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.
Trends in floral design are always evolving. What seems fresh and exciting one year, can seem old-fashioned the next. I only have to picture my own wedding bouquet (a tight, rigid posey of antique roses) next to today’s wildly abundant asymmetric styles, to see how quickly “classic and timeless” is reinvented, season after season. In Summer 2018, I enjoyed a lively lunch with Sally Murray of Halo Blossom Floral Design. Sally described how she’s seen so much change in the world of wedding flowers in the last decade, but if she were to list the questions she is asked the most, her 2019 couples have identical concerns to those of 2009. We discussed the tricky business of what to do with the bouquet following the wedding and how her brides are always looking for fresh ideas. Naturally, I signposted my Wedding Bouquet Illustration Service as a chic and modern way to answer that familiar enquiry “How Do I Preserve my Bouquet?”
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.
“How Does the Wedding Bouquet Illustration Service work?” is a question I am asked regularly. I’m asked if I attend the wedding and draw live in situ. I’m asked if I am sent the bouquet by courier straight after the wedding. I have even been asked if I work from a preserved bouquet – to which I probably couldn’t disguise my bafflement.
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.
After a few weeks of wardrobe despair, eagerly dressing in cashmere in the early morning and stripped down to a vest by lunchtime, it happened. It got cold. Things can officially get cosy. Here are five of my favourite Instagram accounts that I reference for autumn inspiration.
One of my favourite hygge rituals at this time of year is to spruce my home – especially the walls – with little updates. Hanging new frames, switching around pictures, tweaking colour palettes – all help to refresh and bring cosiness to the home. For this reason, I think the autumn season and hygge sensations go hand-in-hand. It’s something you feel, that ebbs and flows and brings with it moments of great joy and belonging. I spoke to four stylish brands about the little traditions at this time of year that best evoke these feelings.
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).