It’s Florist Friday and today I’m thrilled to feature an interview with Victoria Lemmon of Victoria Flowers. I first came across her breath-taking work when I was searching for a video for a Flowerona Links post and just had to get in contact, as I was totally captivated by her wedding flower designs!
Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist?
Having three big brothers, I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy. I love getting my hands dirty and being outside. My twin brother and I were always running around in the fields back home, plucking up onions, picking berries, eating them and going home with bellyache! With a love of the outdoors, the countryside and of course the beauty of flowers, I always hoped to have my own flower shop.
My life when I left home in Kent took a different path as I studied Fashion Management in Nottingham and moved to London to pursue a long career for a leading menswear brand in Product Development and Production.
I still had this burning desire to work as a florist, to be more creative and run my own business, so I started to research more about the floristry industry and courses available to set about my new direction. It was a massive leap of faith in so many ways, financially, physically and emotionally, but one I have never ever regretted.
Could you tell us how your floristry career has progressed?
I started my journey seven years ago now, taking a course at one of London’s prestigious flower schools. Initially starting out at Jamie Aston’s flower shop in Marylebone, I then moved to Moyses Stevens, working and managing their Knightsbridge store for over two years.
When a position arose to work on the Events team at McQueens in Clerkenwell, I jumped at the opportunity to gain a greater insight of this side of the industry. I loved working on the Events team where I could deliver to the clients brief and see all the amazing venues not only in London, but across the country and Europe. I worked at McQueens for over three years before I set up Victoria Flowers.
Victoria Flowers has grown steadily from strength to strength, mainly built on recommendations and word of mouth. One wedding or event has led to another through positive feedback. I’ve also been involved in fashion and bridal shoots, which has been a great platform to push the boundaries of what Victoria Flowers can do, as well as working with some very talented people.
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I started my business in the spring of 2012. I had the opportunity to take on a very large wedding that year and decided it was the perfect time to go it alone.
I’m based in North London, just outside Camden. I work from home in our dining area, garden and terrace. Quite often, flowers are lined up in our daughter’s bedroom and she will talk to them if they need to open before the big event!! We plan to move in the coming months. So I will have my own studio to work from and I hope to have enough space to open a flower school.
I love to invite clients to visit me at home as they can get a feel for my style and view the vast range of vases I’ve collected over the years. I love to collect vintage vessels from antiques markets, boot fairs and even charity shops. They’re all so individual and unique. I’m not restricted however as I also hire in vases, depending on my clients’ requirements.
What kind of floristry services do you offer?
I offer a truly personal service for bespoke event floristry. I mainly work on weddings but all types of events…corporate, private functions and bat/bar-mitzvahs.
Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs?
I love visiting New Covent Garden Flower Market where I’m always inspired by all the flowers, colours, new varieties and changing seasons. I’m totally overly excited by foliage too. I often take an early morning drive over there just to see what’s around and get home before my husband and daughter have even woken up!
Colour is often the basis of my inspiration for my work. Working closely with the client to determine the palette will set the scene for the design. My clients inspire and excite me to fulfil their dream arrangement.
Walking, travelling, visiting galleries and shopping are things I love to do in my free time and there are always inspiring things to find, from the Italian foliage on our summer holidays in Puglia, shop window displays around London, art in the Tate Britain or just a stroll through Hampstead Heath. I’ll always pick up an idea or two for future work.
The internet is also great for inspiration, especially Pinterest and Instagram. Clients often come along to consultations with images downloaded for initial ideas to discuss together. It’s a great starting point.
How would you describe your style?
If I’m to describe my style, it’s natural, informal and abundant. I always work within the season and love to use a mixture of different foliage with every design, to give movement and texture.
What are your plans for 2014?
I have many bookings for this year through to September, so I’d love to see more for the tail end of 2014! I would also like to start planning a flower school once we move, but I’ll hold fire until later in the year or 2015!
What is your favourite flower?
That’s a difficult question as I haven’t just one! Sweet peas for their delicate beauty. There is nothing quite as elegant and heavenly scented. Scabious and nigella are my all-time favourites for their wild countryside appeal. English garden roses for their beautifully formed blooms and amazing fragrance…
Thank you so much to Victoria for all her help in compiling today’s blog post. To see more of her stunning work, please visit the Victoria Flowers website.
To keep up-to-date with Victoria’s news, here’s where you can find her on social media:
P.S. Here’s the wonderful video that I mentioned at the start of the blog post…just in case you missed it first time round.
(Images: All images : Victoria Flowers, apart from 2-4 : Halfpenny London)