Browsing the Medicine Garden in Cobham one wednesday morning lead me to the leaflet of Hannah Martin Floristry. Show me some great photography and gorgeous flowers and you have my attention. Based in the Surrey area, Hannah Martin provides flowers for events, weddings and homes. Hannah describes her style of floristry as 'classic contemporary using flowers, foliage and styling within their seasons'.
Sara Prebble: I imaging working with flowers to be very calming and enjoyable, what is a typical work day for the life as a florist?
Hannah Martin: This is exactly what I thought before I joined the industry eight years ago, however the reality is far from calm! I absolutely love being a florist and working with flowers is both enjoyable and very satisfying, however working with thorns, cold water and standing on your feet all day can be quite exhausting. Having said this, I wouldn’t change my job for the world! My day starts early, visiting New Covent Market to collect my flowers and any other bits and bobs I may need. Then it’s back to the workshop, via my favourite coffee shop for an americano and an almond croissant, to make up any orders I have for that day. I work a lot in London, for big venues, five-star hotels, banks, law firms and luxury brands such as Mulberry and Victoria’s Secret so my work is very varied and for a whole heap of different purposes, but I love providing flowers for weddings, corporate events and product launches as no day is ever the same.
Sara Prebble: I see you do workshops at MakeMe Workshops at The Medicine Gardens, what things can people learn at one of your classes?
Hannah Martin: Working with Melissa at MakeMe Workshops is great fun and we work within the seasons to create workshops that appeal to everyone’s needs. Everyone can attend as no prior knowledge or experience is required, just a desire to be creative and have a laugh whilst working with beautiful flowers to create lovely different table centres, bouquets or arrangements.
Sara Prebble: Do you think the recession has effected the flower industry?
Hannah Martin: I think if you run your florist from a high street shop, then yes you’re bound to have been affected as people are spending less and there’s lots of competition from supermarkets and having to fully stock your shop is very costly and could lead to a lot of expensive wastage should the customers be thin on the ground. As I mainly work with the events industry I’m less affected by these factors, and as I’m based from a small workshop I don’t have expensive rents to pay. There are still customers out there requiring flowers, and who are (more importantly!) still wanting to pay from them so establishing a reputation and working with the right people is very important. The big banks, insurance companies, brands and hotels have got to look at their annual flower budgets and justify the costs a lot more than before, so being competitively priced is essential.
Sara Prebble: What are the most popular flowers for weddings?
Hannah Martin: No two weddings are the same, and people’s tastes vary greatly, however a there are some flowers that always pop up during the wedding season – hydrangea, roses and peonies. Their availability obviously depends heavily on the date of the wedding, but the wedding season tends to run from May to September and these flowers can be found during this time (peonies will be more expensive after July as their season ends in July).
To find out more about Hannah Martin visit her website www.hannahmartin.net
For on the go updates follow her on twitter @hannahjmartin