Bart's back from Florist World Cup with a buzz in his step
FROM wedding bouquets to global flower shows, Bart Hassam's humble beginnings have lead to great achievements.
Mr Hassam recently took out first place at the Florist World Cup in Philadelphia and said he felt "simultaneously thrilled and relieved” as he secured the win.
"It had been a really long week for all of us and it was a relief just to have the announcement,” he said.
"I was very excited once I was on stage being presented with the trophy in front of the crowd and the photographers.
"It's just starting to sink in now that I can actually call myself a world champion. It's a very small group of people who get to do that.”
Mr Hassam was just 13 when he designed his first flower arrangement for a family wedding.
"I had been practising with putting them together for a while and then I wanted to do more,” he said.
During school holidays Mr Hassam would travel to Brisbane to work in a family friend's florist shop and, when he graduated, moved to the city and into a full-time position.
"I started in a shop when I was 17 and I started working overseas when I was 19.”
His unique signature style was born through international travel.
"Fortunately I was able to have experience working in Japan for almost 10 years, and it developed from there into an east meets west style hybrid,” he said.
The world-renowned floral designer was first encouraged by his grandma Ruby and has been competing ever since.
"Gardening with her and entering floral art competitions in the junior sections, she was a great inspiration,” he said.
"I started in junior competitions and progressed to senior once I was 25.
"I entered my first international competition in 2011, the Asia Cup held that year in Taiwan, and I was fortunate enough to win it.”
Mr Hassam is now back in his Brisbane studio with a spring in his step.