My mum was a florist so I’ve always been around flowers, but I did work in fashion for a long time. I had my own label and was designing clothes for years, but when I had baby number three, I decided that I wanted to stop travelling and do something that was more focused around home that could work with my family, and flowers just seemed like an obvious choice.
Do you think there’s a strong correlation between the design work you were doing in fashion and your floristry?
Absolutely, I think design is design and the principles are the same. It’s a very instinctive process so I don’t find it wildly different. I find it more spontaneous and instant, it’s a bit more like painting than making clothes, but the design process is very similar.
And do you think your work is similar to the work that your mum did?
In some ways yes because she is a very keen gardener as well, she grows a lot of stuff and arranges everything from the garden. I might be a bit wilder than her, my style might be a little louder than hers..
On your Instagram you use the hashtag ‘from the garden’; do you grow plants as well?
It’s something that I’m starting to take a lot more seriously. I plant things specifically that I can use in my work rather than just purely for my own pleasure. It’s really the things that you can’t buy, the wilder plants like vines, creepers, rambling roses that make arrangements more interesting.
Does some of it come from the Dutch masters?
What’s your playlist while you’re working?
It’s so varied; today I’m listening to Stone Rose and Primal Scream - having a bit of a 90s revival! But quite often there’s a lot of soul music, I have some disco days - there’s always music in the studio.
So how do you start embarking on a new project? What’s your process?
I treat every project very differently; it depends if I’m working with someone or if I’m working in a space and what it’s for. I love a theme and I love to run with that, so it’s an instinctive sense of what’s appropriate for that occasion. If I’m working in a space I usually get quite a strong sense of what would work, and then it’s a creative journey, depending on how long you’ve got to plan and work on something.
How did it work when designing your wreaths for House of Hackney?
I created the colourful one with a sense of what I felt the brand was about, which is a lot of colour and pattern, and translated it into what I like to do at Christmas. And then the green one; I love the print on print thing that you do, the complete image of your designs, and you just max it out so I thought it was appropriate to have one that was quite purist in the fern one, with a little bit of gold for Christmas.
Which flower do you think is most versatile to use?
Do you have a favourite garden in the UK?
It’s hard to choose between Sissinghurst or Great Dixter, I love those two because of the houses and their story, and the history of the whole environment. They’re beautiful places to be; there’s just so much in the fabric of the atmosphere.
What’s on your wish list from House of Hackney?