In the second post in my blog series on exciting Essex businesses, I chat to Sapphire Bates AKA The Flower Arranger about inspiration, creativity and seizing the moment.
Sapphire’s creativity and unique sense of style and fun was evident as soon as I stepped into her Colchester-based studio to photograph her at work. Surrounded by a multitude of motivational quotes and sayings, I snapped away as Sapphire worked her magic. Over the course of the morning, I witnessed the transformation of a freshly delivered array of flowers into a set of stunning floral arrangements that no doubt dazzled all of the bride’s guests at the following day’s wedding ceremony.
I was intrigued to find out a little more about the girl known simply as The Flower Arranger…
Tell me a little bit about your floristry background and how you became The Flower Arranger:
I ended up in floristry very randomly, I definitely had no idea that this would end being my career path. After finishing a fashion and business course in London I had ruled out fashion but was certain I needed a job that was creative. I decided to do some work experience with a friend of a friend who ran a wedding florist. I ended up spending several years at Lily and May in Brentwood where I became a qualified florist and learnt pretty much everything I now know.
I then took time out from working to travel some of the world, whilst sat on a beach in Thailand thinking about what job I was going to go back too and how I would pay my bills. I just thought why work for someone else why not just start up on my own? …and here I am today with The Flower Arranger.
I notice that your studio is beautifully adorned with quotes of positivity and inspiration – is their a particular quote that sums up your personality and approach to what you do?
That is such a hard question. I think positivity is so important, you have to believe in what you do in order to make it work. If I had to choose a quote to sum up my life personally I’d probably say ‘life is short’ because it so is! I have it tattooed on my arm as a daily reminder to take risks and take every opportunity be it a new personal adventure or business related.
Your creations are stunning – would you describe your designs as having a certain style and if so, what would you define this as?
I think I definitely have my own style of flower arranging however I’m not sure exactly how you’d sum it up. All of my work features a lot of texture and colour. I love playing with shapes and mixing things up, breaking the rules of floristry a little to make something truly unique.
What are the current trends in wedding flowers and do you seek to embrace or differentiate from these ever-changing styles and looks?
There a few different trends that are currently populating wedding flowers – roses in a soft nude and pale pink tones is one of them. I think a ‘wild’ and natural look is also very in right now, brides are being very creative and bold with their wedding flowers which is amazing, your wedding day should be unique to you!
Tell me a little about how you work with brides to design their wedding flower packages. How do you ensure a balance between meeting their set brief and maintaining your own creative ideas and input?
I meet with all of my brides in person at our studio in Essex to sit with them and look through our portfolio and have a browse on Pinterest. I think it’s really important to work closely with my clients to ensure they are really involved in designing and creating the flowers for their day.
My amount of input with creative ideas completely depends on each couple that I meet some have all their ideas already and just need me to help make them real and others have absolutely know idea what they are after and I then help to come up with designs that fit with the feel of their day.
What advice would you give to couples who are choosing their wedding flowers?
Research before you meet with you florist, have a look at different florists on instagram and Pinterest to get an idea of the kinds of flowers and styles that stand out to you. Always work with a florist who’s work you love and who is happy to help you figure out what you are after because it can be hard to choose your wedding flowers if you don’t know anything about flowers.
If you are as impressed with Sapphire’s creations as I am, do check out her website at www.theflowerarranger.co.uk. You can also keep up to date with The Flower Arranger by following her on Social Media;
Thank you for reading. See you next month.
Ross Willsher is a social (weddings and portraits) and commercial photographer based in Essex who is passionate about creating images as individual as you are. His work can be viewed at www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk / www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk