I've been working as a designer for a long time. I've spent the last decade running my own businesses, in various forms, working with huge companies, and small ones, helping other designers and sharing my experience along the way. Twelve years is long enough to know that you really need to follow your heart when you're creating - you need to stay true to your values and not just follow the status quo, or do what's easy. It doesn't really feed your soul if you do what's easy.
It's with that in mind that I established PETAL, and have spent the best part of the last year feeling out what feels right... pushing what's possible, following my gut instincts in what we're trying to create.
You see, there's a few things I really, really love.
I love the ebb and flow of the seasons. I love everything that mother nature has in store for us. (I believe she knows best). I love things that are natural and chemical free. I love supporting local. I love leaving no trace, and keeping the work I make as eco friendly as possible. I love animals. I love foraging for something special that no-one else has, finding that element that makes a design unique. I love planting seeds and growing flowers. I love visiting flower farms and cutting my own blooms - even in the pouring rain (that really is love). I love Northern Ireland & Ireland, this island that's now been my home for the past seven years. I love making floral designs that reflect all these things, bringing the seasons inside, helping people notice the little things and creating events that will resonate with a part of us that's long lost and forgotten.
So we're trying to do things a little differently, and hope you'll like it.
- I pledge to drive up and down Northern Ireland & Ireland, supporting the last few flower farms in the country, picking the very best blooms I can find to create Seasonal, Sustainable and Sensational wedding & event flowers. This helps our economy and supports a really special industry... we love working with small growers.
- I pledge to use as little oasis as possible (it's made from petro-chemicals, and isn't kind to the earth), working harder to create beauty in eco-friendly ways, all of which, happily, make your flowers last longer.
- I pledge to use as few imported flowers as I can. We are very close to being 100% locally grown between the months of March/April to the end of October! That's pretty cool, and we're really excited about it. Not only does it mean your flowers aren't sprayed with chemicals (some of which are actually banned in the EU, so are pretty nasty!), they won't have been flown half way around the world so are much fresher, and won't have been farmed in scenarios you wouldn't be happy to work in yourself.
- I pledge to be as noisy about ecological issues as I possibly can, to help educate and create demand for locally grown and eco-friendly. The more people know about whats good for our planet, and our bodies, the better. Floristry is changing and I'm happy to helping give it a shove in our corner of the world!