibrant, bright colours that I was and always will be known for. I was even allowed to use my hair colour to promote Mother’s Day by adding in more pink and Daffodil Day with blonde and yellow. Decking myself out in yellow for Daffodil Day is definitely a highlight (the bigger the better I say!). With all the hours worked over the Christmas holidays I had the carols words memorised within one shift. Building forts, decorating the store, dressing up for every occasion, all for the satisfaction of a smile from just a single customer.

Louise Hairdressing Apprentice
Throughout my whole life I had always been a part of sporting clubs, I joined Yarra Glen Football Netball Club. After a couple of years playing Netball and Umpiring for the club I was elected Secretary for a season. I had many tasks to complete from small things such as collecting the mail, checking emails, writing up minutes from the committee meeting to selling raffle tickets to the annual reverse raffle. I also organised functions and Bunnings BBQ’s as fund raisers.

One of the most rewarding tasks I took on with a fellow committee member and netball player was organising the end of year Presentation Night for the whole club. It was such a big task that at one stage I didn’t think we were going to pull it off. We negotiated with some of our sponsors such as Prestige who let us use anything we could find in their storage warehouse. We found fairy lights, drop sheets, tables, chairs, streamers. These were used to decorate the club rooms and to keep the costs down for the club and the players purchasing tickets.

We used word of mouth and social media to spread the information regarding the night. We sold tickets to players, partners, family members, past players, committee members, etc.
The day had finally arrived and we were frantically doing all the finishing touches to the room. You couldn’t even recognise the place anymore. I took a step back and looked at everything, the decorations, trophies, lights, family friends who were catering and I was so pleased, happy and proud to think that we had pulled this off. It was such a big accomplishment for two girls.  I thought if I could organise an event like this then what else am I capable of?

Elly Lukas is a Beauty Therapy School that I heard great things about, so many amazing therapists had completed their diploma through this school. I had enrolled, I was following a passion for Make-up and Beauty. I am qualified in Swedish Remedial Massage, Nails (manicure and pedicures), Waxing and Science (Background, Chemicals, Skin, etc). After roughly a year I left and I didn’t complete my full diploma. This was for two reasons – One being they did not like my hair colour changes and asked me to change it back to something more natural (my hair is who I am) and secondly, I had to have an ankle reconstruction. Silly, clumsy me having fallen over basically my own feet whilst playing netball. If only I had a good story behind that one!

Beauty Therapy started to spark my initial love for hairdressing again and I realised that they can and do work hand in hand. I started thinking, wondering if I had made the wrong choice when I left those many years ago.

I completed a Certificate III in Hospitality meaning I was now a bartender! Late last year (2014) Yering Meadows Golf Course employed me, reluctantly they made me dye over my purple and pink hair. I had to be “natural”. This alone was not an easy task, so much build up of colours from over the years. I was having a chemical reaction, I turned green!! I looked like my head was growing mould. What was I to do? I had work the following day, I did the only thing I knew I could do. I called Gail, my old boss who now owns Purple Mist Hairdressing. She would know what to do, she was my saviour. We laughed at my hair and the things it was doing. It had a mind of its own. I started to worry when my hair wasn’t playing nice and working the way it should but Gail turned me into a beautiful blonde again and in the process I had a wonderful chemical haircut (which of course Gail made edgy!).

Being in the salon again with her was the turning point for me, I knew I had finally found my true passion. Seeing Gail at work, in her element, fixing my colour and the smile on her face when she achieved it. I knew then that hairdressing was my calling, my passion, my love.

After leaving the salon I had more time to think and I began to have doubts. Maybe I only wanted to work with Gail, maybe I only liked the atmosphere in the salon as a client, maybe it wasn’t even hairdressing at all and it was just the people. I spoke to Gail and asked if she knew anywhere looking for an apprentice as Gail already had one. I had a job trial at a salon in Doncaster. I didn’t take the job, but the trial did make me realise that not only was it Gail that I knew I was meant to learn from but that I did love hairdressing. I had found my drive, my passion, I got that excitement back. I dreamt of all the avenues and career opportunities in front of me. I thanked my lucky stars as my mum is a client of Gail’s and come home that following Saturday from her appointment asking me if I was still interested in hairdressing as Gail’s apprentice was leaving. I thought I was dreaming, could this really be happening? I spoke to Gail, I had a trial and I was offered an apprenticeship. Without even taking a breath I accepted! I was now where I belonged, I was back! This was the beginning of my future, my life, my dream was coming true.

