What a beautiful (and thoughtful) thing to do
With the help of her ‘Village’, Melise Hutchings of Blayney Botanicals is flooding the Central West with beautiful rainbow roses.
With the sad passing of Melise’s niece just two weeks before her 21st birthday from cancer. It was the moment she stood strong, determined to make a difference. Melise explained, “It’s raw, the mere thought makes my eyes water and my chest hurt so much that it takes my breath. She always talked about flowers, together we talked flowers all the time, she loved the dyed rainbow roses... I wasn’t a huge fan of them,” Melise laughed. “I like natural coloured roses, we used to throw back comments here and there about them. Towards the end we put the rainbow roses in her room so when she woke up she knew that we had been there.”
Melise continued, “My niece is one of the reasons I took up floristry, I figured, she had cancer three times in her short life and what was I doing with mine? So, I thought why waste it? I should be doing something that I love.”
“I didn’t want to celebrate when she passed away, I wanted to celebrate her life and her birthday is in July, so, for the month of July I ordered in as many rainbow roses as I could, with all profits from the sales of the roses going to ‘Love Your Sister’ and the ‘Chris O'Brien Lifehouse’ they were amazing with my Brother and his family.”
“I want to give back and help any family that might be going through it, so many people are affected by cancer. With the rainbow being a symbol of positivity, hope, peace and light after a storm, it was a natural choice.”
When Melise posted about the idea on Facebook, she mentioned she was overwhelmed with the support that she received and is still receiving today.
“Blayney is awesome, they just get behind a lot of things, they always have a huge response when there are people in need. When I put it out there I had people who I had not met before come in and they would open up to me as to why they are buying them, I’ve even got a window where they can write a tribute or a little message on the wall. It’s been awesome, it really has.”
It’s not only the Blayney community who have jumped on board, “I had a lady ring me from Sydney, she just wanted to send some to the local oncology department in Orange, I also have 12 arrangements to go to each nurses station in Orange. Without generous people like this, it just wouldn’t be possible.”
“I’ve sold over 400 stems which is excellent for a small community. I was truly overwhelmed and completely stoked! I’m so proud of our community.”
A well-known advocate of the insidious disease, Samuel Johnson OAM is an Australian actor, radio presenter, voiceover artist and philanthropist who is campaigning over Australia and began ‘Love your Sister’ with his sister Connie. “I think I’ve always related to Connie’s story because it was much the same as my niece.
“I’ve been messaging him like mad, I’ve said ‘Right! You’re coming to Blayney,’ I want to show him what little towns can do.”
Melise added, “I’m not precious if there are any florists out there who want to join me in selling Rainbow Roses to raise money for research, PLEASE do! The more the merrier. I’m sure if Samuel Johnson from Love your Sister were to visit, he would visit Blayney first. Why wouldn’t you?”