It’s been eight years since I went to college and retrained in floristry. When I excitedly dreamt of the wonderful possiblities that being a florist would bring, only to quickly realise that it wasn’t for me! It wasn’t what I imagined. It didn’t excite me, I felt creatively stumped by the rigid forms and technique I was told I “HAD to work to”. Before I knew it my dream of creating incredible floral masterpieces had all but died, leaving me in a “well what now?” situation.
As much as the passion wasn’t there, I had new found skills. With loads of friends weddings coming up, I continued my floral journey and as the opportunities grew, so did my confidence. I spent much of my time making arrangements by myself in the garage where I was free and felt safe to experiment with the form and shape of arrangements without a teacher breathing down my neck telling me it was wrong.
Around this time baby number 1 arrived, my beautiful Rosa (Rosebud), my yearning to be creative and not return to an office following maternity leave got stronger. Rather coincidentally, my best friend also had a little one and was keen to escape the office environment and the constant juggle of childcare.
Now to cut a very long story short, we were both incrediably naive, passionate, but naive. I mean, who would have thought you juggle childcare, kids and have way more work to do being self employed? Crazy! Anyway, we put our all into a beautiful new floral and event planning business but the truth of it was we made something too big, too quickly and with kids, cash flow problems and exhaustion, we burnt ourselves out. The tough decision was made that we would rather lose the business than lose our friendship and so that’s what we did. We saw out all the bookings we had contracted but stopped taking any new business.
I have a lot to be thankful for from this experience, mainly my best friend Alice for pushing me to believe in myself. It was also during this time that I attended a course with Covent Garden Flower Academy and realised there are different teachers out there, not everyone wants to work to formality – who knew?!
Another batch of maternity leave with baby number 2, Francis (Franco), and a turbulent year following the loss of my wonderful nan, was the final straw. I got my arse into gear, enough was enough. I had longed to move back to the North after a decade living in the Midlands away from my family. I now had two small children and was unhappy, so with the full support of my husband, I did something about it.
This was the turning point. Finally being brave enough to instigate a move back up North was something that had long felt impossible. I started to feel like I could do anything – I was going to push forward with being a florist, my way and my style, I just needed to work out how.
Sunday morning, Saltburn Food Festival, two screaming kids in the hot sunshine and a cool chick with an intriguing stall… this sums up the first time I met my now partner in crime Mrs Easton and there’s not a week that passes when we don’t bang on about how lucky we are that we found each other. From this chance meeting, she was never going to let me escape the LD grasp, and thank God she didn’t.
Within 2 weeks of moving back up North I was bringing weekly blooms to The LillianDaph Store, over the past 8 months I have evolved massively in an attempt to grow my small business steadily. So many people are asking for more. More days in the shop, more flowers in stock and I’m aiming to do that but want to ensure I do it properly.
So here’s the next step; British – all British and local wherever possible. Who knew there was so much on our doorstep, why get it all flown in?
I believe wholeheartedly in supporting British flower growers, following our flower seasons whilst celebrating and discovering all that our land has to offer. Now I’m no purest and we all know the Dutch are incrediable at delivering us fabulous flowers, of which I still adore.
This blog is for my passions, British Flowers being the biggest. I want to share all I find, the people (growers and florist friends) who inspire me, whilst inspiring you with all I create. I’m excited to share our developing new studio space, workshops and glorious weddings I have coming up. I might even begin to get the kids involved in growing our own (wish me luck).
I won’t witter on half as much in future, but I know how nosey I am, so thought you might like to know a bit about how I ended up as Ruffled Wren! (Oh, the name comes from childhood… Jenni Wren and ruffled… well I have been know to get my knickers in a twist or feathers ruffled a few times).