It had been seven years since I had stepped foot into a salon as an employee. Seven whole years, I was worried that I wouldn’t know what to do. That I would choke, muck something up, but I was wrong. I felt at home again, I was happy and enjoying myself. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, sweeping, washing, shampooing, back to the head massages, coffee and tea making came so naturally. It was as though nothing had changed, that I had never actually left except I was now thinking as an adult. I realised though that hairstyles and trends could have changed since I was last in the industry. I hadn’t kept up to date. I went home that night and jumped on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. I looked up salons in my area, well known salons, companies. I was searching everything from Davines, Fudge, Oscar Oscar, Cuts ‘n Colours, Linea Hair, mobile hairdressers. I noticed that a lot of the younger generation were loving ombre/balayage and colours. Bright colours, fashion colours, subtle darker colours. I felt relieved but after I searched my salons Facebook page I could see that it wasn’t up to date. I asked Gail about this the next day and she didn’t have time or didn’t understand that well, so with my knowledge I asked to be in charge of the salons Facebook page, and she agreed. I’ve been doing research as to what posts get seen more or attract more attention. New clients want to see the work you’ve done, what you have to offer them and prices. Where current clients love seeing the new work you’re doing but also any specials or raffles and promotions you have going on. I try to keep the two balanced.

I was signed up for trade school almost straight away. It was all happening so fast. Marjorie Milner College was our choice and I couldn’t be happier with that choice. Previously, I had gone to Box Hill TAFE but I found that in comparison Marjorie Milner focuses more attention on practical as well as theory. The smaller class sizes make it easier to ask questions and get answers. My teacher Lesley is fantastic with lots and lots of passion. Whilst learning at my own pace, it doesn’t make me feel overwhelmed like I did at Box Hill. I can take my time when I don’t understand something. The best way I’ve realised for me to learn is by doing. I see Gail doing something in salon and I’ll ask questions to get a different perspective, different use of words and a better understanding of the outcome and why. The theory taught at school can only get you so far, you need to be able to see it in person and practice yourself. The use of models and mannequin heads within school is vital. I would never have been able to be marked off on blow waving without first practising on my ‘Florence’. She has been by my side every step of the way although I can sense a little jealousy now that I’m onto male cutting and I require ‘Jordan’ instead.

Everybody Wants to Be Like
Jordan was inspired by the Scumbags Down Under” Tour 2015, by The Schorem Barbers of Rotterdam

Working in a Shopping Complex has its ups and downs for the business. We find it hard to get many walk in cuts or new clients due to not a lot of foot traffic. Coldstream is a small community based town. With the IGA Supermarket and Post Office next door to us you would think that the complex would be crawling with people but unfortunately it’s not. We currently have two empty shops in the process of being filled by a chemist and Doctors which will hopefully bring more people down as the closest doctor is 10-15 minutes away.
Coldstream is also known for its farming and with this being at a low at the moment we are finding that people need to make cut backs to save money. Unfortunately for us Hairdressers, one of the first cutbacks to be made is Hair and Beauty. We try to hold raffles and sponsor local teams where we can to give back to the community. Purple Mist has been actively working with the local council and community groups to expand our town both for commercial and residential. If Coldstream isn’t allowed to expand in both areas then we will lose our school and sports clubs so it’s important for all of us to contribute to our community.

In the five months that I have been back in Hairdressing at Purple Mist Hairdressing I have learnt more than I did in my first 10 months. Leaving was one of the best choices that I made. I was no longer passionate and without that passion I was never going to be an amazing hairdresser. I would have just done what I had to do to pass and been a mediocre Hairdresser or worse, become qualified and never continued.

But this time around I have that drive and passion. I want to know why and how and be pushed. I have the dedication this time to be the best hairdresser that I can be, to go further than I thought possible. Who knows where I will be in five years time, I want to go as far as I possibly can and even further. Travel the world with hairdressing, compete in hair shows, be a stylist for the stars, create looks for the runway, be a household name, create my own product range, I want it all!! Greedy I know, but if you don’t dream big you can’t achieve big.

