After a wonderful short break in the South West, including several days in Cornwall, today, I’m delighted to feature an interview with Harriet Parry of Harriet Parry Flowers, as part of my Florist Friday blog post series.
Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist?
I grew up in the countryside and my Granny kept such a beautiful garden. She always had an unusual flower arrangement in the house using things she had grown. She and I would enter something each year into the flower arranging category at the village summer fete! This has always stayed with me…so I’d say my interest in floristry really stemmed from my childhood.
Could you tell us how your floristry career has progressed?
I began my career at a London based floristry studio, working full-time. They were looking for someone from a design background, rather than a floristry one. So combining my design skills and my new floristry ones, I learnt on the job and loved it!
After a couple of years, I decided to become freelance and set up my own small business. Since then, I’ve been lucky to have worked on some really interesting projects. From fashion editorials and films, lovely weddings and events and all kinds of other weird and wonderful things. I love the flexibility of working for myself and being able to collaborate and meet some amazingly creative people. You never know what each day will bring.
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I started my business in May 2012. It was a big scary step, but also extremely exciting. I’m based in Ladywell in South East London, which means I am super close to New Covent Garden Flower Market. I get all my flowers, foliage and other floral ingredients from there. The atmosphere, people and produce never fail to make you smile!
What kind of floristry services do you offer there?
We offer anything from bouquets, to over the top floral head dresses and accessories, for fashion shoots or private commissions. We also do a lot of weddings and flower head dress workshops at festivals and fairs. It’s a great mix as the briefs, people and locations are always very varied.
Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs?
I get my inspiration from so many things…design trends, fashion, a piece of art, maybe a moment in a film, a pattern, a particular time in history or just something that’s caught my eye whilst going about my day.
How would you describe your style?
Because I paint a lot, I do tend to arrange flowers almost like a painting, using colours, textures and shapes that I feel work together. Sometimes these are experimental clashing creations or they can be wild and loose, staying true to the natural movement of the flowers and foliage. As well as fresh flowers, we work a lot in fake too. It all depends really on what our customers want.
Could you tell us about your Bespoke Miniature Posey Paintings?
As well as floristry, I do quite a bit of illustration. I’ve always painted in miniature with the tiniest brush for all the intricate details. So when my friend asked me to paint her wedding bouquet, I got thinking about combining the two.
My Bespoke Miniature Posey Paintings are hand-painted in watercolour using a chosen photograph of a bride’s wedding bouquet and come either framed or unframed. I think it’s a lovely keepsake for a bride and a perfect wedding gift. I’ve been using the tag line ‘It’s a mini memory of their BIG day’.
I’ve also been collaborating with lots of my florist friends, asking them for pictures of their bouquets and painting those too. It would be nice to keep the collection growing and have an exhibition of them all at some point.
What are your plans for 2015?
I hope in 2015 my business will keep expanding with lots of different jobs and projects. There are some exciting things planned for the rest of the year which is great. I’d also like to collaborate with more creatives, businesses and artists and combine both my painting and floristry in some way too.
What is your favourite flower?
I love hydrangeas because of their bold shape and fresh smell. They remind me of my Granny’s beautiful garden.
Thank you so much to Harriet for all her help in compiling today’s blog post. If you’d like to see more of her gorgeous designs, do pop over to the Harriet Parry Flowers website. Social media wise, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
(Images : Harriet Parry Flowers)