Ruth Gregson - The Botanical Institute

Ruth Gregson is a retailer. The Botanical Institute is an outlet for Ruth's passion for quality Australian design, with her store filled to the brim with all the best local and interstate gifts and homewares. Read on to find out more about Ruth's inspirations, being your own boss, and where Frank Sinatra fits in it all...

Business:  The Botanical Institute

Owner: Ruth Gregson

Location: 789 Nicholson St, Carlton North, Victoria


What lead you to create The Botanical Institute?

I studied floristry and interior design, and always had the idea of opening my store in the back of my mind, when the time felt right, the Botanical Institute was born! Initially it was a Florist and Gift store but gradually the gifts took over.  I love supporting great Australian designers, so the Botanical Institute is filled with high quality locally designed products.

The Botanical Institute has been around for almost a year now, what is the toughest decision you’ve had to make so far?

I would have to say the toughest decision has been whether to change the direction of the business and I think I made the right one. I love flowers but when I saw the gifts doing really well and the florist side of it not growing I had to do something about it. I am planning on bring flowers back but in a different way, in smaller batches just over the weekends and from a local organic flower farm.

What is your favourite way of finding out about new local designers?

Melbourne has some amazing craft markets that I frequently attend to find new local designers!  Social media is also a great way of finding and connecting with artists and designers both locally and further afield.

Pearls of Wisdom from Ruth 

on being your own boss…

It’s amazing, I get to choose all the things I love and put them in my shop and make all the fun decisions about  what the shop looks like, I wouldn’t want it any other way!

on finding downtime…

I am still trying to master this! It is one of those things that should be easy when you set your own hours, but not for me. I find myself constantly thinking about different ideas for the shop and researching on my laptop when I should be relaxing.

It is so important to give yourself a break every now and again, burning out in a new business can definitely happen.


Best cafe in Melbourne? The Green Refectory in Brunswick is one of my favourites

Listening to? Frank Sinatra

Savvy, Sass or Study? Savvy all the way!

Want - learning or opportunity? At the moment, its all about new opportunities

Superpower? I would love to be able to fly

Friends of the Botanical Institute

Unempire - Zoe’s awesome socks! Check out Small Talk’s interview with Zoe here

Gidget Media - Kate did my website and I love it! Check out our interview with Kate here

The Little Green Project - Jules makes rad terrariums using recycled glass.

How can I contact you?

789 Nicholson St, Carlton North