We sat down with senior JMFS florist, Claire - picking her brain about all things flowers & styling!
How and when did you get into this industry? What keeps you motivated?
This is a long one! So I started my career as a window dresser in a London department store, and this eventually led me to a visual merchandising role within a large, well-known UK Christmas decoration company. Here, I first started playing with flowers and foliage. I was also guided a lot by an ex florist colleague who taught me a huge amount.
Then in 2010, my Australian husband was transferred to the US for work. We lived in a very small town in Pennsylvania during this time and I pondered what I should do work-wise. One day, I got chatting to a lovely woman whilst shopping and she informed me that her niece had a wedding floristry business just 5 minutes down the road from where we were based. I ended up giving her a call, and she bench trained me for 5 years until it was time to relocate again. It was great! I also worked for a large wedding events florist in London before grabbing a job with Jade in Newcastle.
It's easy to stay motivated in this industry - every week is new and the work is everchanging and never boring. Oh, and I love flowers!
Where do you turn to for inspiration?
My contemporaries are really exciting. There are so many wonderful designers out there, both locally and abroad, that turn my head and inspire me to try out new things in the floristry world. I also look for inspiration in what is growing around me, and in the Australian seasons.
Do you always keep fresh flowers in your home?
Not always, surprisingly! We just moved to a house with a large established garden where I intend to grow some firm favourites.
What excites you most about weddings in the Hunter Valley?
The Hunter Valley is a breath of fresh air every time I travel up there. I never get bored of watching the changing landscape as the weeks go by and the vines grow larger. It's such a pleasure to work in such a beautiful part of the world.
Best tips for couples planning their big day?
Plan, plan, plan! Choose your vendors wisely and be as organised as possible (you don't want any nasty surprises!). At the same time, I think it's important not to sweat the small stuff - make sure you thoroughly enjoy your very special day.