Student Stories

Florist – Dandelions and Grace

Claire Lyons

Which course did you study at Tallulah Rose Flower School?

I completed the 2 week career change course in May 2017.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

Stepping into the schoolroom for the first time, and knowing I had made the right decision – it had taken me over a year and a half to gain the courage to enrol!

Being greeted by the stunning selection of flowers on offer each morning for the practical pieces, and the complete freedom of just creating without any restrictions or judgement, just encouragement.

I met some amazing people during my time in Bath and have formed lasting friendships with fellow students. The support continues after the course in the form of the Tallulah Rose Forum group. It is wonderful to be part of this fantastic flower community.

Oh and of course the Tunnocks teacakes!!!

What was the most important thing that you learnt?

There is no right or wrong way when it comes to designing flowers! Use the time to experiment and find your style. I thought I had a clear idea of how I wanted my floral designs to look and I was frustrated I couldn’t create the result I had envisaged. Letting go of what I thought I should do, and following my instincts allowed me to develop my own creative style.

What was your first big break or most memorable moments so far?

My most memorable moment so far has to be my first summer season – talk about jumping in at the deep end! I very quickly started to receive bookings from people who were finding me through social media and my website and it gave me a great boost. My first wedding, at the stunning Chateau Robernier, was a highlight and a huge opportunity for me, although terrifying and amazing in equal measures. The day was incredibly hot, even the candles were melting! But the flowers turned out just as I’d hoped and the bride was delighted!

Delivering flowers to my first superyacht for a photoshoot was also pretty high up there!

What are you doing now?  

I am based in the south of France and set up Dandelions and Grace in January 2018 working in floristry full time from my home in Grasse. I run workshops throughout the year, and flower weddings and events as well as delivering arrangements to villas and super yachts during the summer months.

Describe a typical floristry day…

No two days are the same in floristry and they don’t all involve flowers! My ‘preparation season’ requires lots of admin days preparing proposals and quotes, finding and sending inspiration to wedding clients, sourcing vessels and props and connecting with other people in the industry. The ‘hands on’ season involves compiling lots and lots of lists! Early morning trips to the local flower market in Nice, and the bit we all enjoy the most, creating beautiful arrangements!

What’s been your highlight to date?

I’ve loved everything about my journey so far, but my highlight has to be seeing my business grow. I have worked with some amazing couples in incredible locations and have had some fantastic opportunities to date. An elopement wedding at the world-renowned Grand hotel du Cap-Ferrat, and a photoshoot at Villa Vigie, one of Karl Largerfeld’s former homes in Monaco, are moments I wouldn’t have dreamt of being possible when I started.

What advice would you give to a new student starting out?

Don’t underestimate the amount of work involved! Setting up a business takes time and a lot of effort. There will be highs as well as lows but if you are passionate and willing, go for it!

Create a support network – local suppliers and freelancers you trust are invaluable.


Click here for more information about Dandelions and Grace