Flower Farmer / Florist
Verde Flowers is a family business run by my Mum, Caroline Beck. She took me under her wing when I was low and set about finding ways to get rid of the cloud following me around.
Putting your hands in soil, ripping hundreds of nettles out of the ground, and transplanting sweet peas was the cure for feeling all-at-sea after university.
For a year, I worked for Mum on the flower farm as well as as a florist. She trained me up, and I kept her well stocked in croissants, coffee and jammie doughnuts whilst we ran around doing weddings. There is nothing more joyful than seeing people light up when we hand them bouquets, or they walk into their wedding space. Similarly there is nothing more lovely for me than seeing the bees and butterflies hopping lazily from stem to stem pollinating and collecting nectar in the summer heat.
I have a full time job now, but I still freelance as a florist, for the likes of Verde Flowers, Suzie Winsor, and Charlotte Pennel.
Working with flowers is a lot like sewing. Flowers look so delicate, but they can withstand more than you might think at first - it is often the same with fabric, clothes and your own will-power.
I like most, the explosions of colour that flowers bring to the cool nave of the church during the warmest part of the day, or how they soften the hard lines of the old tractor the bride has asked to use, or how they make a feature of the huge beams that hold up the stone barn we're in. I like the balance of the delicate grasses that bring air to a bouquet or arrangement, the accent flowers, the lushness of the foliage. I like trying to solve problems and constructing great arches out of tree branches, suspending floral chandeliers from the roof and working out when we can get our next caffeine fix.
Sewing, is much the same. In that it often requires lots of caffeine. And it's about finding the right fabric for the structure of the garment, silk for something floaty and soft, maybe a linen to withstand the heat and keep its crisp lines. I like researching which fabrics are most environmentally friendly, taking the least from natural resources and which companies I can purchase from that give back.
It's all construction. Learning how best to get the most out of the tools you have to work with and in the end, turning them into something exquisite.