I caught up with Hannah from Bride and Bloom recently, she is a talented floral designer with a background in fashion who left the security of her job to set up her own business in Worcester where she lives with her family. Hannah personally selects and hand-cuts flowers from local growers to create unique one-off arrangements filled with fresh and highly scented British blooms. Her enthusiasm for wild, natural looking wedding flowers is infectious. I spoke to Hannah about her career journey and found out how she made the transition form fashion to flowers, I also took the opportunity to ask why buying seasonal British flowers is best.
Being part of someone’s wedding day is an absolute pleasure and privilege for me and is made all the better working with locally grown British flowers!
What made you take the leap from fashion to flowers?
The need to be more creative – I was an account manager for a womenswear supplier and although I got to look at beautiful cloths, colours and fabrics every day I missed the physicality of being creative. Falling pregnant really spurred me on to do something about it and I signed up for a few courses at Judith Blacklock and the Covent Garden Flower Academy and that was enough to make me take the leap.
Did you have a clear strategy or brand in mind when you started?
Not at all! I just wanted to be creative and actually I’m glad I didn’t because my floral journey has led me to where I am now. It has enabled me to develop a wilder and more natural style.
Did you always want to use British flowers in your work?
Well, not always as I didn’t know about British flowers when I first started out but moving from London to Worcester was the catalyst in making that change. I didn’t have New Covent Garden Market on the doorstep anymore so needed new suppliers. Twitter provided a great opening and happened upon the hashtag #britishflowers which opened up a network of fellow minded florists and growers who I now heavily rely on. Flowers from the Farm are a fabulous organisation who promote , growers and florists alike using British flowers.
Did you find it hard to get started and promote your business?
In essence no, I used a mentoring coach for the first couple of months that helped me to focus on how to get out there but wedding fairs and Facebook were easy and obvious ways to promote the business in those early days. The landscape has changed significantly over the last few years and it is much harder to promote your business through Facebook but social media is integral in marketing your business. If I was starting now I’d feel pretty overwhelmed by all the dos and don’ts.
Why should we support the British flower industry?
It’s much more ecologically sound for the environment, helps support and promote British businesses and the flowers are utterly gorgeous , unique and smell amazing!!
Don’t get me wrong imported flowers have their place but are often cut weeks in advance and chilled so much that they loose their scent. I distinctly remember being so disappointed that my Bridesmaid bouquet didn’t smell when my brother married in 2008. Now I am able to give someone the memory of smelling sweet peas or herbs on their wedding day, it is an utter joy to be able to give people the gift of wedding flowers with a scent that will stay with them for rest of their life.
Finally, what seasonal flowers can we buy throughout the year?
Hellebores and narcissus (these smell amazing) are beautiful through January and February, then I love blossom and tulips from March through to May time.
June is the month for peonies but their season is so short-lived you just have to grab them when you see them! Garden roses and sweet peas have the most incredible smell!For July I love a gathered mix of achillea, verbena, echinops, salvia and grasses.
August and September are the months for dahlias and cosmos.
Berries, twigs and dried seedpods are plentiful and so seasonal in October and November.
In December look for evergreens and hyacinths.
To learn more about Hannah and her work follow the link here.
Photography: with special thanks to Sam Jayne Photography
Find my guide to making a hand tied bouquet here.