Floristry might have once been considered a twee Women's Institute activity, but now we live in an age where peonies take over at least 25% of our Instagram feed and flower arranging courses have actually become cool. We met the women behind some of the coolest florists in the UK right now to discover how they created their brands and what they wore along the way. Keep scrolling to meet the women behind Grace & Thorn, That Flower Shop and more.
Anna of Swallows & Damsons
Swallows & Damsons
Anna launched Sheffield-based florists Swallows & Damsons nine years ago, explaining, "I've always been around flowers. When I was a child, my nana used to grow many different varieties of roses, which I used to enjoy picking and making into perfume. After studying fine art, I managed to land a job in a local florist. I loved working with flowers but found it creatively frustrating having to conform to other people's design rules. I wanted to work in a more natural, garden style, and there was nothing really around like that at the time. I founded and opened Swallows & Damsons so I could create the style of flowers I wanted to."
Swallows & Damsons
Her whimsical aesthetic is so beautiful that she has amassed over 160K followers on Instagram. As for her own style, Anna says, "I have to think practically. Unfortunately, to float around in floral dresses all day would be a major mistake! The shop can get so cold during English winters, and I've found that the best way to deal with it is to layer up. I'm often found wearing a thick pair of tights and denim apron dress with oversized pockets that you can fill with leaves, conkers and pinecones, and a thorn-proof coat goes a long way when foraging." The items she leans on most are "pinafore dresses, Jesse Kamm sailor pants, vintage T-Shirts and high-waisted Levi's jeans." And in case you ever have any plans to go foraging, Anna advises you wear a Barbour wax jacket.
Hattie started her That Flower Shop business in 2011: "I moved to London when I was 16 and knew quite a lot about plants from growing up on a farm. I didn't like London very much at first, so I figured I could make my life more pleasant by immersing myself with flowers and plants. I've been a florist since I was 16—I'm 30 now, so half my life."
Hattie says, "Work is cold and dirty, so I usually wear Dr. Marten boots, Levi's jeans and lots of jumpers. At the moment, my go-to items are my Champion x Wood Wood black fleece and a pair of Dr. Marten boots with silver rivets I got from Depop. I love Depop—70% of my things are from Depop."
Nik Southern founded East London florist Grace & Thorn in 2012—it was a total career change as she used to work in IT recruitment. "I'd always loved plants and flowers, and doing a floristry course after quitting my job made it all become clear," explains Nik.
Grace and Thorn
As for her own style, Nik explains the one thing she always wears to work is trainers because she's on her feet all day. The go-to items in her wardrobe are "Nike Cortez, leather trousers and oversized sweatshirts. I absolutely never leave the house without a pair of big gold hoops. I love brands where I can find pieces I can wear all day at work and then go straight out in—& Other Stories, Kitri, Finery, Me + E are where I usually shop, andThree Graces is my favourite for loungewear."