Edible flower business blooms for local entrepreneur
At 21 years of age, business is already booming for Josh Paterson.
During his last year of high school in 2016, the young entrepreneur set up Flare Speciality Produce, growing edible flowers and salad mixes at his parent's property.
Today, he is preparing for the year ahead, where he will export close to 2.9 million flowers to suppliers across the world for use in food preparation.
"After I graduated from school, I decided I would take a break from it for a little while," Mr Paterson said.
"I was at mum and dad's and it was a bit dusty - it was hard to grow and do a good job of it.
"Then I got an email from a company in Singapore saying they wanted flowers - so I decided to give it a crack."
Mr Paterson moved his production from his parent's place in Wyreema to a property in Helidon.
He sent his first shipment of flowers to Singapore in October 2018.
"It was a surprise they would go with a smaller grower to begin with," he said.
"In that first year, I only shipped around 400,000 flowers, which is pretty small.
"Now I have branched out to other growers to help keep my supply consistent."
Mr Paterson admits the journey has left him with little time to stop and smell the roses.
While maintaining his business, Mr Paterson also works full time at a vegetable farm in the Lockyer Valley.
"It's hard, I do up to 60 hours a week on the farm and then I have to do the business stuff at home at night," he said.
Aside from long hours, Mr Paterson credits his success to social media and his friends and family.
"Instagram has been a big part of what I have achieved, I've met a lot of wholesalers, suppliers and contract growers through Instagram," he said.
"My mum Nikki and my girlfriend Bri have also contributed towards my success."