Your Say – Millicent Austin

Millicent Austin

Florist, La Femme Fleur

I’d name my autobiography: The Flower Lady

To me success means: Success is convincing my local community to see flowers as a necessity, not a luxury. And having their homes full of beautiful blooms every week.

My most treasured possession: My dog Freida.

The gender stereotype I can’t stand: Men who say women aren’t funny.

Best advice I’ve been given was: When my dad told a very young me “you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.” It’s advice I use every day.
Biggest ‘pinch me’ moment: Standing above the Aalsmeer flower auction in Amsterdam and watching millions of flowers get sorted for distribution around the world. And knowing I was a tiny part of this giant global trade.

I made my first dollar:  Accepting weekly bribes from my older brother and sister, who were supposed to be babysitting me, to not tell my parents they were going out and leaving me home alone.

Biggest frustration for women in the business world: My business, and I, are constantly underestimated and underrated by people (men) who think they know better. I keep proving them wrong.

In five years’ time, I see myself: Running an empire at the same time as running a family.

Life motto: Always stay gracious, the best revenge is your paper – Beyonce.

Favourite book: The World According to Garp.

Signature scent: Peony and blush suede, by Jo Malone.

Movie with the best ending: Black Panther

The women who inspire me: Beyonce, my sister, Jacinda Ardern, Michelle Obama, my mum, Sophie and Mimi Gilmour

I believe we can make a change to gender diversity: By taking the time to listen to women.

The biggest change I would like to see in the world in 2018: That’s a big question. But in my world I would love to see Te Reo Maori get the mainstream recognition in New Zealand it deserves, and become compulsory in New Zealand schools.

I believe pay equity is important: Its more than important, it is essential for woman finally being held in the same regard as men.