Alumni in Focus: Emma Thomson

Emma Thomson

This month’s alumni in Focus is Emma Sadie Thomson (B Des St, 2008).

After seeing a gap in the market between interior designer and landscape architecture, Emma decided to combine her design training with horticultural expertise, along with her slight obsession with indoor plants, to start her own plant styling business Emma Sadie Thomson

In what has been a challenging year, Emma was able to move much of her business online and shift focus from commercial clients to people building their home gardens.

“There has been great interest in having plants and gardens during COVID,” said Emma.

“People are aware of the benefits of plants and more conscious of where their food and products come from, which has been really great. It was really lovely to connect with people in their homes by providing home plant consults via zoom.”Emma Thomson

What is plant styling?

Plant styling is now a more common term, but when I began about five years ago, I always had to explain to people what I did - plant styling is essentially interior design - but with plants

What are your hobbies?

 Life is busy, I live up in the Adelaide Hills in Basket Range, so there are always things to do around the property. I also have an 18 month old daughter Frances, so there is never a dull moment. On our days off, we try and have family days out in the garden. I also enjoy spending time baking and preserving.

Favourite place to eat in Adelaide?

My favourite place to eat is near my home – The Summertown Aristologist.

If I could go back to my University days I would…

Explore options of exchange programs available. It’s such a great way to travel and experience new cultures and skills.

Most prized possession?

Some of my more established plants. I have a 2m + fiddle leaf fig, large Pilea and Oxalis Triangularis that are among my favourites.

Something that makes you smile?

My daughter Frances.

Something you are grateful for?

Living in such a wonderful part of the world and having space and nature around me.

If I could pursue a different career I would…

I was always interested in naturopathy.

Your definition of success?

Being happy.

Three words your friends would use to describe you?

Generous, considerate, motivated.

My mother taught me…

Mum is such a great cook, she has taught me so much over the years.

How I relax?

If I can get a moment, I try and have half an hour in the bath by myself. It is my happy place.

Emma is also part of Ensemble studios, a collaborative workspace, retail and gallery space for like-minded designers to come together, to create and showcase their work.

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