Charlotte Laurie Designs offers a unique collection of felt and button bouquets and flowers, all beautifully designed and crafted with gorgeous intricate detailing.
Much as we adore fresh wedding flowers, their beauty is short lived, with only your wedding photos to remind you how lovely they looked. The real beauty of Charlotte’s had crafted arrangements is that not only are they totally unique to you and your wedding, they also double as charming long lasting keepsakes.
Charlotte’s flowers are 100% handmade and hand-stitched using wool felt and the quirkiest buttons. All brides are encouraged to actively participate in the design process, which can be done well in advance of your big day, so no last-minute stress. Then once you have your completed arrangements, knowing that it’s totally personal to you really is something special. Over to Charlotte now to guide you through her business.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
Charlotte Laurie Designs is my little bridal bouquet and accessories business making alternative items primarily from hand stitched felt and lots of lovely buttons. It’s just me designing and making everything with the help of my glamorous assistants Fletcher, my four year old and Biggles our dog (insider secret -they are not always that helpful)
I’m based in Kent but have supplied all over the world from Australia to Canada to just down the road.
What motivated you to start your business?
Charlotte Laurie Designs started after I made what some might say was a slightly crazy decision to hand make all of the bouquets, decorations, and flowers for my wedding in 2012 – I wanted to really incorporate a quirky personal touch with my love for craft and make something that would stand out but also double as unique keepsakes.
As much as I love flowers I’ve always hated that they’re only temporary! People seemed to really like what I’d done and started making requests, this gave me the confidence to branch out and turn a passion into something more.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
My work is very varied so depending on what I’m working on I can be doing anything from cutting out flowers to making buttons out of old maps. I also spend a lot of time in the day running around after my son who loves buttons as much as me so is always trying to get involved.
In the evening that’s when I get most of my sewing done curled up in front of the television.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
I work with couples on whatever level they need whether that is creating a small bouquet for a flower girl or a beautiful bouquet and buttonhole set for a destination wedding or even putting together a whole set of pieces from chair backs to favours to bouquets and everything in-between!
I ensure things are as special and personal as possible usually setting up a custom order for my client in my Etsy shop. I work with couples both in the UK and abroad; so much of my consultation if not all in some cases is done online through email, messages and photographs.
Despite some obvious geographical barriers I don’t let it make the process any less fun or collaborative. Wherever they are I work closely with my couples talking, updating and getting feedback at regular intervals to ensure they get exactly what they want.
I’m as Flexible as I possibly can be to help make brides feel at ease I’m always happy to send out samples of work in progress and equally happy to have people pop round for tea and biscuits to discuss all their wedding needs in a more relaxed environment.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
I think with work like mine that is a little bit alternative couples know quite instinctively if it will work for them. If you have spent your life dreaming of the perfect fresh cut flower bouquet then my work probably isn’t for you but one of the things I really love about doing wedding fairs is seeing people who didn’t even know this was an option, seeing their faces light up at the different possibilities.
I’m not ashamed to say that my work is a little quirky and doesn’t necessarily fit into any obvious box or trend but I aim to ensure I’m there for all those brides and grooms looking for something a little different that they can treasure forever.
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
I really like it when people are happy for me to get really creative or have a bit of fun with their work. I’ve created bouquets with buttons made from a book the bride and groom have sent me and included quotes from Dr. Seuss! One of my favourite bouquets I worked on recently was a full on biker bouquet.
That was a lot of fun plus the incredibly awesome bride was getting married in a little American town called ‘Hell’ which should give you an idea of the overall style. It sounded like it was going to be an extremely fun wedding!
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
I try to cater for all occasions I’ve made Mothers Day bouquets, valentines roses, new baby posies and birthday presents in the past. Basically any occasion where you might give flowers but want to give something a little different I can make something for.
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
The next 12 months are set to be pretty busy. After having a bit of a quieter year while we did some major renovation work on our house I’m set to get back out there and give my business a bit of a push.
Alongside completing the orders I already have booked in I’ll be beavering away at social media (something I’m trying to be better at!) and getting out and talking to people at wedding fairs it should be lots of fun!
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
Colour inspires me the most – I love creating wonderful colour combinations that you wouldn’t always find in nature. Of course I’m inspired by nature as well but I’m not trying to copy it which I think is always something important for me to get across to people, I’m creating something new that will last forever.
Finally the people I work with inspire me, it sounds a little cheesy but talking to the couples and hearing their stories really does help me shape the things I’m creating for them.
All images courtesy of Charlotte Laurie Designs