Meet the Maker
Hello there! March is officially #MeetTheMaker month - so really it's about time I got on with starting the Emma Jane Blog! Find out more about me and EJFD!
How did you get started?
I came about floristry in a round about way... (This is kind of a long story so bear with me!) I've always been creative. I went to art school when I was 18 where I did Foundation Studies in Art & Design as well as a qualification in Life Drawing (random but fun!). After this I went to Uni to study Maths (again, quite a random jump!) and ended up on an accountancy graduate scheme. Needless to say, Excel documents and balance sheets weren't really fulfilling my creativity - but did make me very good at budgeting which has been realllyyyy useful for running my own business!
Anyway, during this time my mental health took a real hit and in 2016 I was signed off work suffering from depression and anxiety. The whole year was a real low point for me and I ended up quitting my job and returning to Mid Wales. In 2017 I was feeling somewhat better, day to day things were still as struggle but I was starting to manage a little more. I came across a floristry course at a local college and I thought "Why not?". I really just wanted to do something fun and creative and never really thought about taking it any further.
As I progressed through college people started asking me to make things for them and it all started developing from there. I was pretty shocked when my best friend asked me to make her wedding flowers! I've been pretty reluctant to go it alone - mostly through fear! But I promised myself that 2019 would be the year that I did - so here goes!
How would you describe your design style?
I like to think the things I make are a bit cooler, quirkier and more rock'n'roll than your average wedding flowers. (Can you call flowers rock'n'roll?!) I like things that are a bit free & wild!
The other thing I'm really passionate about it recycling. Not to sound judgy, but I think we all need to be making a conscious effort to save our planet. You might think floristry as an industry would be into nature etc but it's really not. Floral foam is made of plastic. It doesn't biodegrade. It just breaks down into microplastics that end up in our oceans. Ditto plastic cellophane. I try to be eco-friendly where I can; this year I started making 100% biodegradable Christmas wreaths, I am trying to move away from plastic packaging and I recycle and reuse materials where possible. Earth is fab, let's look after it!
How did you learn?
I've mostly learnt through experimenting! I learnt all the theory and traditional bits and bobs at college - which was useful but being the creative rebel that I am, I mostly just wanted to break the rules. Traditional arrangements aren't really my thing - free flowing and wild and I'm your girl!
The best thing I ever did was start freelancing with Donna at Pheasant Botanica. Donna took me on despite having no experience and has taught me soooo much! I absolutely love working with her on her gorgeous bespoke wedding designs, there's always something different and I love her approach to each piece as a work of art. She has been so supportive of my development and starting out on my own - basically, she's the best!
What's the best bit of running your own business?
Freeeeeedom. Ha! Handing orders over to clients and seeing them pleased. Working with other florists and doing weddings! They're super hard work - but I love making a couple's vision of their wedding come to life!
What's the hardest bit of running your own business?
Responsibility! Working alone. Understanding SEO... (Still don't!)
What's the less glam side?
Oh my gosh - so many less than glam moments. Absolute worst: when I buy too many flowers, leave them somewhere in a bucket and forget. Then find them weeks later when they're all mouldy and gross! (Totally my own fault I know!)
What is your favourite flower?
Soooo many. I love Scabiosa, Garden Roses, Hellebores, Peonies... Yeah, I just love everything!
What are your other passions?
As I mentioned, I have struggled with my mental health. This has made me passionate about supporting others going through difficult times and reducing the associated stigma. I am a volunteer support worker at a local mental health charity - which I absolutely love! Also - Food. My cats. Travelling. Hot drinks. Sunshine. Cocktails.
Have you got any other questions? Post in the comments and let me know!