Thursday, 31 January 2013

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday! - Campbell's Flowers is One!

Hello lovely readers, I'm brimming over with excitement today as Campbell's Flowers has reached their first anniversary and boy, so much has happened in a year I'm not sure where to start!

In the early days I found that I really needed to focus, I had gozillions of ideas but just had to start somewhere.  So I chose weddings, events and workshops, concentrating initially on weddings. Working in a shop, you'll find that some florists prefer the larger scale funeral work and others the smaller, more intricate, fiddly wedding work.  I've always fallen into the latter group. I love wiring and taping tiny flowery bits and bobs quietly in a corner somewhere!

I find making tiny buttonholes and all the really complicated small stuff strangely therapeutic!

So the next question was how were people going to find me? I knew that starting a business in the present climate was risky enough, so didn't want the added burden of the cost of retail premises and commercial rates.  Besides, I had a purpose-built workroom, crammed full of floristry sundries, in my basement - just waiting to be used to its full potential!  Without a 'shop window' I decided on using social media to build up a 'presence'.  Great idea, Tracey, I hear you say! Absolutely. However, I had no knowledge whatsoever of how to use any form of social media.
I had a personal facebook profile which I never ever used. That was it!

The workroom

Thursday, 24 January 2013

With Friends Like These Who Needs Anemones? - To DIY or Not to DIY?

Hello all

Today's blog post has come out of a couple of things which happened to me over the last few weeks, and set me thinking about the pro's and con's of the huge current interest in DIY and crafting and in a broader sense, how that might affect the way your view your florist!

Now I'm sure you know I'm not adverse to DIY at all.  I love sharing and really enjoy creating tutorials on my blog, or putting up videos on YouTube.  But, what worries me, is with the wave of DIY'ers (and to a certain extent maybe YouTube contributes to this) comes the 'I could do that' attitude.  I've heard people say it about many handmade items and it's not always meant kindly.

A DIY wrist corsage like this is on my YouTube Channel

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Keep Your Fork - The Best is Yet to Be

Hello all, as promised, I bring you a story of how sometimes patience brings its reward when working with very special people.

Just under a year ago, just as Campbell's Flowers was very much in it's infancy, I plucked up the courage and nervously trundling along to NetWalking Sheffield.  A clever idea which is the brain child of Marketing and PR expert Faye Smith.  I loved the concept: a brisk walk, fresh air and the chance to meet like minded business owners.  I can only describe Faye as indefatigable.  She is a whirlwind of ideas and, the first time I met her, she very gently helped me to recognise that my somewhat stumbling, apologetic explanation of my business model, wasn't exactly confident! I think she has quite a unique ability to recognise potential and during that first walk, literally bombarded me with ideas - so much so that I had to ask someone for a piece of paper and a pen to write everything down at the post walk, coffee gathering!

Fast forward 10 months (and lots of interaction at various events) I'm delighted to say that this week I received my first commission from Faye.  Her Marketing and PR business is called Keep Your Fork - which traditionally in some communities, during hard times, was something which might be said after the main course - the inference being that there was be pudding.  Sweet things were to come. There's also a more spiritual story associated with the saying too, but I just love the concept behind her business that if you  'Keep Your Fork, the best is yet to be'.

Now some of you might remember our recent Women of Steel photo shoot, where I used cutlery and jewellery fashioned from cutlery to represent Sheffield's rich heritage and past as world leaders in its field.  This then lead to an interview on BBC Radio Sheffield following a feature in the Sheffield Telegraph.

One of my cutlery bouquets from 'Women of Steel'

The feature in the Sheffield Telegraph

Saturday, 12 January 2013

HRH The Princess Royal and Flowers for a Special Event

Hello all, and a somewhat belated Happy New Year to everyone.

Well, the New Year has kicked off in the most exciting fashion and is looking more than promising, as we were most honoured to be asked to provide flowers for a wonderfully prestigious event which took place here, in Sheffield, this week.

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, is well known for her charity work, and was here to officially open the Exchange Brewery, home to The Adsetts Partnership, founded by Sir Norman Adsett who was awarded the OBE for his services to the voluntary sector.  The move to it's new heeadquarters means it will be based in the same place as its partner organisations, Autism Plus and Jobsteps Employment.

We were thrilled to be asked to design floral decorations to be placed not only beside the plaque which the Princess unveiled, but also to create something suitable for the Princess's exclusive dining table at lunch! Squeak! Talking everything through with Kate, who organised the event, we decided on blues to represent Adsetts corporate colours, freshened up with touches of whites and creams; designed in our signature natural, rustic, romantic style.

Here are a few early pics of our designs - I just can't wait to see the official professional photographs!

Pedestal arrangement which stood in front of the plaque the Princess unveiled