Many of our students come to us with the intention of setting up their own business at home, working freelance or starting their own retail shop. Some students have attended other courses and need more advanced or specialised training and help with running a floristry business. Whatever there stage, we are there to help and encourage these new businesses. Keeping in touch with students is very important to us as we love to find out what everyone is up to. Every student who attends a career or evening course is invited to join our special Student Group on Facebook through which they can keep in touch, talk to other students, ask questions and share pictures of their recent work.
Here are just a few of our students and their stories...
Harebell & Holly | Melanie Watling
I attended the Intensive Career course in July, returning for some 1-2-1 beginners and intermediate wedding floristry with Sarah in August last year. Since then it has been all systems go fitting out my workshop at home, planning and setting up my business and finally launching Harebell and Holly on Mother’s Day weekend!
I remember Sarah making me a cup of tea and us chatting over my concerns, one of which was worrying about finding a good wholesaler. I went to see the local wholesaler last week and met with Natalie. She was really lovely and helpful so I am now signed up with them and really pleased to be able to buy quality flowers for clients. Walking in to that flower fridge confirmed that I am officially now in flower heaven!
I am still working and plan to cut my hours down at some point with the aim of leaving in the future. I have taken my time planning and have done everything in the right order, so hopefully it will all fall in to place. I also have a great promo team of family and friends around me too. I hope once I am established that I can find a little studio somewhere where I can then keep my business separate from home.
I am so glad that I have taken the plunge and thank you for your help, support and inspiration as you have helped me pursue something that I have always wanted to do.
I will keep you posted.....
Millie Rose Bespoke Floral Creations | Millie Brake
In November 2013 I was working full time as a supervisor in my village pub & restaurant. After completing a degree in fine art back in 2011 I didn’t know what to do next in my life so I used this time as a stop-gap to work out my future. One day my Mum asked me “Have you ever thought about Floristry?” My Mum used to attend a local flower arranging club which she loved doing as a hobby, and because it’s creative it would go hand in hand with my degree. After giving it some thought I figured I needed to give it a go. So I went to a taster session that the local College held for absolute beginners, and I absolutely fell in love with it! So much so that I booked Floristry course a week later.
After working in a shop for nearly 18 months gaining valuable shop experience, I took the plunge to set up my own business and on 22nd August 2016 I became self employed. I needed to learn some new skills to be able to do this on my own, so I booked onto the Wedding and Events course, Wedding Calculations course and had a 1-1 to learn how to make a shower bouquet with the super lovely and very talented Sarah at The Cambridge Flower School, who has been such a big help for me and my little business.
Now, I’m nearly 18 months into being self-employed and honestly haven’t looked back. Being your own boss is such an amazing experience, it isn’t easy by any means. But I really wouldn’t change it for the world.
Julie Jennings | Dukes of Louth Ltd, Louth Lincolnshire
From being a young age I always wanted to be a fashion designer, this led to my desire to work in a creative environment to fulfill my soul. This never left me and I always sought creativity in my environment.
My art based degree led to all areas of creativity and I also was aware I needed business experience too. Working in 9-5 office jobs still didn’t quite cut it with me and I still yearned to use my natural art based desire to be happy in my working environment and do a job I loved inside and out.
After overcoming a life changing event in my life in 2014 I realised that life was way too short and I needed to find myself again and what better way than to go back to my routes and seek that creativity and use this as a therapy for me to rebuild myself back up.
I’d toyed with the idea over many years to run my own florist I just wanted to work with flowers (I didn’t want to work for anyone, that’s way too easy I wanted it to be my own brand and business and I also don’t do things by half measures)
Being a florist I along with many other people have a romantic view on how lovely life would be to be in an airy fairy career of working with beautiful blooms. Boy was I wrong! So I decided to see if this was the career path I wanted to take, warts and all!
I scoured the web for career change courses and The Cambridge Flower School kept popping up and I was drawn to the feel of the website, idea of the setting and the fact that the reviews were excellent, so I bit the bullet took a week’s holiday from my day job and decided to attend the career change course Sarah so brilliantly provides.
Was I nervous …yes I was but as soon as I arrived at the venue I knew I was where I was meant to be. The course was so exhilarating and Sarah is fabulous at what she does, so inspiring. I was so enviable of her and her passion for flowers shone throughout her teaching, she was so lovely. The course was true to itself in that it portrayed all of the aspects of working with flowers, the fun bit and the rotten jobs that have to be done to ensure your flowers survive! This didn’t put me off one bit it just made me realise this was what I wanted to do and I needed to make this happen.