But what I do know for certain is one day I want to own my own hairdressing salon in Melbourne with a few other senior stylists and an hairdressing apprentice. I want to pass all my knowledge onto someone who has that passion for the industry, someone who will continue in the industry and push the boundaries. Someone who I know, like me, will try and achieve great things within the industry.


Hairjamm & Louise Apprenticeship

Louise was the Top First Year Juuce Hairdressing Apprentices for 2015 at the College. In the photo is Merryn from Hairjamm with Gregory Milner the principal of Marjorie Milner College and Louise. Louise is a Hairdressing Apprentice at Purple Mist Hairdressing in Coldstream.


Posted by & filed under Floristry.

The Decline of Funeral Flowers


The decline of funeral flowers is becoming a massive problem to the Floristry Industry. Today less and less people are sending fresh flowers to funerals. Twenty years ago it was expected that you would send flowers to a funeral. As an industry, we need to act on this matter.

Has anybody been to a funeral with no funeral flowers? It really is quite depressing. Today some people ask for no flowers but donations to local charities. This is fine and of course anybody would respect these wishes but I do wonder how many people do send off a cheque. In fact the statistics are showing that the majority are doing nothing. Therefore not ordering flowers or supporting a charity.

Floristry funeral work is on the decline in England, America and Australia. Yet in many parts of South East Asia and China they are very active in displaying floral wreaths for the deceased.

Yet we do have a great medium to show them off. That is our web pages. You could photograph the funeral work and create an on-line photo album. This way the public can see the difference between a funeral with flowers and a funeral with out flowers. It is also a way of promoting your skill to a multi-cultural client base.

I was fortunate to be in Holland a few weeks ago and I rode past a florist that specialised in funeral work. Their window had a casket and also displayed were church bowls and a very large casket sheaf. This was fantastic to see that they were able to overcome the taboo subject of “death” and profiting in business.

Holland Funeral Flowers


In Asia funeral wreaths are displayed on bamboo tripod stands and these wreaths are massive in size. Printed satin ribbon is usually featured on these items.

Floristry Funeral Flowers Study Melboune

Part of being a florist is working with your clients on the best day of their lives and the worst day of their lives.One of the last things you can do for your family is order a quality funeral tribute. We have an obligation to our clients to demonstrate what possibilities there are.

Please remember that flowers clearly show sympathy as so evident after the Sydney siege at St. Martins Place.

Sydney Flowers

Why don’t florists promote sympathy flowers?


James Milner

Learn more about Funeral Flowers in Certificate III in Floristry SFL30110.


Posted by & filed under Floristry.




Florist Cool Room

Do you really know the running temperature of your cool room?


It is interesting to ask a florist what temperature their cool room or refrigerated display cabinet operates at. Many are unsure, yet if the temperature is too cold the flowers’ life span is severely affected. In this article I will use the term ‘cool room’ referring to either a refrigerated display cabinet or a cool room. Some florists run cool rooms at considerable cost to the business when their incorrect use is actually damaging their stocks lifespan. A strong turnover of cut flowers can negate the need for a cool room at all.


A good florist will know exactly what temperature the cool room should be set to, depending on the flowers they place into it.  Generally a cool room is set at six to eight degrees Celsius. Two to four degrees Celsius is too cold for most flowers as they will “shock” when removed from the cool room. Australia’s largest rose grower operates their cool room for roses at 7 degrees Celsius.


Do you need a cool room?


Firstly, consider the stock you are purchasing. As a florist, regardless of how quickly you sell and replenish your stock it is absolutely essential that you identify the quality of the stock that you are buying. You should ask the grower or dealer when the flowers were picked and examine the product to ensure it is fresh and healthy. Secondly, in retail florist shops, it is best to keep flowers at room temperature if possible. Flowers will acclimatize and handle delivery, as well as weather exposure, better if they haven’t been refrigerated. Florists should aim to turn over their perishable stock rather than keeping stock in a cool room for extended periods. The cooling process slows respiration and it can create a false illusion of how fresh the stock actually is. Flowers that remain in a cool room too long can look great to a buyer when they are first taken out of a cool room but their life span can be severely affected once they are taken home. In cooler climates generally there is no need to run a cool room for six months of the year. In warmer climates cool rooms may be needed but, if they are run too cold, the business deprives their client of the longevity of the blooms.


