Interview with Athena Duncan & Mairead Curtin of Rebel Rebel
If you’re a regular reader of Flowerona, you’ll know I very much admired the work of London-based florist, Rebel Rebel. I featured them when they did a wonderful demo at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011 and more recently, when they attended The National Wedding Show.
So I’m thrilled to be able to bring to you today an interview with the ladies behind this innovative company, Athena Duncan and Mairead Curtin:
Could you tell us what prompted you both to become florists?
We both worked together in a television company and were good friends. One evening, we were sitting having a glass of wine or three, chatting and idly gazing at a bunch of flowers Mairead had been given by her boyfriend.
We both thought – we could do that! It was our light bulb moment! Shortly afterwards, Rebel Rebel was born.
When did you start Rebel Rebel and where are you based?
We started 10 years ago – in fact our birthday is next month. And we have had our shop in Broadway Market, London, E8 for nearly seven years.
Your signature ‘handbag’ floral design has become very popular. How did it come about initially?
We were giving a present to a friend and Athena has a lot of handbags, so we thought we would combine two of our favourite things.
What’s not to like, you get gorgeous flowers which last a week, and when they are finished you have a handbag which lasts forever!
Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs?
Everywhere. In nature, magazines, art, shops, television, film – just life really.
How would you describe your style?
Loose, fresh, natural. We like to use English flowers whenever we can and we like to let flowers do what they do naturally.
That’s not to say that we don’t occasionally cut their heads off and wire them when necessary, but generally speaking we keep things natural!
What are your favourite flowers?
We love flowers. Pretty much all of them. We have a slight resistance to anthurium and Kermit chrysanths, but every flower has its place.
What has been the highlight of your career(s)?
Seeing the Big Brother Eye (below) on billboards all over London and every evening on our television screens was pretty special.
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
We are just setting up an on-line shop. Perhaps it will pay for Athena’s Alfa Romeo Spider which is her wish for the future!!
Generally we just want to do bigger and more exciting projects and we want to work with great people.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to improve their flower arranging skills?
Practice makes perfect. And use nice flowers – actually you can’t make a silk purse out of dyed garage spray chrysanths.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s post. I adore the combinations of flowers and foliage that Rebel Rebel use…their differing textures and vibrant colours.
If you’d like to see more images from their portfolio including events and weddings, do take a look at their website. You’ll see the amazing display of 600 upright gladioli which they arranged for the BAFTA TV Awards After Party at the Natural History Museum and a stunning blue delphiniums arrangement for a BBC event.
Plus there are images from weddings including bridal bouquets, wrist corsages and tablecentres.
I hope you have a lovely weekend. We’ve got some friends coming to stay with their gorgeous black Labrador dog, so we’re planning on some country walks and roaring log fires…plus a dose of Strictly and XFactor, of course!
See you on Monday…
(Images : Rebel Rebel)