Name: Jay Cockett, owner of Floral Couture by Jay
Where did you grow up? Weymouth, Dorset
Where do you work? Weymouth, Dorset
Role: Florist business owner with a retail shop
My background is in childcare, but I’ve always been quite creative. That led me to work in the wedding industry, with events, decor and things like that, but I’ve always had a passion for flowers since childhood. My grandad and I used to spend a lot of time in the garden in the greenhouse, so it went from there. I put my creative side and floristry together, and it was a perfect match.
When I was younger, floristry wasn’t really something I thought about or knew about. It wasn’t until I was a bit older when I was introduced to it, as our local college is quite proud of what they do so they publicise it. So, I went to Kingston Maurward College in Dorset to do my floristry diploma (levels 2 and 3) and then went on to do level 4. You first have to do work experience in a shop, and then you get to do wedding fairs and trips.
When I started my business – Floral Couture by Jay – I began by doing my work from home and then we moved to our retail property. As I’d had some experience in shops and we were offered a really good deal, the move was a bit of a no brainer! We’ve now been in the shop for two years, since October 2018.
What is the best thing about your job?
I think it’s seeing people’s reactions, emotions and feelings and understanding how we can affect people’s different emotions through our work. For example, funeral arrangements are very special to make.
What’s the biggest challenge?
This is a difficult question! I didn’t buy a flower shop outright and instead started the business from scratch, so it was a big challenge to get myself out there and get locals to know about me when I was working from home. I did it through advertising, word of mouth and social media.
What advice would you give to newcomers?
My best advice would be to find some form of training or education. The education side is so important, and it’s really helped me gain the experience and knowledge I need to run my own business. Floristry is a lot more than just playing with flowers! It’s fun, very hard work, but I’d definitely recommend it.