Student Stories

Florist – Tiger by the Tail


Jess Burling

Which course did you study at Tallulah Rose and when?
I studied the 4 week Career Change Course in October 2016.

What did you most enjoy about the course?
All of it! I genuinely loved every minute from start to finish. I think what I appreciated the most was the way that the relaxed, friendly and open atmosphere really leant itself to creativity and learning. There was no way you couldn’t produce something lovely in that environment!

What was the most important thing that you learnt during your time at school?
Firstly to be fearless. The course gave me with so much confidence that by the end, the thought of starting my own floristry business felt exciting and totally within reach. Secondly to be true to yourself – no one can tell you your style is right or wrong. It’s YOUR style to create, YOUR brand to develop, YOUR story to write. Both lessons were completely invaluable.

What was your first big break?

I guess it would be my first wedding, 9 months after I finished the course. It was for some friends – I couldn’t believe that not only did they trust me with their wedding flowers as a brand new florist (!) but they also gave me a fantastic budget to work with and they hired a brilliant photographer who captured my work beautifully. It really started the ball rolling for me.

What are you doing now?

I run my own floral design business in the Cotswolds, specialising in weddings and events. Since completing the course, I’m now entering my fourth wedding season – I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown! I’ve been lucky enough to work on some fantastic weddings all over the country, as well as creating installs for brand product launches, editorial photoshoots and exclusive private parties. Day dreaming and brainstorming about how I continue to nurture and grow the business for the years ahead still is and always will be my favourite activity.

Describe a typical floristry day…
Every day is different and that’s the thing I love the most about running my own business. If I don’t have a wedding / event on, then my day usually consists of a lot of admin! Responding to emails, drawing up quotes, doing image research for brides, sourcing sundries and equipment for upcoming projects and keeping on top of accounting. I’m very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the country (the Cotswolds) so I always take time out of my day to escape the screen and do a long walk with my two dogs across the fields and into the woods. Most of my thinking time for the business is done when I’m dog walking! If I’m in peak wedding season then it’s usually a 4am – 7pm day that passes in a flurry of loading vans, conditioning flowers, hanging off ladders and goodness knows what else!

What’s been your highlight to date?
There have been so many! Honestly every time I get an enquiry land in my inbox my tummy flips. And I’ve genuinely enjoyed every wedding and event I’ve worked on. Seeing my flowers in editorial was pretty special, as was the opportunity to work with some fantastic people within the wedding industry to make those pieces come to life. I’m particular in awe of photographers and dress makers, so working with those talents has been incredible.

What advice would you give to a new student starting out?
I come from a marketing / branding background so developing a strong brand that could really ‘speak’ to people was always hugely important to me. I believe that integrity is everything; if you know you have a good idea – stick to it and be true to yourself. That also means saying no to certain opportunities that aren’t in the best interest of your business. It will be so tempting to feel envious of other people’s work and to constantly compare yourself to other florists thinking you should be at a certain point by a certain time. But there will be something that makes your business unique – find it and use it to your advantage, and KNOW that you are going to make a success of it all.

Click here for more information about Tiger by the Tail