Student Stories

Florist – Emma Soulsby

Emma Soulsby

Which course did you study at Tallulah Rose and when?
I contacted Rachel in 2013 when I had first started to dabble in the flower world. I emailed her explaining that I had a fulltime job in finance and that all I wanted was to be full time in the flower world….PLEASE HELP was basically my plea! After a few emails back and forth discussing the areas I needed to concentrate and expand on, we decided the best way to do this was a week intense course. That was my summer holiday for the year and one of the most important foundation blocks of my now business.

What did you most enjoy about the course?
Everything! The only thing I didn’t enjoy was leaving, I actually cried on my last day!
It turned out the only week that I could do meant that I was lucky enough to have one to one support from Rachel. Each day was jam-packed, learning about flowers and the different techniques, how to cost them up, topped off with business skills. I wanted to concentrate on wedding arrangements, it was on my second day that my love of flower crowns was found, brides now contact me because they want to have flower crowns for their wedding day.

What was the most important thing that you learnt during your time at school?
From the second I walked through the door, very nervously I have to add, Rachel put me at ease. She’s so caring and extremely talented, it’s clear she wants each of her students to excel in everything they do and so creates an environment that allows them to do just that. The most important thing I took away from the school was confidence in my ability to be a florist and to call myself a florist. Rachel gave me both the skills and the confidence, and it doesn’t stop when the course is over, I often ask for Rachel’s advice and the advice of the facebook page she created for all her past students.

What was your first big break?
The point when I started to get weddings from people who I didn’t know or were a friend of a friend. Now don’t get me wrong, referrals are fabulous and I love it when I hear from a bride to be who’s friend has told them about me. But at the beginning hearing from brides who had found me because of a photo shoot that had been featured in an awesome blog, or that they had been following my Instagram page and loved my work…that to me made me realise that I could and needed to follow my passion and dream.

What are you doing now?
I’m thrilled to say I have now left my fulltime finance job, it took me four years to make the leap, and I’m now in the flower world full time! I specialise in weddings and events and I’ve very recently opened a shop collaborating with Heist Bank in Paddington, ‘beer pizza and flowers’!

Describe a typical floristry day….
I’m extremely lucky to live in London and so all my flower purchases are from New Covent Garden Market. I get up around 4.30am, head to the market where I collect my order for the weekend wedding or flowers and plants for the shop. I then head over to Paddington to set up, I’m slowly but surely turning it into a succulent jungle! Outside of Heist Bank I make up the terrariums, condition the flowers for the shop and the wedding prep starts. The afternoon is spent answering emails, coming up with new ideas to promote my business and attract new clients and generally trying to avoid the pizza and wine, failing miserably most days! I finish between 6-7pm where I either meet new brides who have just finished work or home to crash.

What’s been your highlight to date?
I get excited about everything I do, it helps me to stay motivated and focused so I will have many highlights in a day or a week. That’s not to say they are all huge or life changing, they are just important to me and my business. That being said opening my shop in Heist Bank is the latest big one! I’m so excited about it all and it’s great to work with people again, being a florist working from home can be very lonely. To begin with every time I made a sale the guys behind the bar would all cheer and high five me, thankfully when the customer had left! Celebrating your highlights and achievements even with a simple high five is I think very important. I really believe it’s the little things that lead you to the bigger life changing picture.

Click here to learn more about Emma Soulsby