I have been in the floristry industry, on and off since leaving school in 1989. Back then dried flowers where the height of fashion and the first thing I ever made at my work placement was a dried flower basket. I was lucky that I was allowed to create my own designs at the age of 16. Most placements didn’t allow apprentices to be creative at first. The job was all about cleaning, serving and doing the mundane jobs that every budding florist most learn how to do.
At the age of 19 after finishing City & Guilds I, II & III at a local college I went to Lincolnshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture to further my studies. When I started the course the teachers realised I was too experienced for general classes and made me class technician. I helped other students in class, set out weekly identification materials and was put in charge of the college flower shop. The flower shop stocked mainly dried flowers which I wrapped, named, priced made in to designs and merchandised.
On leaving college I went to work in a London flower shop them back home to North West to work in a few other shops but dried flowers had fallen out of fashion in the 1990’s. I didn’t really work with them again until I opened my own fresh flower shop called Wild & Wondrous Flowers back in 2012.
I stared to dry a few bits and bobs in the shop that were past their best like roses, statice, delphinium, grasses, Chinese lanterns and varieties that I had no idea if they would dry or not. Also drying material from the garden and a few foraged bits. Drying them in the summer and using them in designs through the winter. The philosophy behind Wild & Wondrous is very much sustainability and eco values. Drying material, using and selling it = zero waste.
Then in 2014 a beautiful bride to be called Gemma came to see me and explained her dream wedding flowers. I was all over it. She wanted dried flowers with pheasant feathers to match this amazing headdress she was planning on wearing.
How stunning she looked…….I just loved creating the designs for the bridal party. Pictures by Damian Brandon
One thing that stuck in my mind that Gemma said was, she was thrilled to be able to keep her bouquet for years to come. That was it I was hooked and The Dried Flower Shop was born. In 2015 I built a basic ecommerce website, uploaded some pictures and the online business slowly grew from there.
This year alone we have provided dried flower wedding bouquets, dried flower buttonholes, dried flower crowns, dried flowers for bridesmaids, guests and the venue for over 300 weddings. The Dried Flower Shop ships wedding flowers, Dried & Wild Letterbox Gifts and designs for home deco throughout the UK.
Want to learn more about dried flowers? Check out my next blog.
Check out our website for more inspiration, www.thedriedflowershop.co.uk
Thank you for reading, Nicola