Role: Retail florist and business owner
Where did you grow up? Le Mans, France
Where do you work? London
I grew up in France, and I wanted to be an interior designer. But I didn’t want to have to study for a
long time – I wanted to be more creative and do something with my hands. My parents had a friend
who was a florist, which is how I got into flowers. Then I did a floristry apprenticeship in France for four years and then I got employed in a flower shop, where I became the manager. After working there for six years, I got a little bored and wanted to see bigger things and I really wanted to speak English, so I decided to move to London. I arrived in London nine years ago with absolutely nothing except my suitcase and I didn’t speak English at all. I had no job, no friends, no flat, which was a bit crazy! Then I found a job and a flat, and everything fell into place at some point. I created my business almost five years ago, and just moved into my new studio this March, which is very exciting!
What is the best thing about your job?
I’m very lucky to do residential installations. I go to private houses and I change the flowers
everywhere. I love to install flowers that will match with the interiors, and then to come back a week
later and see them completely in bloom and see how the original design has changed. In those people’s houses it’s often very hot, so I have to think about selecting flowers that will fully bloom during the week-long installation.
I also love to be able to work with different flowers every season – to always have something new
and exciting. Each season we have so many possibilities.
What is the biggest challenge?
Standing up all day is definitely tiring, but I think the main challenge for me is making sure my
flowers stay fresh for a week. For an event it’s fine, since the flowers can be tired or dead at
10.30pm, but they need to remain perfect for a full week at my clients’ houses. This means the
water needs to stay clean, and the whole installation needs to stay almost perfect until the end. So
I guess this means my biggest challenge is when I order my flowers, because there are a lot of
flowers that I would love to use but they will sadly not last a week.
What advice would you offer to newcomers?
To be strong, and to be very motivated. It’s a beautiful job, but you have to love it to be to be good
at it. It’s not just about pretty flowers – there’s a lot more to it, like dealing with last-minute
client’s requests and making sure your flower orders arrive on time, and that the quality is the standard you want.
It’s also important to be as flexible as possible. For me there are lots of early mornings and
occasional night installations, so it’s good to be prepared for all kinds of jobs, both big and small.