On a very windy day in May we had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Frannie Liddle, Co-Founder of Window Fleur, the flower box subscription service brightening homes all over London. We caught up to find out all about the inspiration behind this lockdown-born business.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and Window Fleur?
I’m Frannie the Co-Founder of Window Fleur. Window Fleur is a London based family business which I launched in June 2020 with my cousin Joe. Like a lot of fresh ideas, Window Fleur was born out of wanting to make our lives easier and better. Without getting too Alan Titchmarsh on you, the pandemic has taught us the value and enjoyment we can reap from growing and planting in our own homes. But with many of us cooped up in flats (myself and Joe included) we reached for window boxes as an ‘easy’ way to flex those green fingers, but actually found them anything but! So, enter Window Fleur! The UK's very first window box subscription club that delivers ready-planted window boxes straight to your door with easy drop-in refills, every 3 months. For us it’s all about growing the enjoyment factor and shrinking the hassle.
Before Window Fleur life, I spent my time being a heavily ‘botanical influenced’ Graphic Designer. I was lucky enough to start my design career at the fabulous ‘Stylist’ Magazine. I then went on to work at various florists around London, where my love of flowers grew even more. Before launching Window Fleur, I owned a design studio working with a wide variety of lifestyle brands including Freddie’s Flowers, where I learnt the importance of a beautifully designed brand right from the ‘get go’. And hopefully that’s evident in the look and feel of Window Fleur!
Have you always had a passion for horticulture? And What inspired you to set up Window Fleur?
I grew up on a small farm in North Lincolnshire and was surrounded by nature and animals from a very young age. My mum is a very keen gardener and I remember as a child trying to stay up late to watch ‘Gardeners World’ with her… any excuse not to go to bed! I have always been in awe of flowers and plants' natural beauty.
Window Fleur was also inspired by Joe’s experience when he tried to make his own window box for his fourth-floor flat. After spending a small fortune on an expensive window box, 2 bags of compost and 20 plants (that largely died a month later), he decided there had to be a better way. So, we teamed up and created a super convenient window box solution, designed to make homes just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.
What creative process do you go through when making your window boxes and where do you source your materials?
The first step in creating our Window Fleur boxes is the plant styling. We work a year in advance so when a customer signs up we know exactly what they’d like for each of the seasons for that upcoming year. Our customers know exactly what to expect (and look forward to!)
Styling the boxes is definitely one of my favourite parts of the job, it’s when I can be really creative. There’s lots to consider, colours, textures, the plant characteristics, and seasonality. Our customers get a choice of different plant styles for each season and I try to cater for all tastes. We then work closely with our growers in Europe to try and source the highest quality plants, and hopefully, some really unusual varieties that you won’t see elsewhere!
What gave you the courage to start your own business and what advice would you give to those thinking of doing the same?
Very early on I knew I wanted to work for myself, I’m a big believer that life's too short to do something you’re not passionate about, and I wanted the freedom to choose what I did with my day.
You’ll always want to wait until it’s totally perfect timing but I'm a firm believer that the best time to start is today, and then keep learning along the way. Take the leap of faith and don’t look back.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
My day starts nice and early with a walk in my local park with my dog ‘Toast’. Followed by checking emails and preparing for the weekly Window Fleur orders we need to fulfil. We’ll have a little catch up with our small team, and then I’ll either help planting or spend some time planning our next season’s plants or some exciting brand partnerships. We’re constantly developing our product to better fit our customers’ needs so there’s never a quiet moment.
What are your go-to wardrobe staples?
The nature of my work is often very hands on so I often pick an outfit that doesn’t get in the way during the day - comfort is key! Staples have got to be, a good pair of dungarees and layers to suit the temperamental English weather, all paired with some good gardening gloves...super glam!
How do you make your clothes work for you and your busy lifestyle?
I always want to feel comfortable, but fashion has got to be one of my greatest loves, so I try to make sure the most functional and versatile work look still has a fun, and fashionable element. Even though at the end of most days I’m totally covered in soil, I still try not to split my wardrobe into work wear, just one of the plus sides of not working in an office! Everything goes in the wash and comes out as good as new.
If I wasn’t running Window Fleur… I’d have loved to have been an artist in Paris… who am I kidding, what a dreamer!
The best thing about my job… When people get in touch and tell us their Window Fleur Box is really brightening their homes, it makes all the hard work seem worthwhile. I also feel very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful plants every day, and working with my family.
My favourite plant… Has got to be a white marguerite (classic big white daisy)
A destination I’d love to visit…I’d love to go and see the cherry blossom in Tokyo!
Words to live by…Don’t overthink it
My ideal breakfast…Eggs Benedict is always a winner!
My favourite London hangout…Ooo tough one, I’ve lived in London for 6 years now and throughout that time my favourite places have definitely changed with age haha! One place I've always loved though is Hyde park, it’s beautiful and perfect for good dog/people watching closely followed by Padella for some good pasta & prosecco!
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Split-front T-shirt >