The bright lights and pace of New York are a stark contrast to where Amy Nardi, founder of Henry Hudson Blog grew up – hailing from rural New South Wales, a small country town called Leeton.
Her parents are farmers; they grow oranges and grapes (for juice and wine companies) and Nardi developed a taste for the botanical world at quite an early age.
“I was creatively influenced at a young age — my mum was not only a keen gardener, she’s an amazing seamstress and painter. When it came to floral industry influences my Aunt and Uncle were flower farmers and another Aunt was a florist. I used to follow her around like a shadow at work and at home picking up scraps and making posies,” she says.
Her formal start into the floral world was not an immediate one though.
Upon finishing university, Nardi decided she wanted to work in the corporate world and got into Human Resources.
However, during this time, to feed her creative side, Nardi formally studied Floristry after hours and on weekends for three years. After graduation, Nardi decided to try out the creative industry full-time – so she left her corporate gig and decided to work full-time in Floristry.
After working for a Floral studio that catered predominantly to large events, Nardi was diagnosed with Arthritis in her hips while still in her early 20s. Doctors told her she needed a job where she wasn’t on her feet for more than three hours continuously a day. Nardi says at the time she was devastated, but also that she knew this would not be the end of her work in the floral community.
Nardi was back working within the HR industry again, and decided to launch her own venture on the side – Henry Hudson.
Henry Hudson is a blog that floral folk globally can head to for inspiration, to find out about innovations in floral world, and connect with new friends all over the globe to exchange floral ideas and stories. Nardi channelled her passion for the industry into a different medium that required less of the grunt work that affected her health.
In building Henry Hudson however, Nardi lacked the technical skills to create the design ideas she had in her head and then to bring those designs to life and create a fantastic user experience. So she turned to Elance-ODesk to do so – securing a London based graphic designer and Middle Eastern web developer – both of whom she still has worked with every week for almost four years.
Nardi attributes her online team’s abilities to translate her vision and bring the bespoke content to life on the site for many of the opportunities that have come her way – including lucrative collaborations with Fashion Houses, Design Agencies as well as Sydney Fashion Week, where Henry Hudson was responsible for collaborating with one particular designer to create a “Flower Mountain” of Australian flora to sit in the middle of the runway – an initiative that cemented Henry Hudson as leading source for trends from the national coverage the blog received the week of the festival.
Country Manager for Elance-ODesk, Kyri Theos says that it is not unusual to see long-term relationships form between users of the platform and the freelancers they first connect with – especially if users have a great experience with that freelancer.
Nardi is currently based in New York City and works for a management consulting firm. She told Startup Daily that she has no plans to leave her role, saying that Henry Hudson for her is a passion project and that scalability of the blog is not critical on her working “regular hours” in order for it to be a success. Nardi attributes this to her small but very effective team of online workers.
“I don’t spend any of my time, engaging in the time consuming stuff, I have my online team for that,” says Nardi. “I focus on creating great content – that’s where I get the most enjoyment.”
Theos mirrors this sentiment saying that using an online team, particularly in the beginning can help get rid of some of that overwhelming pressure.
“One of the biggest reasons employees rule out starting a business is that they just don’t have enough time. Getting through the working week is exhausting, not to mention family obligations, housework, and your social life. But with online work, you can hire people to save you time and reduce your workload, so that you can launch and run your business without becoming overwhelmed,” he says.
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