I met Jo last year when she did the stunning flowers for our Rapunzel shoot. She has now set up her wonderful new business called Floral Circus and is definitely not your usual florist! She is super passionate about British grown flowers and has a real desire for hosting some amazing workshops and parties too!
But I’m not going to babble on and tell you about it all - she is!
Meet Jo ...
Me: " So how long have you been a florist for?"
Jo: "I trained in Theatre Design at Wimbledon School of Art. I was designing and styling for theatre, film & TV and the events industry. I sought of slid into floristry from my Event Design business. My first floristry job was in 1996, I was actually there draping a lavish entrance for a rock stars wedding, but the florists needed an extra pair of hands. I was kind of hooked from that moment on."
Me: "What made you get into floristry?"
Jo: "While I was styling events I met a wonderfully creative florist called Phyillda Holbeach who inspired me. She encouraged me to break floristry “rules” and see flowers in a different way. Her arrangements were wild and free. That appealed to me."
Me: " What are the perks of your job and your favourite things about being a florist?"
Jo: "I LOVE being around flowers. They can lift your spirits and fill your heart with wonder. They make people happy and that is a very powerful thing."
Me: "What makes flowers so special to you?"
Jo: "They can transport me. I could ramble on for quite a while about what there is to love about flowers. In brief, their ephemeral beauty, scent, romance, nostalgic powers. I feel quite differently about imported flowers, my love affair is with garden flowers."
Me: "What is your favourite flower?"
Jo: "I am a fickle flower lover, I fall for one and then another. I called my daughter Rose, so I guess I think they are the most powerful to me. Beautiful, fragrant and magical. Almost all cultures have roses featuring somewhere in their folklore."
Me: " Why did you pick 'Floral Circus' as the name of your business?"
Jo: "I wanted something theatrical, I see flowers as having the same power as a theatrical happening. A moment in time, you experience them and then they are gone. No photo or footage can truly capture the “moment”. I also want to take to the road with my floral parties and workshops, so Circus seemed to embody all the right messages for me. I liked the idea of a Travelling Floral Circus, where the flowers themselves are the leading ladies."
Me: "Tell us more about corsages and why you want to teach people how to make them?"
Jo: "I love the romance of flowers. What could be sweeter than receiving a hand picked flower tied into a corsage? Traditionally a man would give a posy of flowers to the parents of his date and then take one to pin on to the dress of his lady love. The word “corsage" is french for ‘bodice’ and the flower would be worn either at the waist or in the centre of the neck line. Early 20th century corsages moved to the shoulder. I like teaching how to make corsages and button holes. My hope is that people will pick a couple of flowers from their gardens and make their own and not just for weddings!"
Me: " What other floral workshops and parties do you have up your sleeve?"
Jo: " Flower Fandango is my next event. I’m so excited about it. It’s a Mexican styled event based around the artist and icon Frida Kahlo. She famously wore fresh flowers in her hair and this workshop will show guests how to create their own flower crown. We’ll also be shown how to mix a perfect margarita and have Mexican tapas. 16th July Assembly Rooms Marlow - find out more HERE"
Me: " What do you love the most about your job?"
Jo: "The flowers, their beauty, making people happy, being creative, ever changing, being in touch with the seasons and nature and always having more to learn."
Me: "What advice would you give to brides when picking the flowers for their wedding day?"
Jo: "Be true to yourself and don’t get bogged down with “trends”. It’s your day and you must follow your heart. I would always start with how you want your wedding to feel. Any good florist should be able to guide you in how to achieve the vibe you want. Try and stay seasonal and British. If you use British flowers at the peak of their season they really can’t be beaten on quality, fragrance or vitality. Another plus is, it will really anchor your wedding day, each year your anniversary comes around the same flowers will be in bloom."
‘Fun, colourful, delicious, relaxed, Informative, Unusual, glamorous, beautiful & elegant", were just some of the comments from the ladies who came along!
Lisa said, “ Me and Mum REALLY enjoyed the Floral Tea Party – it was such a fab afternoon and we enjoyed every moment. The corsage making was really good fun and our chance to get creative and have fun! The afternoon tea was really something special too, it was DELICIOUS! Yum yum! We learnt how fun floral workshops can be and would definitely go to other parties! Would also be a great activities for a birthday party or hen doo! Thank you Jo for having us along, we had such a lovely afternoon together – a really nice Mother/Daughter bonding time!"
Lucie said, “ I enjoyed learning a new skill that wasn’t too taxing on the brain but had an end result and that I could use again. I wore my wrist corsage for the rest of the day, including the cycle ride home! Learning how to wire flowers so they can be used in all sorts of ways. I just really enjoyed being in the company of special people, meeting new ones, learning something I had not done before (without having to concentrate TOO much). The venue was really stunning, the atmosphere relaxed and friendly and Jo’s attention throughout made it very special. It was well worth the money and, in comparison to a massage or similar ‘treat’ it was very good value and I would definitely go to another party!"
Samantha said, “The cakes were exquisite! That time spent with friends needs to be higher on my list of priorities. I really enjoyed everything about it, and would have liked another glass of Prosecco!”
Jo you are an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing your passion and love for flowers with us! I have always loved flowers, they always take me to magical place with their smell and beauty - mother nature truly is amazing!
“Take time out to smell the roses”, this is something my Mom has always said to me! So if you feeling stressed or sad, always take time to smell the flowers and appreciate life, or you could just go along to one of Jo's amazing floral tea parties!!