Regular readers of this column would be aware that I can draw on one hundred years of family floristry experience. In the past florists cool rooms were only used for funeral work as flowers were wired (pre water absorbent bases) and city and suburban florists would aim at selling out by the end of the day. All flowers were at room temperature. Alternatively, growers rarely refrigerated their flowers unless there was a shortage. They could use ‘storage’ of flowers. If you considered gladioli or stock, for example, they can be dry stored in a cool room set at two degrees Celsius. They are stored out of water. The flowers can be stored for a few days or a few weeks and the result is that their development is essentially stunted so that when they are removed from storage they look exactly as they would if they were freshly cut. Most retail florists do not ‘store’ flowers. Be careful of books or web sites that refer to storage as some florists confuse this process and set their cool room temperature too low.


Did you know that the recommended temperature for hospitals Australia wide is 27 degrees Celsius? Now consider a florist that removes flowers from a cool room set at two to four degrees. They are made up in the workroom, let’s say the temperature is 24 degrees, then transported in a van of 30 degrees and finally delivered into the hospital where the temperature is 27 degrees. The flowers will be in ‘shock’ and if the water source is minimal the flowers’ life span will be extremely limited. A good florist builds their reputation and the longevity of the product they sell.


There are many horror stories from florists such as oriental lilies and hydrangea collapsing in bridal bouquets, tulips and peony’s opening within an hour usually due to a cool room being too cold or the fact that the flowers would have been better kept at room temperature. Many florists purchase flowers from dealers where they have been in a cool room and they place the flowers outside their store in heat/cool or wind. The flowers that have not been sold are returned to the cool room overnight and back out the next day. I actually mean all flowers without consideration of the flowers’ needs for life span. This is the worst thing you can do to the quality of your stock.


Beware of Plastic Sleeves


Plastic sleeves are the worst enemy of flowers. Flowers need airflow around them and the condensed flowers and foliage, combined with a cool room, is a major problem to quality. The flowers sweat and botrytis (air borne fungal disease) will develop.


Knowledge of where flowers originate can assist a florist in deciding if a cool room is needed. Flowers grown in warmer climates generally do not need to be placed into a cool room. Eustoma (Lisianthus) originated from an American wild flower, the Prairie Gentian or the Prairie Rose. They originate from around Mexico and the southern U.S.A. and grow naturally in a hot climate. This is why they deteriorate, mould, etc. if left in sleeves and they are best kept out of a cool room. Gerberas similarly are best kept out of a cool room.


I wrote a book titled “Fresh Cut Flowers” (2009) as I was really concerned about the improper handling of flowers by some florists. In some cases florists had their cool room’s too cold or did not know how to prepare all commercial flowers for the purpose of the item to be made. Some country florists need a cool room as they do not have access to flowers daily but frankly in warmer climates it is generally wise to run the cool room at around ten degrees Celsius and all tropical flowers should never be placed in a cool room under this temperature. This includes Singapore orchids. A brown spot appearing on the bloom indicates refrigeration. Life spans are severely affected. This in turn affects repeat business and the reputation of the floral industry.


Floristry Cool Room Melbourne


Article was published in the AFI magazine by Gregory Milner in 2014.


Posted by & filed under Floristry.

Study with Australian Association of Floral Designers in Melbourne

Floristry Course Ballarat


The Australian Association of Floral Designers invite you to attend a BALLARAT Workshop with a Racing Theme.

  • Demonstration and Construction of a Fascinator and a Creative wrist corsage.
  • Demonstration and discussion of a Corporate Design.

Location: Robert Clark Horticultural Centre, Meeting Room, 401-405 Wendouree Parade, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat

 Date: Sunday 4th October 2015 Time: 10am-4pm

Book now as places are limited!


AAFD Member Price Non Member Price
Workshop $39.00 Workshop $59.00
Study Hairdressing Melbourne, Floristry Course, Beauty Therapy Surrey Hills

BYO lunch and flowers (minimal cost). Coffee and tea provided. Program of the day as well as flowers and sundries required for the workshop will be forwarded upon payment. RSVP to: or (03) 98807257.

