Urban Explorer Series: Interview with Jake Kuit

Urban Explorer Series: Interview with Jake Kuit

“If you say the road is paved, smooth, and easy, you are not an entrepreneur. To be an entrepreneur means to create your own path because what you are going to do is going to change the world. If you want to bring something new into this world, you have to do it your own way so just trust your gut instincts.”




Jake Kuit

Founder of Kuit Flowers

Our Urban Explorer


Could you please briefly introduce yourself to our guests?

My name is Jake Kuit and I am an Aussie residing in London. I am the founder of Kuit Flowers, a design consultancy that specialises in bespoke floral design and botanical event design based in East London UK & Sydney Australia. To sum it up, I would say that we are disruptors in the events and wedding space by making fun stuff with flowers!


Could you tell us a bit about your background?

It is hard to believe that I have been living in London now for eight years! What brought me to the city was a tragic love story where I followed a boy to London. I was grateful for the relationship because it urged me to get out of rural Australia and explore my creativity in a place like London. However, when we parted ways, I found myself on the streets of London at the age of 23 due to financial difficulties. I would sleep on a park bench for three and a half months, but I was so determined to stay in London because I wanted to prove to myself that I could make it here – and that was when I became a florist. I needed to heal myself and the one thing that gave me a sense of home in the big city was nature. Hence, I walked into a flower shop one day and asked for a job. Growing up in the farmland of Australia working in gardening, I was very knowledgeable about taking care of plants. Coupled with my professional skills as a painter – who had exhibited works across London and Sydney at the time – being in this environment was exactly what I needed.



When did your interest in floral design begin?

I would say that my passion for floral design began when I started working at the flower shop. Six months down the track of learning the basic traditional forms of floristry, I knew I wanted to create beautiful works of art with flowers.


How did you come up with the idea for Kuit Flowers?

After quitting the flower shop, I did some freelancing to get my name out in the community and work with the right people. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to work with one company that really let me unleash my creativity and infuse my own artistic vision into each piece. I loved them like family and was able to design signature styles for them, yet at the back of my mind, I knew I still wanted to create a name for myself. After more freelancing opportunities and a series of setbacks due to the pandemic, I decided it was the right time to start Kuit Flowers. This was two years ago and since then, we have really expanded, working on projects across the UK, Australia, Indonesia, Switzerland, and Malta.


What does a day in the life of Jake Kuit look like?

An average day starts with an iced latte or two. Once my brain functionality has kicked in, I will take a moment to reflect on what I need to do for the day. Many people only see the glamorous side of floristry but there is a lot of intense manual work involved – for instance, carrying big buckets of heavy water and flowers up nine flights of stairs in a hotel because the lift isn’t working! In preparation of my work, I will start sweeping, cleaning and preparing buckets of water and flowers. If there is a flower delivery, we will load that into the studio and start conditioning and sectioning out for which events that are coming up. If we have bouquet pre-orders coming through, I will jump on an email with the client to arrange for any special requests and delivery. Part of being a florist is knowing what styles are on trend each season or what special events and weddings are happening so I will spend some time researching on Instagram and TikTok. My florist and freelancers will then come into the studio to work on our projects, which is always a party! It is such a warm and welcoming space and I always strive to create an environment where my team can feel at ease and be creative.



What does “Urban Explorer” mean to you and how do you think you fit into this term?

To me, urban exploration does not have to be so dramatic that you have to travel to extremes to find something on the other side of the world. You don’t have to go to Antarctica to be an explorer. If you feel like you are in a rut, instead of traveling down the same path to get from your home to work, why not walk down a different road that can stimulate your visual senses? For me, exploration is about exploring the surroundings with your eyes and finding that little bit of wonder in the mundane. I have visited Venice numerous times for work so my number one rule when I arrive is to never look at my maps. I simply walk out of my hotel, turn to the left and then to the right, make another left and another right, and then I just start exploring.


Blooming with Creativity


Sustainability lies at the heart of your business. What does sustainability mean to you?

