In a pretty garden in the heart of Hackney we had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Stephanie Callaghan, Founder of flower studio, Me & My Bloomers. We caught up to find out more about her British-grown flowers and what she's been up to since she launched Me & My Bloomers last year!
Can you tell us about yourself and your flower studio Me & My Bloomers?
I'm Scottish born, London & Northamptonshire raised. I started Me & My Bloomers last spring just before my 30th birthday. I grow flowers with my partner on a small plot in the Northamptonshire countryside, we're passionate about sustainability, our cut flowers are grown using natural farming methods, we avoid any chemicals. Me & My bloomers offers bespoke floral design for weddings and events as well as handmade botanical products. Like our lavender pillows that just went live on the website!
Where does your passion for floristry come from?
I guess I've always loved flowers, after I finished my fine art degree I started working as a prop and set designer, during this time I ended up making a lot of giant paper flowers. However, it took me quite a few years after that to begin to work with the real thing. Flowers have become my favourite material to express myself creatively, their fragility and natural beauty is hard to beat.
What gave you the courage to start up your own business and what advice would you give to those thinking about doing the same?
I was previously working in Istanbul for 3 years as a window designer. Which was an amazing opportunity but I felt creatively frustrated and disconnected from nature, spending most of my day in a dark office with minimal inspiration, I was unhappy. My partner and I decided to leave our jobs in Spring 2016, we bought an old camper van (in hindsight I wish we'd bought a slightly newer one!) and drove it to Italy in search of sun, food and enlightenment. During our travels, we stayed on a lavender farm and one morning while weeding the bushes together, I was overcome with happiness. It was there and then we
decided to try our hand at growing flowers the following year. I had no flower or plant experience, although I've lived most of my life in the countryside I don't come from a particularly green fingered family, I just knew we needed to try and learn. Initially I gave myself a year to focus on building Me & My Bloomers and although it's only just over a year old I couldn't imagine doing anything else. It's been a lot of hard work learning something totally new especially when it's nature and a lot of it is out of your control, but I love all the different sections to my company. But I couldn't have achieved most of what I have done without the support and belief of my family and friends. They are the most important.
Where do you source your beautiful flowers?
Our flower growing season is between May – October so I try to use what we grow during these times. I also work with some amazing local flower growers which I like to buy from, as I prefer to use British flowers when I can. However, this isn't always possible because a lot of my work is dictated by a brief or is out of the growing season. So, in these cases I go to Covent Garden flower market in Vauxhall.
How would you describe your work and where in London can we see your displays?
In my personal work, I like to embrace the seasons through foraging and using what I've grown myself, favoring the weird twisty stems and unusual shapes. This last week I had my flowers in the windows of The Shop at Bluebird's new store, they were there for Covent Garden in Bloom. My Instagram account is the best way to see what I'm working on and where. @meandmybloomers
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I don't really have typical days, each day is very varied, my workload and priorities change with the seasons. I normally wake up around 6.30am unless I'm visiting the market where I'm up at 4am. At the moment, I'm busy tending to my garden and allotment every day, planting all the seedlings, watering, weeding, fending off predators (mainly slugs and aphids) I won't bore you with the rest of the jobs, but this time of year is really important to keep on top of everything. So that we get a good harvest for all our lovely brides this summer. In amongst my day I find time for admin jobs, which I'm learning to not let take up my evenings.
What are your go-to wardrobe staples?
I need different wardrobes depending which job I'm doing. In the garden, my clothes need to be tough and for me not to care if they get muddy or torn. Whether I'm in the garden, studio or installing an event I need pockets. My essentials are simple - good jeans, comfortable boots or shoes, top and a jumper. And if it's summer you'll regularly find me in some sort of dungaree shorts.
If I wasn't running Me & My Bloomers... I'd probably be doing something food related.
The best thing about my job... Many things. But mostly that it doesn't feel like a job.
My ideal breakfast... Eggs from the farm opposite ours, avocado, fresh herbs on toast and lots of coffee.
A holiday destination I love... Puglia or Austria.
My day isn't complete until... I've wandered around the garden to see what's new.
Words to live by... Life is for living! But it's often changing, currently its Rupi Kaur's words in her book, The Sun and Her Flowers
My favourite London hangout... Kew gardens.
|Ailsa Sweater >||Stevie Jeans >||Amerie T-shirt >|
|Deanna Dress >||Jannika Shorts >|