Payment can be made by cheque made payable to AAFD. Please send cheque to: AAFD, 401 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, Vic, 3127. Or Payment can be made by direct deposit into the AAFD Bank Account.

Bendigo Bank: BSB: 633-000 Account: 147779094

If paying by direct credit kindly advise by email and include your name in the description line.



To become a member of the AAFD:

Membership $20
Student Membership $15

Become a member of the Australian Association of Floral Designers and help us support the floral industry. Please email for further information. To get involved with the committee or to offer your help please contact the above email.

Membership Payment can be made via:

Direct Debit:          AAFD Trust Account (Bendigo Bank)

BSB:              633-000

Account:       147-779-094

If you pay via Direct Debit please include your surname in the description e.g. (SmithAAFD) AND email the AAFD to advise to advise you have paid.

Cheques: must be made out to “Australian Association of Floral Designer”
Please post all Cheques to the Head Office (401 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills, 3127).

Please visit for more information about membership.


Posted by & filed under Beauty Therapy, Floristry, Hairdressing.

Hairdressing Employer Apprenticeship marjorie-milner

Changes to Hairdressing & Floristry Apprenticeship Funding

Calling all employers who support apprenticeship training.

Government Funding Changes Hairdressing Beauty and Floristry Melbourne Meeting. 

The VET FUNDING REVIEW Issues Paper has called for sector consultations. If you are a hairdressing employer or floristry employer and support apprenticeship training please get involved with the review. Please have a quick read about the changes that the government is talking about through the link here. VET FUNDING REVIEW PDF.

Marjorie Milner College is hopeful that employers will attend the Tuesday meeting and voice their opinion about the negative impact the January 1st 2015 Fairwork decision has had to apprenticeship training. Please review the document and outline the positives but also let the review team know your thoughts on improvements. This will be beneficial to all apprentieship both hairdressing and floristry. It will also assist beauty with the traineeship.

Sector Consultations

Targeted sector consultation sessions will be arranged with stakeholders including industry, peak bodies and associations, employers and industry representatives.

These sessions will focus on the consultation questions, as well as the Government’s priority sectors for economic growth including: medical technology and pharmaceuticals, new energy technology, food and fibre, transport, defence and construction technology, international education and professional services.

Industry Consultation

Melbourne – Melbourne Conference and Training Centre, 477 Collins St, Tuesday 4 August, 10.00 am – 12.00 pm.

If you are an employer or industry representative and would like to be involved, please contact the VET Funding Review Team on 03 8537 2791 or

These changes should:

  • better target funding to high quality training, by capable providers, in areas that meet Government’s priorities;
  • better protect and support students;
  • ensure TAFEs are sustainable and able to thrive;
  • better match training to the skill needs of industry, within a high quality and contestable market; and
  • improve access to VET for vulnerable, disadvantaged and high needs groups.

Please contact James Milner on for further details about this event or Hairdressing and Floristry Apprenticeships (& School based Apprenticeship). There is also the Beauty Therapy Traineeships available to students.

Posted by & filed under Floristry, Uncategorized.


Interflora Queensland Florist of the Future Winners

Last weekend the Interflora District 5 Florist of the Future Competition State Heat was held in Queensland. Marjorie Milner College had two previous students that had studied floristry in Melbourne at the College. Both were in the competition.

Emily Piscioneri completed her school based apprenticeship with Blooms on Bridge in 2014 and she was the successful winner of the District 5 Queensland heat. Special thanks to Melissa from Blooms on Bridge in Benalla. You can visit their website here at Blooms on Bridge.

Tamika Mackrell, who did her apprenticeship through Jen’s Flowers in Sale gained first in one of the sections, “inovation”, of the Interflora Queensland District 5 Competition. Tamika was also a school based apprentice who, represented Australia internationally through the Worldskills competitions.

Well done to both of these previous students for their fantastic effort in this floristry competition.
Tamika 2 Tamika Brisbane Floristry Course Emily Floristry Queensland Emily Floristry


There is less than a month to go, the 25 talented young trades and skills people comprising WorldSkills Australia’s 2015 Skillaroos team are hard at work training in their respective skills in preparation for the 43rd WorldSkills Competition.

