Hello and welcome to Susie Babington - Florist.
I am regularly asked how I got into floristry so I thought I'd share my story with you and hopefully inspire any budding florists to get started themselves. Like any new venture, floristry takes hard work, sweat and tears (trust me, I've cried A LOT!) but it is achievable.
I started floristry three years ago after a few years as a gardener. My love of the outdoors, a beautiful garden, symmetry and all things green and white spilled over from the garden into my house where bowls of orchids were always to be found.
I was taught by my incredibly talented mother-in-law how to create a beautiful display out of the bog standard orchids we bought at Homebase; how moss changes everything (she used to chant "more moss, masses of moss," to me regularly!) and how a few twirly twigs from the forest added the final touches to a unique display. This is how the Chilworth bowl of orchids was born - one of our most popular products - which then led on to the Aldermoor and Abbotstone. Our quality of orchids has obviously changed but the concept is still rooted in the same displays from those early days.
Chilworth Aldermoor Abbotstone
Roll on a few months and once I'd made a little business out of planters I was asked if I arranged fresh flowers. A new challenge! Back to my mother-in-law, youtube tutorials (yes, really! As a mother to two small boys, I didn't have the time or money for a professional floristry course,) a few single day courses with professionals and many, many hours of practice and tah dah, Susie Babington Florist started.
I remember my first valentines day.... What a stress! I'd bought the most perfect flowers (pink roses, white lilac, eucalyptus, freesia and lisianthus I think...) but I was fussing over the lovely spiral formation of stems in the bouquets (turns out I was angling them in the wrong direction...... you learn by your mistakes). As I stood crying to my mother that I was never going to get it she patiently persuaded me to give it another go. Self compassion and determination are key to a new floristry business.
We have explored the many floristry wholesalers to find the perfect flowers and sundries to work with but still get the biggest buzz going up to London's flower market, New Covent Garden, where the opportunity lies to hob-nob with the top London floristry designers and pick up any handy tips.
Now that we have our stems going in the right direction (!) we are thrilled to have enjoyed the most productive summer yet. We have purchased a van, stocked the workshop with a plethora of vases and sundries and been lucky enough to flower weddings, birthday parties, corporate launches, marquees, venues, private houses, dinner parties and more plus work with some incredible local suppliers including flower farms, marquee hire, event planners, caterers and tableware hire. It's been incredible!
As a new business it is important to build your contacts in the industry as quickly as possible. Working alongside someone you know is so much easier and a few days spent networking with other suppliers during the quiet months pays off in the long run.
We are looking forward to a busy Christmas season with our house dressing service and then on to 2020. Our trusty van, Valerie, will be busy delivering fresh bouquets across north Hampshire whilst our home workshop will be a hive of activity for all the events already booked.
We'd like to thank everybody who has supported us along the way. Without you this little business would never have got off the ground and we are very grateful to you for your continued support.
Susie B x