One of our earliest suppliers to be featured on the blog back in February was the fabulous florist Emma Sousa who has recently rebranded her business to become the Urban Flower Farmer. She is a dedicated and successful florist, growing her own flowers and sourcing locally whenever possible.
We’d like to take this opportunity to re-introduce you to Emma, do take a look at her new site, it’s gorgeous and looks and feels like you just landed in a beautiful summer garden.
With a commitment to preserving the environment and looking to rely much less on imported flowers, Emma has established her own flower field, just outside London where she grows sustainable British flowers. Specialising in Wedding and Event floristry. Emma is also a member of Flowers From The Farm, a network of growers from all over the UK, working to promote British blooms.
Take a closer look at Emma’s amazing creations below as she gives us a unique insight into her business.
Tell us a little about yourself and your businesss
My name is Emma and I am the owner of Urban Flower Farmer.
I am a florist and urban flower farmer based in North London / Hertfordshire borders. A few years ago I started to think more and more about where my flowers came from and felt uncomfortable about the amount of imported flowers I was using, so I set about on a mission to learn everything I could about growing my own.
Fast forward to the end of 2015 and I found a piece of land where I could grow and sell from and so my journey as a flower farmer began. I now supply sustainable eco flowers from March to October for my flower business, grown just a few miles from my studio where I create beautiful flowers for Weddings & Events.
What motivated you to start your business?
My motivation for starting my business was my love of art and being creative as well as having a young family to support and work around. I was in the fashion industry for nearly 15 years but it wasn’t for me. It became less and less creative and was increasingly difficult to work around my children so after being made redundant I took the plunge into floristry.
Floristry to me is art – my medium is just flowers instead of paint or pencil. Later on it just evolved from finding a solution to a problem – being able to use more eco flowers in my business started the growing side of things! I also love the outdoors – garden, allotment, my animals! This way although incredibly hard work I get to do the things I love and earn a living whilst doing it. Even living in London didn’t stop me. I also think that my passion shows in my work. If you love what you do it’s going to be fabulous right!
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
Gosh this is a hard one because no day is ever the same. It can be anything from sitting at my computer quoting weddings for Brides to Be, working out flower stem counts for large-scale events to scrubbing out flower buckets to running a workshop, digging, planting and muck spreading! It really is that varied! One of my favourite parts of the job is working on Weddings. It’s great to see an idea unfold and become a reality on the day and to be part of something so special…I love it!
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
I always go the extra mile and people often say to me I should become a Wedding Planner because they feel so secure and safe and know that I will deliver what I say I will. They know if they use my services that the flowers at least will be a stress free part of their day! People know they can trust me to get the job done and it will always be beautiful.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
Well I think that all florists are different and a couple need to first of all look at someones website or portfolio and view their style of work to see if that’s what they love! If you don’t like what you see then that florist is not the right person for you. If you like their work then trust that person to help guide you.
I think it is also important that you feel a connection to someone – a wedding is an important day and something you want to remember for the rest of your life so don’t automatically go with the cheapest quote but with the person you feel you can trust with such a big decision. You have got to love their work no question!
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
My favourite moments from previous weddings…..well maybe there is no one particular moment but the things I remember most are the friendships I have made – some brides keep in touch and we become good friends. Other memorable moments are things like freak snow storms and setting up outdoor flowers in the freezing cold of a barn entrance.
The weather was so bad for one particular wedding that the photographer and half the guests didn’t make the ceremony but all the flowers were done in plenty of time and were Wow…..even though it took about five hours to crawl home on the motorway with just a banana to keep me going! The best moments are when the flowers are finally finished and all the stress and tiredness just wash over you but you look at the finished product and its pure satisfaction and pride.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more.
Yes we do. We offer a flower delivery service, so private homes, gift bouquets etc. During the growing season we also offer DIY flower buckets for Brides who want to make their own Wedding Flowers. I also run small flower workshops from my studio in North London. Anything from a Hand Tied Bouquet class to an all day Bridal flower workshop.
What have you got planned for 2017?
For 2017 my plan is to build on the flower farming side of things. I’ve learnt lots of lessons last year so this year will be bigger and better. I also want to focus on my Wedding business and cut down on the smaller things to concentrate on the bigger stuff. I am also in the process of re-branding to incorporate the flower farming side of things….watch this space!
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
Well Nature inspires me most of all. Everything around me, how it grows, a lichen covered tree branch, a wild flower growing along a pathway……the seasons and how quickly they change. And then there are inspiring people around me – I know lots of amazing people who just wow me everyday. Business owners, super mums, my incredible family. I am one of life’s positive people. I wake up each day and I am thankful for what I have.
I try not to focus on the negative so it’s pretty easy to get inspired. I am a great believer we can make out lives better by just thinking good thoughts and always seeing the good in things and just by being nice to people….even my three rescue dogs inspire me!
All images Courtesy of: Urban Flower Farmer