The WorldSkills Competition is the biggest vocational education and skills showcase in the world. Tamika represented Australia back in London 2012 for floristry. The scale and significance of this year’s competition is considerable. Held in Brazil, it is the first WorldSkills Competition to be hosted in South America and will mark the first time São Paulo’s Anhembi Park will be used to host a single event – utilising 213,000m² of competition space, roughly 10 times the playing area of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Approximately 1,200 competitors representing over 60 countries will compete in the hopes of being named World Champion in their respective skills. Australia’s Skillaroos team will compete in 23 skill categories. Over 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the event to watch the competitors in action including an estimated total of 120,000 students.

Good Luck to all the students involved with the Skillaroos team.



Posted by & filed under Beauty Therapy, Floristry, Hairdressing.

What do you want to do? Melbourne Careers Expo 2015.

Make Up and Beauty Services in Melbourne

The Melbourne Careers Expo was on last weekend and Marjorie Milner College spoke with hundreds of students that were interested in the creative industries. Marjorie Milner College had stand 276 in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. The Melbourne based three day event was well attended with over 20,000 people coming through the doors. This year Melbourne Make-Up courses were of particular interest. Our Melbourne based Beauty Therapy courses, that are not delivered on-line, were the focus of most students.

The Floristry Department was on stage on the Friday during the Melbourne Careers Expo. The staff also got to meet Molly Meldrum who also appeared on stage. Thanks to Chevonne Nicholas, a Geelong based student, who made the trip up to demonstrate on stage with Greg Milner and James Milner.

Main Stage Times For the Melbourne Careers Expo.

Special thanks to Lesley, our Head of Hairdressing, for organising all the mannequins heads for the hairdressing display.

Bev, the head of Beauty Therapy was at the Melbourne Careers Expo each day. Hopefully, we were able to give some great advice to students that are looking to join the Melbourne Workforce in the creative fields of Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Floristry.

Study in Melbourne

Thanks to all the students and staff that made the Melbourne Careers possible in 2015. Special thanks to Rose, Bill & Bree who put the Expo together. If you are interested in studying hairdressing, floristry or beauty therapy please contact the college on


Posted by & filed under Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing.



HBIA Student, Apprentice & Educator Awards 2015

The HBIA staged their annual Apprentice, Student & Educator Awards 29th June 2015 on the Roof Top at The Emerson, South Yarra. Lesley Weir, the Head of Marjorie Milner College Hairdressing Department, was in attendance to support our students. We had students in both the Hairdressing Apprenticeship and Beauty Therapy Traineeships sections.

Photos taken on the night are now available.  To view photos please visit and click on “view your photos”. Then type in the access code box HBI2906.

All Apprentices, Students & Educators should feel honoured to have been nominated and recognised for their outstanding talent.

Marjorie Milner College student Jess won the Beauty Therapy Traineeships Prize.


Certificate III in Beauty Services (Trainee)

Winner:  Jessica Laing

RTO: Marjorie Milner College

JessicaHBIA JessicaHBIA1


Well Done Jess what a great achievement. 🙂
Photo 1: Jess’s Trophie from the HBIA Awards.
Photo 2: Head of Beauty Therapy Department (Melbourne) Bev Greenwood & Principal Gregory Milner.


Posted by & filed under Beauty Therapy, Floristry, Hairdressing.

Hairdressing Salon Marketing Ideas!!!


Whether you are a Florist, Hairdresser or a Beauty Therapist in Melbourne or Victoria here is a great way to market your business. Often you will see cartoons or animations that feature in a Facebook page or YouTube advertising. Now it is possible to get one done for your small business at a low cost. Have a look at this 90 second animation that explains what Marjorie Milner College does. It gives prospective students an idea of how to get involved with the College.

This animation was created in the United States for a mild budget. James, who coordinated the small project, often speaks on behalf of the Australian Association of Floral Designers to motivate small business owners to explore new on-line advertising methods.

Posted by & filed under Floristry.

