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Source of inspiration.

In a large factory hall. The sun is shining through opaque windows, casting big rays of sunlight onto the floor, and there’s a slight mist. Every step reverberates through the room as Ruby leads us a little bashfully to her flower installation. A huge bouquet hangs from the ceiling, whilst roses, bushes and other blooms form an abstract work of art that floats in the room, creating an imposing presence.

Where does Ruby get the inspiration for these unique flower arrangements, each one of which is completely new? Her environment, perhaps, or her past, or nature? Below she tells us exactly what drives her and provides the source of inspiration for her ideas.

A white Mercedes-Benz V-Class 250 d (BR 447) is parked in an old factory building.
Ruby Barber unloads a box of flowers through the open rear window of a Mercedes-Benz V-Class 250 d (BR 447).

A summer in Berlin.

Ruby contemplates the installation with an almost imperceptible smile. We are really impressed by the creative spark that resides in this petite, fragile yet extremely determined woman.

We leave the hall and accompany her to her car, a spacious V-Class. We get into it and drive off. Ruby is relaxed behind the wheel, driving past graffiti and countless posters. It’s summertime, the sun is shining over the colourful city of Berlin, and the last summer flowers have bloomed. The ice cream parlours sport long queues and tourists stroll through the city, undaunted by the heat.

First step towards independence.

But Berlin isn’t always like this. It can be grey, cold and hard; just like it was when Ruby first came to the city. She moved from Australia to Germany when she was 22 years old. She met her German boyfriend in her youth, and they spent years in a long-distance relationship before she decided to take the next big step and move to Berlin.

By this time, Ruby had already built up her own small flower business. It began with her making flower arrangements for her friends and family, but over time she got more and more enquiries, until the time came when she could go solo – her first step towards independence.

Ruby Barber is working on a flower bouquet.
Ruby Barber at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz V-Class 250 d (BR 447).

Start from scratch?

Ruby expertly parks the V-Class in front of her studio. Then we follow her along the scarlet entrance hall and indoors. She sits with her colleague Olivia and together they plan their next job. A variety of bushes, exotic flowers and unusual leaves pop up on her computer screen. She scrutinizes everything, making notes. Ruby composes her first sketches.

She didn’t embrace Berlin to begin with, she says. Beside having to acclimatize to the harsh cold winter, she also found it hard to settle. For a long time, she didn’t know what to do: start from scratch, or do something completely new?

Flora and fauna.

At first, she considered the traditional flower trade, but that proved impossible – she didn’t have the right training, so nobody wanted to hire her. That meant she had to find something new. And from time to time, she did wonder whether it – Europe, Germany, Berlin – was the right thing for her. Understandable, when obstacles mount up and things don’t look too rosy.

But in spring, everything changed: Berlin came into bloom, the streets filled with people, and most importantly, there was an abundance of flora and fauna, which prompted a change of heart for Ruby.

Ruby Barber working on a flower installation.

A young businesswoman in a foreign city.

She thought long and hard, she said, before making the decision to go abroad and set up on her own. It wasn’t easy: the famous German bureaucracy threw quite a few spanners in the works, and whilst some things come naturally for us as Germans, Ruby had to learn everything from scratch. But she taught herself how to take the arduous steps needed to become independent, including dealing with the authorities and the banks.

Is she proud? She answers the question calmly and modestly, but she deserves to be incredibly proud. Not many people can say that they have successfully established themselves in a foreign city as a young businesswoman.

View of Ruby Barber and her colleague Olivia from behind standing in a factory hall flooded with light.

From college friends to colleagues.

Her colleague Olivia is more than just an assistant. The two women know each other from college in Australia, where they became friends. And by pure happy coincidence, they met again in Berlin years later, and started working together.

Blooming inspiration.

You might assume that the pair are enjoying Berlin to the fullest – after all, Australians are well known to love a party – but no. Even though Ruby’s boyfriend works as a DJ, she prefers to spend her evenings at home and is rarely seen out enjoying the Berlin nightlife. She’d far rather spend time with friends or outdoors enjoying nature.

In the meantime, evening has come, and Ruby walks us to the door. She says goodbye with a warm smile, giving us one last hug. Her eyes seem to sparkle – who knows what new inspiration is blooming in her head?

Ruby Barber standing in front of the rear a Mercedes-Benz V-Class 250 d (BR 447) with a flower bouquet in her hand.

Articles, News & Videos.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

2 Die angegebenen Werte sind die „gemessenen NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 2 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153, die im Einklang mit Anhang XII der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 692/2008 ermittelt wurden. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Aufgrund gesetzlicher Änderungen der maßgeblichen Prüfverfahren können in der für die Fahrzeugzulassung und ggf. Kfz-Steuer maßgeblichen Übereinstimmungsbescheinigung des Fahrzeugs höhere Werte eingetragen sein. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch und die CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.