Queenie’s Floral Design was born out of a desire to connect more fully with nature, and, potentially earn a living working with flowers, creating beautiful British grown bouquets and buttonholes.
After many years as a primary teacher, and school leader, I found myself yearning for a life that was more authentic to the real me.
I had attended a floristry NVQ course several years ago at the local horticultural college but found that much of the course didn’t suit my style, and was geared towards opening a shop, so I allowed the dream to drift. Later, I embarked on teaching myself various floristry techniques and attending workshops by florists I admired. I finally bit the floral bullet, and booked myself on a career change course in Hampshire with the indomitable Jay Archer. Jay and her team were inspiring teachers, and their enthusiasm, drive and positive energy was infectious. It was late January, freezing cold and whizzed by in a whirlwind of flowers, new friends, fabulous food and digging deep to find my own floral style. It was life changing.
I am now happily working full time from my home studio in Wolverhampton. I grow much of what I use and love the connection to nature that this gives me. Soil is nature’s hand sanitizer! I love to freelance when I can, and enjoy collaborating with other creative folk. Weddings are the backbone of my business, and helping the bride and groom choose their flowers, and encouraging them to find their own style and be bold with their flower choice, is so rewarding. Seeing the completed flowers on the day, often after months (and more recently years), is so satisfying. I have to remind myself to find time on a wedding day, as the frenzy of preparation subsides, to stop, breathe and drink it all in.
I’ve always enjoyed running workshops, harking back to my teaching days, I suppose. The popularity of those I run for Christmas wreaths never ceases to surprise me, and I’m already taking bookings for the festive season – even though it’s only April when I’m writing this! Hen party and birthday workshops for flower crowns and hand tied bouquets are increasingly popular and really good fun.
One aspect of floristry that has been a revelation to me in recent years is funeral flowers. They were something I had not previously been drawn to when floral foam seemed to be the only option for making them. Using techniques from my wedding work, and following advice from fellow FFTF members, I now enjoy making bespoke farewell arrangements that are a celebration of life.
Florists have had a tough time during the pandemic, and like most small businesses have had to diversify to survive. I have been selling British grown posies and small bouquets at a local cafe and collaborated with another local handmade business for Mother’s Day.
The list of jobs never ends, and I kind of like that. I love a learning curve and my next one is to teach myself how to take better photographs of my work, so have just bought myself a proper camera and will be learning new techniques over the forthcoming season.
As we venture out to enjoy the world once again, I have booked a day out to the Garden Museum to see the Constance Spry exhibition, curated by the very talented Mr Shane Connolly. I can’t wait.