Today, as part of my Florist Friday blog post series, I’m delighted to feature an interview with Rebecca Moody of Pollen Designs.
Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist?
I’ve always had a love of the outdoors, nature and growing things. All my earliest memories revolve around these things. When my first son was very small, I had already studied basic computer literacy, was looking to study law, but it really didn’t float my boat. It was quite a natural choice when I realised my local college had floristry and horticulture courses. So I decided to study both, alongside one another. Whilst I enjoyed the horticulture, I had to work in a shop environment to be able to complete the 2 year course (which was voluntary unpaid work). By the time I had finished my course I had already been offered a position at the florists that I’d been working at, so it was a natural progression. I would have been about 20 years old at the time.
Could you tell us how your floristry career has progressed?
Working in an unpaid role for 2 years to complete my floristry course meant that I had literally done every basic aspect of working in a florist shop, from filling hundreds of water bottles for Valentine’s Day, bleaching, cleaning and scrubbing buckets and vases, preparing for Mother’s Day, making bows and bouquet wrappings, endless conditioning and wiring…lots of wiring!! All of which I’m very grateful for now. At the time I was desperate to do anything that involved even handling flowers but it gave me a very solid foundation to work from.
I then worked in 3 very busy florists, one of which was directly next to a large city funeral directors, so I learnt lots of new skills for creating sculptures from flowers and large scale pieces. This was before mobile phones so I really don’t have any pictures of my work from this point which is a real shame. I did take a break from floristry as it’s not always the best paid profession and did various other jobs. But I did miss my flowers, the continual changes and just using plant materials and the smell…I missed the scents. Again, a part of my life I’m also grateful for because I learnt lots of other aspects of business which helped me set up my own company – Pollen Designs – which is now in its third year of trading.
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I had a rather large gap between my first and second son but when he finally came along in 2008 I was lucky enough to have my husband support me in the decision to start Pollen Designs, which was officially set up 3 years ago with a grand sum of £500 lent to me by my brother-in-law!! We’re based in Bourne, Lincolnshire from my custom-built workshop at home. It’s rather bijoux and rustic, but it does the job perfectly!
What kind of floristry services do you offer?
Our main clients are brides but we cover all kinds of other occasions and any aspect of floristry work that we’re asked to do. Our service is very personal and tailored to the individual. We customise to our client’s wish and always try to go above and beyond expectations. We try to take as much stress out of their day as possible so they can enjoy their day exactly as they should do. We’re often caught ironing the top table cloth, magically producing some extra pew ends or nipping off from the venue to collect more produce because the brief to set up isn’t quite as described when we arrive!!
Where do you get your inspiration for your floral designs?
Well, it sounds like a cliché but it really does come from nature and colour. I love gardening and grow lots of bits myself, although not on a cutting garden or flower farm scale. But my diddy garden and our family allotment is big enough to keep me busy. I love walking my dog Molly (a Cocker Spaniel), so love a good forage in the woods or hedgerows with my secateurs in my pocket! I try to encourage a seasonal selection to work within the seasons and have great contacts for locally grown and British grown flowers, so try to use these where possible.
I love to learn new ways and techniques. Last year, I responded to a competition on Twitter by Paula Pryke which amazingly I won! She’s someone who I’ve admired for years. She’s a leader in her class and an absolutely lovely lady. I couldn’t believe how down to earth she is for someone of her global fame. I’ve been an avid follower of her books, so she has also been a huge inspiration to me over the years.
I’ve been following this lovely lot with huge admiration …. Jo Flowers, The Blue Carrot, Floret, Holly Chapple, Studio Choo, Saipua and Pyrus. I also love the work of Planet Flowers, McQueens, Wild at Heart and Jay Archer.
How would you describe your style?
I like to work using lots of textures, foliage and herbs. Almost like a cottage garden style, formally placed and yet natural. For the most part, I create to my client’s brief so that can mean working outside the box!
What are your plans for the remainder of 2015?
2015 has been super busy, particularly with the addition of a new baby to add to our brood. If I dare say the ‘C’ word I’m looking forward to a busy Christmas after our hectic summer of weddings. We have all sorts of things lined up with workshops, photoshoots and projects for next year. And of course all the lovely client meetings booked in. OOOooo and a bright shiny new van!!
What is your favourite flower?
I don’t have one particular flower. I’m not sure how anyone could. My ‘favourites’ really do change with the seasons. I love Ranunculus, Snowdrops, Narcissi ‘Minnow’ and Forget-Me-Nots in the spring, Peonies, Delphiniums, Sweet Peas and Garden Roses in the summer. I like to use rich velvety tones in the autumn and I can’t resist a conker or an acorn or fungi and moss. In winter it has to be foliage, Amaryllis, Berries, Hellebores and Tree Ivy.
Thank you so much to Rebecca 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 Pollen Designs website. Social media wise, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
(Images : Pollen Designs)