Today, as part of my Florist Friday blog post series, I’m delighted to feature an interview with Paris based florist, Estelle Preston of Estelle Preston Flowers.
Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist?
I grew up on a farm in Ireland, so I’ve always loved nature and the seasons. I moved to London at sixteen to follow my dream of being a dancer. I loved the theatre, but as we all know it’s a difficult career to maintain. I had a very dear friend who was a florist and she suggested I try a floristry course. So I went to Hadlow College in Kent and right from the beginning I absolutely loved it and knew it was for me!
Could you tell us how your floristry career has progressed?
My first Saturday job was at Moyses Stevens in Sloane Square where I learnt so much in one year. I loved the creative side of floristry…it’s almost like performing but with flowers! I’d previously worked at Euro Disney as a dancer and I longed to return to Paris to live. I was very lucky to be accepted as a florist with Christian Tortu, where there was a large team of exceptionally talented florists. I really developed my own individual style whilst working there. Christian taught me how to combine flowers with amazing foliage and not to be frightened to mix unexpected elements together! I travelled a lot with Christian. The most memorable was a wedding for a Dubai princess.
I went on to manage a top flower school at the Hotel de Crillon, before becoming the Florist to the British Ambassador’s residence, where over a ten year period, I’ve had such a fantastic and exciting experience with very diverse events on a weekly basis, including a fashion show and garden parties. And last year, I had the enormous pleasure of doing the flowers for the Queen’s State Visit.
My favourite work is wedding floristry. I did a wedding many years ago in the American church in Paris. A very talented photographer loved my work and so Estelle Preston Flowers was born. I work with a group of very talented wedding planners who organise American and English elopements in Paris. I’ve now opened a second workshop in Normandy.
What kind of floristry services do you offer?
I specialise in luxury weddings and events, offering a very personal, bespoke service to my clients in English. I travel within France and am always on-site the day of the wedding to make sure everything is perfect. I have a lot of contact with my clients. We often end up friends as we’ve spent so much intimate time together creating their dream day.
Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs?
I get my inspiration from fashion and interiors, and I am constantly working with my flower suppliers at Rungis to being new flower varieties into my designs. My brides also inspire me. I love when they give me a brief and then let me work my magic.
How would you describe your style?
My style is extremely romantic. I love abundance. I’m a very generous florist. I love combining vintage containers with amazing foliage and tumbling flowers. I’m definitely not a minimalist florist! I love combining colour and texture to my designs.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2015/2016?
I’m hoping to continue combining my work at the British Embassy with my elopements. May is a very busy month! Everybody wants French peonies. I’m also working on a project to develop a flower school in Normandy, which is exciting.
What is your favourite flower?
My favourite flower is the Christmas rose or Hellebore. I love all the beautiful colours and it’s such a delicate flower almost like a little ballerina. I love winter and I had Christmas roses in my own wedding bouquet, so they’re very special to me.
Thank you so much to Estelle for all her help in compiling today’s blog post. If you’d like to see more of her beautiful designs, do pop over to the Estelle Preston Flowers website. Social media wise, you can find Estelle on Facebook.
(Images : Estelle Preston Flowers)