Graduate Profile

Jacinta Hailes - Florist
Jacinta Hailes (centre) with Jasmine Fuller and Bryce Williams – Mint Floral

Jacinta Hailes (centre) with Jasmine Fuller and Bryce Williams – Mint Floral

Jacinta Hailes - Visual Arts


Working with flowers isn’t what Jacinta imagined she would be doing when she studied for her visual arts degree. “I majored in photography but in my last year at NorthTec my body of work was looking at how women are perceived in art. Flowers are often used as symbols of women, and that seeded my interest in flowers.”

“I loved the idea of somehow working with flowers so I went and saw Megan Dickinson at her gallery because she previously had a floral design school. She validated and encouraged the connection between working with flowers and creativity so when I finished my degree, I sent an email to the awarding winning Whangarei business, Mint Floral. The owners, Jasmine and Bryce, suggested I come in for a chat then they gave me a work trial.” 

Jacinta now works as a full-time trainee florist at Mint Floral and loves it. “I get on-the-job training plus I’m putting myself through an online course at the same time. I realise that visual arts study is directly relevant to working as a florist. In studying creativity we learn about balance, shape, texture, proportion, colour, design and composition – all of which I’m dealing with every day in my hands-on work.” 

She also loves the challenge of providing what the customer wants. “Gifting flowers is usually for something very personal. I like to understand what someone else wants, give it to them, and see them happy with the result. My biggest growth has been learning to do things for other people rather than the self-focus that comes with some other forms of creativity. If the customer is vague I enjoy helping them get clear, and we’re a small enough business that one guy came in and actually physically helped create a bouquet for his father’s funeral.”

“One day I’d like to own a florist business but for now I’m really enjoying working in this new-generation fresh florist environment with our vibrant team and learning about the amazing variety of available flowers.”

Employer of Jacinta Hailes

Jasmine Fuller and Bryce Williams – Mint Floral

Creative arts lie in the backgrounds of Mint Floral NZ owners, Jasmine Fuller and Bryce Williams. 

Jasmine – “I got a degree in visual arts majoring in painting then did post-grad teacher training, and I was working as a florist as I went through art school. Later I worked for different florists in Whangarei, Hawkes Bay and Auckland learning on the job for 13 years before returning here to my home town.”

Bryce has a background in signage and branding and had been working in Sydney and Auckland when he met Jasmine. “We realised we could combine our talents and apply them to a different trade.”

Jasmine – “I was ready to come back to my home town and we saw a gap in the market here for fresh, locally sourced flowers with an environmentally-friendly focus – particularly with packaging. With our combined skills we have done all our own branding, signage, website and marketing, and we’ve been in business now for four years. In that time we been delighted to win the Northland Business Excellence Award in Retail for 'Customer Choice' twice.”

“We now employ four in our team (aside from ourselves), have never advertised, and we make a point of training our own staff. We always go for attitude because we can teach the rest. We got a feel for Jacinta’s enthusiasm from her initial email enquiry, so offered her work experience.  We then created a position for her because of her attitude, her creative training and her interest in learning. She is very fast to pick things up, has a really good eye and is great with the customers.”

Jasmine and Bryce haven’t employed someone with NorthTec training before but they are familiar with NorthTec’s role in the community and have delivered flowers there. Jasmine - “Since employing Jacinta, if we had several CVs, we’d pay attention to anyone who had NorthTec training, particularly from the creative arts. A lot of florists come from a creative background and it’s a great fit for creative and people skills.”