Without floristry, I probably wouldn’t be here today. It saved my life; from being on that park bench and having no hope to being able to do what I am doing now and having the possibility to dream and create, I am immensely grateful, and I will never take this for granted. Hence, that is why I wanted to work hard on building more sustainable practices in the industry that can educate the future generation of floral designers after me.


What is your secret recipe for creativity?

Many people are always curious to find out what the secret sauce to success and creativity is. For me, it is to be stubborn and literally ignore what everyone else says. The only way to be creative is to be stubborn. It may be a dangerous word to some, but stubbornness also means perseverance. It can mean you have an idea, and you keep working at it towards perfection.


It is about sticking to your vision, believing in it with every fiber in your body and it is a sense of relief when you complete it. I would say stubbornness is the best way to be an artist in any shape or form, whether it be within music, design, interiors, pottery, or floristry. One must be stubborn to push through all the challenges they have to overcome.



Could you tell us more about your creative or thinking process when starting a new project?

My ideas don’t start small and then get big. My ideas start big and then I have to filter down to match the client’s budget. I dream big and the ideas come big, and that is the only way to excel forward. In the space of two years, my events have gone from the highest-profile clients to national celebrities, and I am so grateful for every opportunity.


Were there any role models you looked up to growing up?

One of my greatest inspirations in life is Leonardo da Vinci. He wasn’t just a painter; he was an inventor, an artist, a scientist. He was recognised for all of his skills, not just one and that is what I’ve always aspired to be like. I’ve always wanted to be called the Modern Renaissance man because I have created many other avenues within my industry and myself that I want to express – from being a trained chef to cooking, set design, and theatre production. In terms of direct influence, I would have to say my family. My mom is an art teacher and she always allowed me to have a space to be creative. Growing up, she would let us play with clay and film photography. My earliest memories were helping her at school. Hence, I was exposed to all of these things early on in my childhood. My grandparents were also great inspirations in my life. I was raised by their stories and inspired by how they migrated to Australia from Serbia, Croatia, the UK, and Holland to make their life better.


What are some of the challenges of running your own business?

As a creative person, I can create an installation of flowers in less than 20 minutes, but it will take me several hours to write an email! The main challenge is that I run a business at the end of the day, and I need to think and operate as a business. I was never brought up in this world, so this has been the biggest learning curve for me.



What do you find most fulfilling about your work?

There are two moments that come to mind. For weddings, it is seeing the bride and groom’s faces when they walk into the room, and you have transformed it into the most incredible space. You get to feed off of everyone’s reactions and their compliments and that is the greatest moment for me. The second moment I find most fulfilling is when I receive approval from the client on a project. You design and create in hopes of making the client happy and when we get the “Yes, we love it!” from them, you feel a great sense of accomplishment.


Do you have any words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

If you say the road is paved, smooth, and easy, you are not an entrepreneur. To be an entrepreneur means to create your own path because what you are going to do is going to change the world. If you want to bring something new into this world, you have to do it your own way so just trust your gut instincts.


Travel Inspiration


How often do you travel for work versus leisure?

The trick is that it can be from both the same entity! I travel for work and that is my pleasure to travel as well. Generally, I will visit Australia once or twice a year to see my family but that is as far as personal travel goes. A majority of my travel is work-related, but I will try to squeeze in a few days for myself. For instance, when I go to Spain, Toledo for a job, I will get there three days earlier so that I can get my feet grounded in the city. It allows me to do my site visits and explore the bars and restaurants in the area so that I can recommend them to my clients.



What other destinations are on your bucket list?

Next year, I am planning to have my 30th birthday in either Marrakech or Malta, which I am still in the midst of deciding! I would also like to visit Egypt as well. To be honest, I would still like to explore more of Australia. I have traveled quite a lot across the region but there are quite a few places that I have yet to visit and so I would really like to explore more of my hometown. Also, I will be going to Colombia this year to do a tour of where my flowers are grown so that I can improve sustainability throughout the manufacturing, growing, and distribution process. This is the one thing that I am working incredibly hard on in hopes of coming up with a plan of action to support the local communities. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to meet all growers across Holland, Colombia, and Ecuador.


In 3 words, how would you describe London?

Hot, Cold, Everything