Promoting Australian Made:

The slogan, “Made in Australia” has great support from the public as many products are no longer made or produced in Australia. This is often due to cost and overseas competition. Most florists buy Australian grown flowers and foliages and our products are made in Australia putting money back into Australians pockets. Florists should promote their use of “Australian Made” products. It is often just used as a talking point however it is a valid marketing feature that our industry does little to promote.

Embracing Change:

It is healthy for an industry to embrace change. Some florists really dislike change yet look at the constant changes in marketing and product from many competitors. If you do not change methods to entice clients the business will deteriorate rapidly. Consider “M-Commerce” as users are making transactions on their mobile phones. There are more than 22 million mobile devices in Australia and research has shown that 40% of Smart phone users have made at least one purchase using their mobile phone. It is predicted that the phone will replace credit cards. Appeal to a buyer that wants to buy either on line or off line for a successful balance of trade.

There are numerous new sundry products on the market today to offer change in presentation. If you resist change consider briefly floristry changes through the last one hundred years as a reference showing the need for change.

Floristry through Time:

A history of floristry shows how much change has taken place. My maternal grandparents were originally flower growers who adapted to retail selling nearly one hundred years ago. Most florists sold seedlings as well as flowers. Many continued this form of selling up to the 1950’s. Tributes were made on wire frames and in Victoria moss was the filler (some states used straw). Flowers were wired and pegged (also known as picking) and attached into the moss. Often these tributes stood, such as a cross, as they were on wire support bases. Printed ribbons were promoted as an “add on sale” and these were often up to fifteen centimetres in width in quality printed stiffened satin. Porcelain flowers were also sold in glass domed bases to place on graves. These were available in a wide range of sizes. These were replaced by artificial flowers. All florists displayed funeral tributes in their store or in their window displays.
The next innovation in funeral work was the polystyrene frames and then water absorbent bases. Vase arrangements were usually in tall containers with a base of foliage and flowers were fed through the foliage. The “hour glass” shape was the most practical. Oasis was first introduced to Australia in 1948 and with it came the ‘new’ papier mache’ vases. These were tar lined to hold water. Baskets were very popular in the first and second world wars. During the winter months berries such as Cotoneaster, Irish strawberries and many coloured leaves were wired and placed into moss filled basket bases. Corsages were immensely popular in the 1940’s and the majority of bridal bouquets were fully wired. Flowered baby cradles, complete with gathered tulle and even a dressed doll, were replaced with ranges of soft toys.
Marketing was through window display or with “Pink Pages” followed by “Yellow Pages”. Location was paramount. How things have changed! Your web marketing opens your store to the world.
Continue to meet challenges.

Change is positive:

After reading the brief history you can see how much has changed in the floristry industry. Change is positive. Embrace change. A good business is a driven business. If the employer has enthusiasm and excitement it should engender this enthusiasm to its staff for the benefit of the client who should return their business. Enthusiasm breeds ambition and any business that wants to maximize its potential market share must be competitive and inventive. You can see from the brief history that floristry has undergone major changes over time. A good business will be inventive and try new ideas and products. You will not win every time but keep trying new products. Consult with your staff and share the experiences. Florists should anticipate what a client might need based on where, when and how they may want to purchase. Many clients can easily research themselves to make an informed decision and to quantify the amount they need to spend.
If you see the advantage of a great position consider partnering with another firm. You may only need a percentage of the overall space available yet you can operate in a top spot. Google has reported that clients using a tablet spend more time and make more purchases then a client shopping via a desktop.

Clients love variety:

Clients love variety. Some florists have diversified into a range of gifts, cafe, large ranges of artificial/synthetic plants and flowers as well as their fresh lines. Try displaying bouquets with vases that may be purchased with the item both in-store and on line. Make your store a buying experience for your clients. You should be proud of your store on and off line and upkeep should be continually reviewed. Always look at your store through your clients eyes. Would you be satisfied with the selection of the product lines? If your answer is genuinely ‘yes’ you are on the right track.

Floristry products are Hand made:

Promote the skill level of a hand produced item that is made in Australia. A solid business will always strive to improve and gain more market share. Embrace the enthusiasm and satisfaction of a successful business. The florists who are running strong stores take pride in what they do and their positivity is what business is made of. Strive for success. Remember with social networks and You Tube, consumers are sharing their opinions on products with millions of people. Use technology to advance your business and the challenge is exciting.