Back to the day job I realised even more that I was in the wrong job. I’m the type of girl that if I start going down a path I love I just know that I couldn’t turn back and walk away as I would always think what if so I needed to make this happen (like I said I don’t do things by half) After attending the course at the beginning of 2016 I set my plan in action to leave my job and just go for it.
Later in 2016 that’s when I setup my very own florist shop, Dukes of Louth Ltd in Louth Lincolnshire and I can honestly tell you I’ve not looked back. Is it easy? No! Nothing is easy to start with. Is it glamorous? No, but glamour comes in different elements of this career which out shine the boring & mundane elements of floristry. The beauty is you can make it as creative as you desire, the sky’s the limit!
I love flowers especially a vintage style which makes me smile. Surrounded by flowers and the inspiration they give me fulfill a creativity in my soul and I love to seek the extraordinary and produce fabulous creations with gorgeous blooms.
I have since attended the Garlands and Archways course which was fabulous and I intend to enrol on more Wedding courses too as I just love the inspiration the courses provide and also keeps me updated with new ideas and your knowledge up to date.
Facebook Dukes of Louth
Three Little Birds Floristry | Jennifer Sharpe
I have always had a love for flowers and often remarked that one day I would leave the nine-to-five and become a florist. At that point it was nothing more than a pipe-dream and I don’t ever really think I expected it would become a reality, but here I am all these years later doing what I love.
Following a successful career in the corporate arena, working mostly in Human Resources, and having reached a point where I wanted something more from life, I embarked on a floristry taster session with The Cambridge Flower School in May 2015. I was hooked from that very moment and knew immediately that this was the career change for me. Several courses later, Three Little Birds Floristry was born and here I am running my own business.
Sarah has developed my abilities and confidence as a florist in ways that I never imagined possible. Her courses are fabulously addictive and her teaching style is second to none.
To catch up with Jen visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/threelittlebirdsfloristry/
Willow and Wolf | Juliet McDowall
After working as a Jeweller for a number of years and then as an Art Teacher, I took a break to have my twin boys. I knew that I wanted to change career but wasn’t sure which direction to take.
My then boyfriend and I were planning our wedding on a tight budget and doing the flowers myself seemed like a good thing to do, despite the fact that I had no experience. Even though I was heavily pregnant and my car had broken down the night before I somehow managed to get home and put to together the bouquets and button holes for the following day. I realised how much I loved working with flowers and started to wonder if a career change to floristry might be the right thing to do. A year later I did the flowers for a friend’s wedding and then decided to take a course with the Cambridge Flower School. Sarah was a fantastic teacher, and so enthusiastic and generous with her advice. I looked forward to every Tuesday, spending the evening at my class. I then completed a business course, also with the Cambridge Flower School. I found this invaluable and it really helped me to learn the fundamentals of making floristry a business rather than a hobby.
After leaving teaching completely in July 2015, I set up Willow and Wolf. I aim to create flowing, natural looking arrangements, as if they have just been picked from the garden. I love to combine bought flowers with foraged foliage, berries and seed heads. I am so happy in my new career and with weddings booked for 2016 things are looking good for the future.
You can view more from Willow and Wolf on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/willowandwolfflowers/
Clare Kenward Flowers
Around 15 years ago I took a evening course at the Jane Packer Flower School in London. It was my introduction to floristry and I was hooked from the first lesson. After the course ended, I volunteered at a couple of local florists for Valentine's and Mothers Day and was offered a job but, as is often the way, the timing and finances weren't right for me to be able to swap careers.
In September last year, I met a like-minded soul who was running her own floristry business from her garden shed. She was doing the flowers for a friend's wedding. I helped her out and rekindled a passion. I then spent a couple of months wondering if now was the time...
I came across The Cambridge Flower School on Google and tried an afternoon workshop to see if I liked their style, which I did. I chose to have a series of one-to-one lessons with Sarah so we could tailor the training to the gaps in my knowledge. She was great at practical teaching and also at giving me the confidence to set up my own business which I did in June this year. Six months down the line, it's still baby steps, but I'm getting there.
I'm influenced by European floral style and cutting edge floral designers such as Joseph Massie, Gregor Lersch, Françoise Weeks and Carles J. Fontanillas. I strive to create designs that are a little bit different from the norm by combining natural textures and materials.