Laura has been a florist for the past four years. You’ve probably walked past her in her little van many times and wondered who that young lady was! Maybe you were dazzled by her charming smile or wooed by her kind words. I myself was definitely enamoured by her and invited Laura to tell me a little bit more about herself.
Laura and I met in her lockup in South Wimbledon, her little working haven. Luckily for Laura, she enjoys working by herself. And more to the point, Laura loves working for herself. She’s her own boss, the boss lady, and that’s the only way she likes it.
So Laura, tell me a little bit about yourself…How was GrayAndGreenery born?
Believe it or not, I’m a bookkeeper by trade. Well, that’s the job I had after having children and that’s the job I was qualified for. My love of flowers came out of the blue (giggle). I started arranging the flowers for the pub I was bookkeeping for and developed this love for them.
Interesting. Tell me more…
Falling in love with flowers for me coincided with this holistic journey I began around the same time. I was intrigued by their beauty and the different seasons and the pull of nature I suppose. I found repose in that and was excited to follow that path, see where this journey would lead me.
So how did it all begin then?
Well, I took a part-time course in floristry and straight away found a job with the wonderful Battersea Flower Station who were willing to train me and teach me the real deal. And that, as they say, is that.
Four years on and you now own a very successful flower shop on wheels..
Yes, I’m so pleased with how everything turned out! I’ve got my own setup, run my own company, have a good business, which of course means I’m doing everything by myself. It’s a hard day! (another giggle).
What would you say is your typical day?
The early rise of course. Up at 4am and off to market. Back in time to do the mum thing and wake the kids, feed them and take them to school. Back to floristry by 9am. On Thursdays, I’m at St Marks Place, Wimbledon, from 11-4pm. On Saturdays, I’m at Totterdown Street, Tooting, from 11-4pm. Back at home with the kids by 6pm doing the mum thing and finalising admin.
That does sound like a full diary…
I’m never short of things to do. There’s never a dull moment in this business. It’s a constant stream of orders and people tend to forget that I cater to offices as well as private clients. There are weekly orders for pubs or wine bars and of course, at the moment, the Christmas wreaths workshops either in pubs and wine bars or in private homes for private clients. I also run summer workshops or rather non-Christmassy workshops. For example, a hand-tied bouquet workshop or a flower crown workshop. These tend to be very popular at hen parties or for brides to be but are also of interest to others.
I’m sensing a very creative side of you in there somewhere..
Oh absolutely. I love my business. Not only am I independent but I can indulge in my creative side as well and let it all out. Both these things are my driving force and they do go hand in hand. What’s not to love? The flowers have their seasons, change colour, change shape, change scent and it’s a whole exciting world of beauty.
Maybe you have a favourite time of year…
Well, to be honest, I have to confess that autumn is my favourite time of year. The colours, the sunshine, the cold and of course the deep red dahlias! I do have favourite flowers too for the other seasons: the deep red amaryllises in winter, the pale pink ranunculi in spring and last but not least the coral peonies in the summer. All wonderful in their own right.
Have you any other projects in the pipeline?
Like any other business, there’s always something going on behind the scenes. Some people may not realise that I run a weekly or fortnightly flower delivery service for private homes. I have a minimum flat rate which then saves on all the delivery charges. I also deliver weekly to businesses, be they restaurants, pubs or offices. Naturally, the orders are all individually tailored so these can range from bud vases for tables, big arrangements or reception desk style arrangements.
It was a real pleasure talking with Laura. We shared some tea and biscuits surrounded by her beautiful flowers and sharing her enchanted journey with her. It’s definitely the stuff of dreams but more like the result of hard work and a love of the trade. Yes, Laura loves what she does. She also loves her breakfasts at Lupo Bros, she loves the local supportive community around her, but mostly she enjoys being the girl next door, the girl boss, the creator of her own destiny and I am super excited to follow her on this fantastic journey.