What prompted you to become a florist?
I was always out and about outside as a child. I used to be in both the Brownies and the Girl Guides and could always be found up a tree or in woods somewhere whilst we were camping!
I took a very early interest in nature and just loved getting my hands dirty. I was always the one doing the nature inspired badges and creating miniature gardens on plates. I used to pick flowers for the dining tables in Brownies and put them in old jars and jugs that were lying around.
I remember getting in lots of trouble once because I picked Deadly Nightshade!! Luckily my knowledge of flora and fauna has grown. I guess my enthusiasm stemmed from that and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now.
Who have you worked for?
- The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane
- The Lanesborough House Hotel, Hyde Park
- Simon J Lycett
- Paul Thomas
- Town and County Flowers
- Shane Connolly
- Jacqueline Finn Floral Design
- Flourishing Events
When did you start own business and where are you based?
I started my own business 8 years ago. I wasn’t in a fortunate position to have funding or help with funds, so I grew slowly mixing freelance work with gaining my own clients over a period of a few years until I was able to make the terrifying leap of going it alone!
I now have a workshop and a newly refurbished meeting and consultation room in Hither Green, South London.
I understand you don’t have a shop, so what kind of floristry services do you offer?
I don’t run a traditional retail florist shop, however our new meeting and consultation room is a shop and has a great high street presence. The workroom/workshop is a large warehouse space attached to the back of the shop.
We predominantly offer a bespoke design service for couples getting married or having civil partnership ceremonies. Monday to Thursday, we spend most of the time designing and creating floral displays for many corporate events and parties throughout London.
We also offer a contract floristry service around London to companies who wish to enhance their reception areas. Our lovely consultation room and workshop is also opposite one of the largest crematoriums and cemetery in South London, so we also offer a funeral and sympathy service.
I heard on the grapevine that you helped decorate the ballroom for the eve of Kate and William’s wedding in April. Can you tell us anything about it?
We were very fortunate and privileged that under the auspices of Lady Elizabeth Anson, from Party Planners, we were one of the florists chosen to decorate the Ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel to celebrate the wedding of Kate and William.
We created a huge 15ft urn arrangement, all in white and green and using beautiful spring flowers and foliages, most of which were English grown. We also decorated the entrance to the Ballroom with a gorgeous design of the same.
To finish, we created all the occasional table designs which incorporated English grown narcissi, guelder rose, English Garden roses, hellebores and peonies. The event was hosted by Lady Elizabeth Anson and HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Duke of Edinburgh were guest of honours amongst many other Royals and dignitaries from worldwide.
How would you describe your style?
I don’t believe that we have an absolute ‘house style’ here, as we design bespoke for all types of event and I have a great team who are happy working with both contemporary and more traditional type designs.
However, when left to my own devices, I lean more towards a very natural and elegant edge to my designs. I prefer each individual flower in a design to stand out and be seen for its beauty.
What is your favourite flower?
Always a tough question for any florist!
My love for particular flowers grows and wanes as the seasons change – I always get a little excited when I see tulips because of how different they can be, the fabulous colours they come in and how versatile they are too use.
I adore English sweet peas and will quite happily bury my nose in them for hours. If I am truly honest, the way to my heart is through giving me a hellebore, the markings on them can be stunning and I am a sucker for hostas!
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
I plan to keep expanding the business and for the company to continue to become recognised as one of the leading florists who they can trust with great design, excellent quality of flowers and brilliant customer service.
I have both short term and long term goals for the business and I am looking at other ways of expanding the business and providing employment opportunities for talented florists.
Many thanks to Karen for taking part in today’s post. Aren’t her arrangements just beautiful?
I hope you have a lovely weekend and manage to squeeze in some time to relax and recharge.
Look forward to seeing you next week.
(Images : Karen Woolven Floral Design)