Kicking off our monthly meet the team post we are excited to introduce you to Maria Okwa, the owner and founder of Beija Flor florist Darwin. Maria is a talented florist from the UK who has been creating beautiful floral designs for weddings and events for many years. She has travelled all over the world and has worked in Europe, Brazil and Hayman Island before finally settling in Darwin.
Maria's passion for floral design started at a young age. After leaving school, she began her career as a florist and has been honing her craft ever since. She has worked for various floral design studios and has gained extensive experience in creating stunning floral arrangements.
When Maria first came to Darwin in 2010, she noticed that the options for purchasing flowers and particularly for wedding flowers were very limited. This is what inspired her to start a home floral design studio that catered to weddings and events. Maria's unique and creative floral designs quickly gained popularity, and in 2018, she opened her own retail store in Coconut Grove.
What’s Your Favourite Flower?
Hmm that’s a tough one, it’s like asking me to pick my favourite child! But if I had to pick one right now I’d say hydrangea - big and showy and just a little fickle!
Favourite Task at Beija Flor
I’m happy doing most things - there just aren't enough hours in the day! I love being on the shop floor and displaying all the lovely new fresh flowers.
What’s Your Best Advice as A Creative?
Never stop learning and exploring, my favourite sources of inspiration are nature and travel. Be persistent and never lose sight of the joy and fulfilment that comes from creating something beautiful and unique.
Inspired by Travel, Where’s Your Favourite Destination?
I love to sail and one of my all-time favourite places is Ilha Grande. It’s a beautiful island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and is perfect for exploring by sail boat, with lush Atlantic forest and many waterfalls to find and explore.
People Always Ask Me…
Why Darwin? … That's a long story … I’m pretty content here, I love our laidback lifestyle and it’s a great place for my two kids to grow up.
Where Do You Like to Go in Darwin?
I like watching the sunset at Nightcliff jetty and eating pizza at Cucina sotto le stella.