We’re celebrating the art of floristry with That Wild Bunch owner and florist, Faye Warren; she shares a look behind the scenes of her North London shop
Gone are the days of dull and expected floral arrangements, That Wild Bunch are wild by name and wild by nature and love to celebrate just that. They are an independent florist based in the heart of Angel, delivering to most areas of London. We caught up with owner, Faye Warren who talks us through her fun, creative job.
How did you get into floristry?
It kind of just happened; I studied textiles which is very similar to floristry in some ways. Doing the same project day in, day out wasn’t very exciting to me and after a few random jobs I thought I would seek out a florist shop to take me on with no experience. I asked around the week before Valentine’s Day and because they were so busy they asked me start the next day. It was exactly as I imagined it would be, working with many different colours, shapes and textures. I loved the instant creative satisfaction you get with making a beautiful bouquet.
What’s the best part about your job?
Where do you get your inspiration from for new looks and ideas?
I always get inspired going to the market in the morning. Or sometimes a painting or great outfit with daring colour combinations will stick in my head. I like flowers to look natural, not contrived, so I try not to overthink what I’m doing. If it feels good making it then it hopefully will look gorgeous.
What are some of the challenges you might face in a typical day?
I worry I will not buy enough or buy too much.
Where do you source your flowers?
New Covent Garden flower market. I arrive at the market around 5:45am; I park up, gather my thoughts and have a look though my lists of what I need to get that day. I tend to head straight to the flower stand that sells only English flowers first. I then move on to Bloomfield – they always have such amazing flowers, before getting my foliage from GB foliage.
How do you maintain a digital platform for the business and how important is it to do so?
I have a website that I got from Godaddy which all my social media is linked to. Because floristry is such a visual thing, people want to see what your style is like. Having my website is really important as it’s the first thing most people see.
What are some of the more memorable events or occasions you recall catering for?
My cousin Grace’s wedding was a big deal. It was a huge event and it was the first time that all my family got to see what I do. I was pretty nervous and it was all a bit mad, probably the smallest time frame I have ever had to install so much, but it was great and looked stunning. Grace was happy with it too!
Have you got any tips and tricks for at-home floristry?
Practise, the more you play around with flowers the more you will learn about arranging and what works. Mix colour and textures and remember green works with everything.
What’s next for the business?
I’m starting to do evening workshops at the shop, which is exciting. I’m really looking forward to Christmas wreath workshops, they are always fun – teaching while having mince pies and mulled wine! All my workshops will be found on my web page.
Talk us through a typical day-in-the-life.
Alarm goes off at 4:30am, I have my first coffee of the day, jump in the van and make my way to the New Covent Garden Flower Market. I arrive around 5:45am and tend to head straight to the flower stand that sells only English flowers first. I then go to Bloomfield, they always have such amazing flowers, before grabbing my foliage from GB foliage. The guys that work at the market are truly amazing- they make me smile and laugh everyday and are always extremely helpful. It’s tiring work getting started so early, but it sets you up for the day. I also get to hand-pick all my ingredients for what I’m going to make that day, to me it’s thrilling.
Once van is packed up I head to the shop for 7:30am, unpack and then I condition the flowers before beginning on the flower stand. It’s very important to me to have a full gorgeous display. Once the flowers are cared for and the shop is tidy, I check my emails and get an idea of where my deliveries are going that day. I wrap, bag and card my morning deliveries and get them out before I open the shop at 10am.
Next, I make all my weekly contracts for restaurants, hotels and cafes; I have a couple every day that get fresh arrangements each week. I will then move on to making my afternoon deliveries and collection bouquets. In between I have a good footfall of customers. It’s great now having a space, having regular customers and seeing friendly faces.
By this point my once full and gorgeous stand looks a bit all over the place and I seem to be standing on a mound of stems and leaves. I do a good sweep, clear up and re fill of the stand and I’m ready for my mid-day meetings. It’s great to have clients come to the shop to see what I do and discuss potentials for their wedding or event. I get straight to work on writing out quotes from the meeting while it’s all fresh.
Around 2pm I make any same day orders, usually people that have found me through my web page. It’s amazing how having a digital platform can connect you with customers. Once they are made I get them out for delivery. I then move on to prepping vases for an event for the next day, preparation is key in floristry; preparation and tidiness.
Once all prep is done, I make a list of what else I need for the event flowers in the morning and make a market list for shop flowers. Because I buy as much seasonal stuff it can be too much of a good thing, I look forward to the seasons changing and have new flowers and colours to play around with.
By 4pm I usually get a visit from someone in my family, I have a big family and it’s nice they like popping by, I get them to sweep up or hold a ladder for me.
By 5pm all my prep and lists are done. I check on my many plants in the shop, give them a water and sometimes I move them about if they need more light, less light or just some TLC. I fill my crates with fresh water, ready for tomorrow’s flowers from the market. One last check over my orders from today, before I put tomorrow’s in order for delivery and check my emails for a final time. I shut at 6pm but very rarely leave then. I find it hard to get home at night; there’s something that always needs to be done. Having my own business is hard, endless but rewarding.