Jane Packer…one of the world’s most influential florists

Yesterday, I was very saddened to hear that the amazingly talented florist, Jane Packer, had passed away. 

Jane was one of the world’s most influential florists and has inspired me immensely.

I feel very honoured to have attended one of her floristry demonstrations a few years ago in London and was wowed by her simply, yet utterly stunning designs.

I’m dedicating today’s post to Jane. 

The story of her career illustrates how from very humble beginnings, she created an instantly recognisable global brand, with sheer hard work and attention to detail.

She once said : ‘We consider ourselves a brand in the interiors/fashion market rather than just a flower shop, the same as, say Tiffany or Gucci.  If something arrives in a Tiffany box or a Gucci bag, you know someone’s gone the extra mile, and that’s how we see ourselves in the flower world and how we want the business to develop.  That’s why we have our very distinctive black Jane Packer bags.’

At the age of fifteen, she started working in a small flower shop in Essex as a Saturday girl. 

When she left school, she took a job at the shop and then signed up for a one-day-a-week floristry and horticultural course in London. 

At eighteen, she got a job in a hotel in Charing Cross in London.  When she started, she was paid £15.00 a week and her travel expenses were £14.50.  She said : ‘I didn’t care, I adored it.’

After a couple of years, she got restless and decided to set up on her own.

So, in 1981, she opened her first shop in James Street in London’s West End.   Money was tight and she couldn’t afford marketing, so she left bouquets at the receptions of glossy magazines.  It worked.  She was twenty-three and ‘The Times’ featured one of her bridal bouquets.

Her big break came in 1986 when she designed Sarah Ferguson’s bridal flowers for her wedding to HRH The Duke of York. 

In 1989, she opened her first flower school in the basement of her house in Maida Vale, which later moved to her headquarters in Marylebone.  There are now also Jane Packer Flower Schools in New York, Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo, plus shops in New York, Japan and South Korea.

In the UK, Jane developed a nationwide delivery service called Jane Packer Delivered, which I’ve often featured on Flowerona.

She also created a range of vases, candles and other products for Debenhams and more recently launched a collection of fragrances.

Jane wrote numerous books, which have been translated into many different languages, making her one of the most widely read authors of flower books in the world.

Throughout her career, she championed the vision that flowers are as exciting as fashion and interior design, but entirely more accessible.

And her philosophy has always been for her designs to be ‘uncontrived and natural’.  Less is more.

My thoughts go to her family and all of her employees around the world.

(Images : Jane Packer)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in Florists and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Jane Packer…one of the world’s most influential florists

  1. Thank you Rona for a fitting and lovely article and tribute to the amazingly talented Jane Packer. I was also saddened to hear of her death yesterday and like you she was and still is one of my main inspirations and completely the reason why I took a floristry course in the first place. Her books have pride of place on my shelves and she is always my go to author when I need refer to a style or method. Unfortunately I never met or got to attend one of her workshops but it just goes to show that if you have the talent and the drive you can succeed.

    Sadly missed. x

    • Rona says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m so pleased you liked the article…it would appear from all the comments on Twitter over the last couple of days, that we are not alone in our thoughts…

  2. Karen at Flowers@theShed says:

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. Thank you for giving us a moment to pause and remember her today. May her books continued to be treasured and her legacy of beautiful simplicity in floral design live on…..

    • Rona says:

      Thank you Karen for your wonderful comment. You are so right, in that it’s so important to pause sometimes…in the fast-paced lives that we lead.

  3. I was so sad to hear this news… such a loss for the industry and flower lovers everywhere, especially as she was so young…
    Like you, my thoughts go out to her family, friends and employees.

    Lovely tribute, Rona x

  4. Vicki hatton says:

    I was very shocked to hear this sad news , Jane and I met at southwark college on the floristry course and we were friends many years ago ,in fact she came to my wedding ,we lost touch over the years but I was always so pleased and proud at how well she did building her floristry empire ! Well done Jane , deepest heartfelt sympathy to her family x

  5. How very sad this is. I have always been aware of her as an extremely talented florist creating innovative displays and beautiful work. This is a lovely tribute Rona.

  6. Julie says:

    I trained at Jane’s school in London 12 years ago and being around that creativity and obvious passion for floristy combined with a real ‘people’ personality left a long memory which enriched my life. A real loss of a lovely lady and a rare talent.

  7. Karen Henderson says:

    Yet another talented and lovely lady has been snatched away in her prime….. she will be so sorely missed in the floristry world….. Thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time……xx Bless you Jane xx

  8. IT IS A SHOCK TO HEAR JANE HAS DIED I KNEW SHE WAS ILL BUT NEVER DREAM SHE WOULD HAVE DIED I AM A FLORIST AND WENT TO HER FLOWER SCHOOLS ALOT SHE WAS A LOVELY LADY AND ALWAYS HAPPY AND LOVED WHAT SHE DID U WILL BE MISSED JANE LOVE TO GARY AND CHILDREN SHE WILL LIVE ON IN JANE PACKER FLOWERS X

  9. INDONES PLACIBE ROCIOS says:

    THE NATURE INSPIRATION DESIGN………………A TRADENAME HER IN KUWAIT FOR ALMOST 3YEARS……………….THE LEGACY OF THE MOST RENOWED FLORAL DESIGNER IS STILL REMAIN IN MY HEART AND THATS MADAM JANE PACKER, I WAS SHOCKED AND CRIED ABOUT JANE PACKER WAS DIED……………..THE ONLY THING THAT I CAN SAY TO HER IS THANK YOU SO MUCH ABOUT HER GREATNESS AND EXPERTIES WHEN IT COMES OF FLORAL DESIGN…….I REALY MISSED HER,,,,,,,,,,BEST REGARDS ALSO TO HER ASSISTANT MADAM SAWSAN AND MADAM HELEN NEWMAN”

  10. Pandharinath Mhaske says:

    Rona, Nice tribute! I was shocked to read this bad news,and feel sorry.
    She was inspiration for me as florist. I feel proud that her three books are on my bookshelves including “World Flowers” .

  11. Pingback: Jane Packer's Victory Bouquet for medal winners at the London Olympics 2012 | Flowerona

  12. Almost everyday At work I am asked what inspires me to create my floral arrangements called posies for my window.
    I tell my clients that I had traveled In search of inspiration to find.

    Jane Packer designs ….

    Signed Lodovico Castagner
    Flowers by the dozen Oakville

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>