INTERVIEW: BLUE SKY FLOWERS
In my journey as a wedding blogger I’ve been lucky to meet some amazing and talented people. These ladies aren’t just colleagues who I get to work with on events and projects but a close-knit community of life-long friends. One of the first ladies I was lucky enough to meet was Liz from Blue Sky Flowers, a brilliant florist and all-round lovely lady. I’ve had the privilege of working with her on numerous shoots, published in some of the top bridal press, as well as on some more personal projects. As a member of the B.LOVED team she’s provided us with so much floral inspiration, today it’s time for us to focus on the business side of this lady’s talents…
Hi Liz, thanks for joining us today! Can you tell us a bit about what you do?
I am primarily a wedding florist working in and around London but also able and willing to travel further afield
What did you do before getting into floristry and how does that experience help you now?
I worked for around 15 years in the magazine industry for titles such as Elle Decoration and World of Interiors. Whilst that career has made a particular mark on my current one, I am certainly well versed at dealing with and talking with clients, both private and commercial, have a creative eye and a head for figures – very important in running your own business
What motivated you to set up Blue Sky Flowers?
After 15 years of creating promotion pages within glamorous magazines for a variety of clients, I needed to get away and do something very different. A tentative toe in the water of garden design led me to work for a very creative florist and garden design with whom I worked for two years. After that I decided to launch out on my own and the rest is history…
What kind of couples do you work with?
All kinds is the short answer! Young professional couples based in London with a contemporary mind set, couples in established relationships who want more or a party than a traditional wedding reception and many couples based overseas who are looking for a typically British wedding day. Mainly they are all looking for a company to provide high quality, luxurious flowers for the most important day of their lives
What’s your starting point when designing wedding flowers?
Talking to the bride and groom is the most important part of planning a wedding … finding out their style, their personality, what they like and don’t like. Many say they don’t know about flowers and as they’ve never married before, they don’t know where to start …but that is why they come to me
How do you develop your ideas?
Working from the couples’ initial brief, I try to incorporate any relevant details such as colour of bridesmaids’ dresses, any other items that may appear around the ceremony and reception room, ribbons that may be being used somewhere, for example and colours/décor within the rooms.
I then work on a draft proposal that will bring to life all that we discussed in our meeting. I try to work with seasonal flowers and products where at all possible and that can entail extensive research depending on the time line involved
How much input/influence do the couple have in the creative process?
I look very much to them for initial input as to their likes and dislikes and would never go against that…. I’m happy to tweak my initial proposal until they are happy!
What makes your work unique?
We strive to offer an attentive, professional and personal service. Being a small company, if a couple ring our phone number or email … they get me, not one of a team or someone just about to go home at the end of the day and I think that makes a big difference
How long before the wedding do couples need to get in touch?
As early as they like really! If they have booked a venue a year out from the wedding date, for example, then I’m happy to have an initial discussion to talk over and perhaps look at seasonal flowers so they can get a very good feel for what is possible. But ideally a couple of months is fine – you’d be surprised what we’ve been able to turn around in a week!
Who do you respect and admire in the design/floristry world?
I think my all-time guru is Jeff Leatham, florist extraordinaire at the George V in Paris – yes he has enormous budgets but what comes out of his head is amazing! More down to earth perhaps, I think the boys at Bloomsbury Flowers are so creative and I greatly admire their style
What do you think of trends? Do you follow them or prefer to follow your own style?
I think I have my own style – but don’t ask me what it is! It is all too easy to get caught up in the latest floral craze from the States, but they have very different climates, flower availability and clientele. It’s a bit like going to the hairdressers with a photo of Jennifer Aniston… I can ask but I’m never going to look like that!
What challenges have you set yourself for the next 12 months?
I’ve been lucky enough to have been featured in all the main wedding magazines over the past few years and 2015 alone has been incredible … I’ve also been involved in amazing styled shoots that have featured on some of the most wonderful wedding blogs around (this one included of course!) So perhaps – I’d like to be in Brides again, win an award, conquer a new venue and be respected by my peer florists x