With a background in creative direction, marketing, advertising and graphic design, it’s no surprise that German-born Diane Nittke, is already blooming in this vibrant city. What do we mean when we say that? Well, Nittke is the owner and creative director at Ellermann Flower Boutique & Event Design Atelier (established in 2011) and Ellermann Interiors (set-up in 2014). If you fancy ordering some gorgeous blooms, or want to participate in one of Ellermann’s creative workshops, then visit the Wong Chuk Hang atelier or Landmark boutique. She tells us how her seed of an idea grew to thrive.
What inspired you to set up Ellermann Flower Boutique?
I had the idea of starting a floral business for some time. As an experienced florist, I felt that there were not many local florists that were inspirational and artistic. I wanted to bring European style floristry to Hong Kong. I launched Ellermann in 2011 when I came across a beautiful shop space in Sheung Wan. I fell in love with the neighbourhood, so I signed the lease before actually having a proper business plan.
What sets Ellermann apart from other flower shops in the city?
Our floral creations always have an element of surprise, which makes them unique. We have a seasonal collection rather than [year-round] designs and they are often inspired by themes such as poetry, art or fashion. We observe global and local trends but we don’t follow them religiously. We make each creation and event our own
Where do you get your flowers from?
We source from the best suppliers around the world. We are always exploring new growers and suppliers to ensure that we have only the freshest and most unique blooms. Currently, we order flowers directly from one of the best flower suppliers in Holland. That way we have better quality control and have access to uncommon flowers versus the local flower market. We also love getting special flowers from Japan, Taiwan, as well as other countries. Since our summer is Australia’s winter and they have beautiful blooms, we will soon have a wide range of Australian flowers in Ellermann.
Tell us about the workshops you do at Ellermann.
Our flower workshops are very relaxed and we give learners the space to be creative in an encouraging environment. Beginners or people who would like to spend a relaxed afternoon with friends, love joining our flower bell jar arrangement workshops and flower crown workshops. We also offer intermediate level workshops such as our hand-tied bouquet or table styling workshops. There are tips and tricks to learn plenty of techniques to tackle. It’s important to have a fun environment to learn in. Let flowers get your heart to sing.
What are the floral trends right now?
In Ellermann, we observe global and local trends but don’t follow them religiously. Floristry trends have moved from a very formal, ball-shaped arrangement into a loose, organic and natural style. This suits us just fine as this has always been our style. Currently, we are very into floral chandeliers; organic and botanical arrangements with dramatic foliage.
We find that currently, the general public has a growing interest and passion for floristry. This is, in part, due to a movement towards lifestyle and workshop programs and to an increasing number of florists and “farmer florists” with a strong presence on social media such as Instagram … who doesn’t love a pretty flower picture!
What has been the most challenging client request?
We love a good challenge, so no request is too demanding or difficult for us. Bespoke floral design is our speciality. If a customer wants something other than our seasonal or classic collections, then we are happy to create something special and beautiful just for them.
Many of our clients actually come to us asking for our professional advice and trust our creativity. When we first started Ellermann, there was a wedding for 1,000 people and we had to handle not only the floral design and installations, but over 4,000 props. It was such a big challenge, that we even had colour coordinators to ensure that the venue set-up was flawless.