In Summer 2018, a bright and bubbly florist caught my eye who was on the cusp on launching her unique floristry boutique in Poundbury, Dorset. I was instantly impressed with the passion and precision with which Lauren Hooper set about opening the doors to her new floristry business, at a time when so many new florists are working in a studio set-up. The shop floor has provided a brilliant platform for Lauren to host workshops and events, it’s given her public visibility and she’s even hosted a Royal visit. I asked Lauren about the journey leading up to her living her floral dream. Has it all been roses and Royalty?
Working on a new website has been an existential ordeal, and nowhere more so than writing my “About Me” page. I’ve sat at my laptop unravelling my own personality, juggling my desire for authenticity with what and how much personal information I want to share within my business. I’ve grappled with my authorial voice, knowing that every word is offering my potential botanical illustration clients a reason to book me, or walk away.
Time to call in the pros.
I didn’t start my supper club Creative in Residence by logically thinking “How to Start a Supper Club” and working methodically through the list. Rather, I focused on my goals, which thankfully were a shared a vision with my co-host – wellness coach Vicky Shilling of The Flourishing Pantry. At the time, summer 2018, I was hoping to expand my professional network but felt pretty despondent towards networking events. I either got super nervous and anxious beforehand, or I found them a bit cringy and dull. Or both.
I don’t think I had ever picked up a personal development book before 2018. Formally known as “self-help books”, it was a section of Waterstones I had never explored, put off by the strange stigma that surrounded the kind of people who sought improvement in this way. Maybe I thought these books were for those with a specific vice – smoking, say – but I never considered they were for me.
For this post, I interviewed three stylish entrepreneurs who are each dreaming of a green Christmas. If you are still searching for gift ideas, but looking for something a little unusual with a big heart, please have a read and let us know if any of these brands are a new discovery for you. Each of us love #communityovercompetition and to #shopsmall.
At some point during the 35 degree heat of Summer 2018, I boldly declared that my Christmas 2018 would be Sellotape-free. Christmas is a time of huge wastage in terms of packaging (amongst other things) but as December draws near, I’m very aware that I don’t really know how I’m going to present my Christmas gifts without compromising on style. Thankfully, Kate Stuart has stepped in to offer practical guidance for us to create environmentally-friendly gift wrapping. Kate is an artist, writer and runs The Phoenix Green Store – Newcastle’s first zero waste solutions store. She contributes to No Serial Number Magazine, a publication promoting ethical and sustainable crafts.
“I love to create,” says Victoria Vaught, founder of Ivy Amelia Florals. But in business, our creations are usually subject to a client brief. It’s a complex creative process and one that fascinates me with its subtle twists and turns. We are hired for our skill, our talent, our vision. But we mould that vision to sync with our clients’ own expectations, budget and constraints, and amaze and delight them with our ability to do so. The aim, of course, is always to create something better than they could have imagined, but also exactly what they wanted.
My husband and I have several shared To-Do Lists in the brilliant life-hack app Wanderlist. One list is titled “Fun Stuff”, and it’s full of ideas for when we are not in the mood for the dull list (inheritance planning, buy new parking vouchers etc).
Stepping into The Pink House is a curious combination of being on the set of a magazine shoot and visiting any of my mum-friends at home. And it’s oddly familiar for somewhere I’ve never visited before, because for the past year I’ve been an avid observer of owner Emily Murray’s domestic life through the little squares on my phone – along with 53K+ other fans.
A creative business may be born for many reasons. Redundancy, frustration, impulse, illness, lifelong ambition, the need for flexibility, or change in circumstances such as the arrival of babies – all reasons I’ve hear over and over again. In this blog post, I host a virtual discussion with three female entrepreneurs about their experiences starting up their creative businesses.