Wild About Blooms

by SLIB

Jo’s just so blooming lovely!

Last week Kim and I, with festive mince pies in hand, went to visit Jo Logan, our very own SLiB florist at Wild About Blooms Floral Design.  You will know, if you are Taunton based, that Jo has opened a pop-up shop for Christmas in what used to be Plaster Workshop at the top of East Reach. The stunning window display is full of old world Christmas charm with a whole lot of Hollywood glam thrown in for good measure.

Jo lives near Nether Stowey in a beautiful house that she shares with her husband and family. She started her business, ‘Wild About Blooms Floral Design’ just over 2 years ago, in June 2016. Their home used to be the Wheelwrights in the village, who made the wheels for local carriages and rather oddly the coffins for the village too. They still have the original features in the house from this, including pulleys on the ceilings which were used for lifting the carriages.  Her studio in the house used to be the old shop area, so she is really happy working and creating designs within that space, especially when she completes sympathy pieces for funerals.  Her husband, who is a builder, converted the space for her. She originally had a shed in the garden but it was too hot for the flowers, so she ‘talked him round’ to converting the old shop for her business. It was originally intended to be an additional family room (possibly his man cave), but Jo has got it for her business. It’s an ideal space as it stays really cool and it still has the original old pine workbench in it, which she has renovated, and uses to lay her flowers out on.

Jo originally trained as a secretary, worked as Medical Secretary for a while before moving into adult training. After she had her children she went to work for Bridgwater College within an admin role, helping to enrol students onto degree courses.

All of her children are very artistic and she has always enjoyed helping them with their pieces or research for their GCSE Art courses. It was then that she realised that she was missing that a creative streak in her life for herself, but what could she do? She decided to complete a floristry class with a local training provider and loved it. She had found her subject, her niche! She then enrolled at Bridgwater College, at the Cannington Campus to complete her Level 2, 3 and then carried on from there to complete her Level 4, which she graduated with this summer.  She never initially intended it to be a business, it was only meant to be fun, creative and different hobby to do. Ideally she saw it as a fragrant pastime to run alongside her job.  She told us that the tutors at the college were brilliant, their knowledge and experience was second to none and made the whole learning experience a fun and creative one. With floristry there is always something new to learn, you can’t ever say that you know it all she says, the latest fashions and trends tend to keep you on your toes.

It was only when she has completed her Level 3 that she realised that she could make this into a business, after completing some work experience. In June 2016 she complete her first wedding and had thought of her business name and she was then launched into the self-employment world.

Jo joked that the first wedding she completed was incredibly stressful and even had moments thinking that she never wanted to do that again. However, once she saw what she achieved, she was hooked and now loves to focus on larger events, i.e. weddings, funerals and functions.  She explained that for her own wedding her flowers weren’t exactly what she wanted and was a little disappointed. So her main focus now, is to provide a bride with exactly their choice of excellent quality, flowers and foliage to suit the occasion. Often brides don’t know exactly what they want and they will send her lots of pictures, which are different and so she takes her time to discuss these choices with them, to ensure they have exactly what they want and that its top quality.

The stockists she uses are ‘Flower Vision’ in Bristol or ‘Florismart’ who deliver and she often uses foliage from her own garden to create additional texture. She mostly sources her oasis from ‘Country Baskets’ in Avonmouth – where everyone can go, as it’s not only for trade.

Jo also explains that out of all the floral work she completes, sympathy work is her most favourite, as it’s that one last task you can create for someone to show them the respect and honour which they deserve.

Jo has recently done some work for the new Mercure Hotel in Bridgwater such as table arrangements for a dinner party and floral arrangements for their reception which then turned into plant displays.

A free top tip Jo gives us is that – flowers don’t like ethylene gas which is given off by fruit, so don’t place your flowers near your fruit bowl as they won’t last. They also catch cold so they don’t like to be placed in a draft. More often than not supermarkets never get this right as flowers are always by the fruit and door.

When we asked Jo about the benefits of being self-employed Jo says that she loves the flexibility that it gives her with family life.  Working from home is so much easier, although being self-disciplined can be hard when at home as you have to stay really focussed. She loves being able to fit work in around the family and she doesn’t have to ask anyone for time off. Although, she loves being self-employed she admits that she does miss the company, having always been a team player within a work environment. When asked about her future business goals, Jo preferring to work from home would consider employing someone, either an apprentice or to work alongside another freelance florist. As she has always found working alongside someone is more fun and you can bounce ideas about.

Jo’s ideal goal is the same as most people, she would like plenty of business coming in, to be well known in her industry and to feel successful.

Jo has attended other networking groups but didn’t find the right group until she attended her first SLiB meeting. Coming to SLiB is completely different, she says, everyone is made to feel so welcome straight away which is lovely when you are new to a group. Networking can be difficult for people to attend on their own, to gather the courage to talk and interact with others. Women, sometimes, are not that good at promoting themselves and more often than not tend to put themselves down, rather than stand up and tell everyone what they are good at.  She says that we have created the environment for people to be able to talk to others. She says that whenever she leaves a meeting her mood is uplifted, due to the atmosphere and laughter she enjoys within the group. Working on your own can be tough so meeting up once a month can help with this and keep you motivated and inspired.

Jo states, that in her opinion, Kim and I are the glue that holds SLiB together and she likes the diversity of ladies brining so much talent into one room.

Top tips for your Christmas flowers

Bouquets

  • Remove any leaves that will be below the water line.
  • Re-cut stems at a 450 angle and place in water with flower food.
  • Change water regularly.

Flower Arrangements

  • Regularly water (using flower food if provided) ensuring floral foam doesn’t dry out.
  • Spritz with clean water but avoid spraying roses as this can cause spotting on the petals.
  • To prolong the life of your flowers avoid placing in areas with direct sunlight, excessive heat, draughts or ripening fruit.

Wreaths

  • Spritz with water to keep looking fresh.
  • If very dry and on moss base, bottom of wreath can be soaked in a bucket of water, let drain and rehang.

 

Find out more about Jo & Wild About Blooms by clicking one of the links below:

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