Updated: Jul 9
WOMEN IN BUSINESS, MARCH ISSUE
Growing up in Napoli, Italy you wanted to pursue a career in Art and Architecture and also had a fondness for playing piano. But your parents, traditional Italians, had other ideas. So tell us where your formal education took place as a young woman.
Both my grandparents on my father's side were amazing painters and pianists, so I pretty much breathed art and music from when I was born, visiting exhibitions, painting and playing piano as a child.
I studied classical piano for 10 years and when the time arrived for high school I had 2 options, either studying at the Conservatorium of music in Naples or going to Liceo Scientifico which was a type of High School where Science, Philosophy and Maths are the main subjects. I would have loved to study at an art school but my mum thought art school would not have been as good a preparation for University. Ultimately, I ended up in the Liceo Scientifico. While I didn’t like it at all, I loved the fact we had short hours and it allowed me to continue my other favourite pursuit outside of music and the arts - volleyball. Finishing school and following my passion for travel & foreign languages I studied and graduated from the University of Foreign Languages and Literatures in Naples. After that I attended a Journalism course at the University of Art in London and a Radio Production course in Rome.
Living in Europe gave you great access to move around and work a number of places once your finished university, and you soon found yourself in Public Relations and events - what was it that you enjoyed most about those roles and what did you learn?
I was living and working in the UK while finishing Uni in Naples. Once I completed my studies I freelanced for almost 10 years in different countries and in different fields, from tourism to film, music production, fashion, technology and a lot in art and design.
I loved the multicultural environment I worked in, I loved to work with like minded people, I met so many amazing artists, so many brilliant and inspiring minds and overall I loved the relationship I built with my clients. I adored travelling.
I enjoyed the freedom in using my creativity with regards to the events and I learned that nothing is really impossible to accomplish if you are curious, enthusiastic, passionate, resilient and humble.
One of your biggest career moments was working with YOOX, TOD’S & GOOGLE which also involved a lot of creative roles with their events.
In this role you did a lot with nature in design, and love scouting locations and gifts for guests. Where did your travels take you while working with them.
I travelled extensively throughout Italy, Europe, the United States and Brazil.
The corporate work experience was formative in many ways & for more than 10 years. Working directly with the CEOs, founders and VIP clients of these companies allowed me to acquire project management skills in complex areas.
I particularly loved the opportunity to work in the events production, to get in closer touch with the artists and creatives. Actively participating in the scouting for locations, the creation of media materials, the shooting etc. and all the processes that went into large scale productions I understood and deeply connected to the collaborative elements that make them successful and satisfying. It was an important moment for me to realise the meeting with the 'others’ is where my work finds its full expression.
It was a demanding role and you wanted to move on to something else and soon found yourself in India. What were you studying and tell us about your love for the Indian culture.
I started practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga at the end of 2008 in Milan and had been in India a few times but my dream was to just spend lots of time in Mysore to simply practice at the source and to have time for deep healing from some big traumas I had in my life.
So when I quit my career in Google in 2013, I sold my apartment in Milan, donated all I had, including my Art collection and flew to India. I was in Mysore for a long time practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and studying Sanskrit & Chanting, while I was working as an holistic therapist to support my travels. Every time I land in India or Sri Lanka where I also spend a lot of time, I feel at home. It's something I can't explain, the sky feels so close to you, that I feel more than ever, very connected to the Universe. I love the kindness of the people which you find in most Asian countries. I miss that very much.
You’ve always wanted to live by the sea, and with your now husband Christian and son Marley call Port Macquarie home.
Since being here you’ve run a few businesses can you tell us about your first venture.
Whilst living in Byron Bay I started doing private catering and supporting Christian at our Ashtanga Yoga Studio.
We then decided to move to Port and we started to structure my catering activity into a beautiful boutique catering business, Osteria Papazzo. The idea was to share traditional Italian flavors by an innovative formula of mobile catering and temporary pop-up.
We were covering Byron to Sydney and beyond, where we could create an authentic Italian dining experience with music and beautifully styled long tables. I was loving the ability to express my creativity in the styling of the tables and creating beautiful spaces for people to enjoy the experience.
Then, as we all know Covid hit and all the bookings for the year disappeared overnight.
We started doing takeaway packages and I would gift a little floral arrangement to each order and then eventually this increased into food and flower packages and eventually this translated into a new entrepreneurship project, which as it turned out, was a more authentic manifestation of a desire that I have long kept in my heart.
Now, with Alessandra Papazzo Flowers (this is the name of my new venture) I’ve turned this dream into a reality.
Now your creativity has shifted into floristry, but your focus is on Australian and ethically sourced. Tell us about this business.
Alessandra Papazzo Flowers is my dream since a child, a combination of my previous works
and of all my passions: art and design, my unconditional love for flowers and nature and my love for architecture and interior design.
My business is a celebration of Australian Flora, it is a wish to bring more elegance, grace, kindness to you, to your soul and to your spaces.
My work is more like an art work and my ultimate wish is to tell you a beautiful love poem through it.
Alessandra Papazzo Flowers is about sustainable floral design and styling.
We do offer flower services for homes, editorial, commercial, film, fashion and intimate weddings, sourcing only what is fresh and seasonal, supporting Australian flower farmers and local gardeners. We do not use floral foam for our installations or plastic for our creations and we do not use imported flowers.
It is all very organic and incredibly beautiful, because you have so much beauty growing in your country. Being an Artist and working with what is available pushes my creativity more and I love that so much.
One of your passions is ‘styling to the space’ as opposed to just making a bunch of pre made displays.
How does this creative process work?
It’s my biggest passion and the favourite part of my work.
Milton Glaser (a very famous American graphic designer) said once: “Solving any problem is more important than being right.”
That's the work of a designer at its essence and that’s the challenge I love to embrace when creating. I am a floral designer and I love to be involved in collaborative projects. When designing for commercial spaces like Hotels, Restaurants, Boutiques, Spas etc, I take into consideration many factors, from the room temperature, the architecture, the interior design, the colour and the overall energy of the space. I breathe in all of these and after a few days I will start to visualise designs and only then, on site I create. After a few days I revisit the space and check if it needs something to be completed. My mission is to create a floral jewel, a piece of Art that will make your space shine more. Whether it’s a big or small place this is the only approach I use and I source the best and most authentic Australian grown flowers.
Where can we find you regularly?
We offer all our floral styling and design services from Byron Bay to Sydney and Beyond.
Our Mobile Boutique of Flowers is every Wednesday and Friday at COAST CAFE Lighthouse beach, Saturdays at Banks cafe by the river at Mcinherney close/park and everyday you can purchase our Unique blooms calling us or visiting our online shop on www.alessandrapapazzo.com then you can pick up or we can deliver to you.