Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in floristry, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with floral artist, Camila Forest Kessler founder at Forest and the Flowers, located in bustling Bristol, UK.
Tell us about yourself and your journey to where you are today...
I studied interior design and hold a higher certificate in events management. I have eight years of experience in the custom events industry where I project managed, designed table scapes, designed the decor for events, built structures, oversaw the lighting and styling of upscale corporate events for big brands and luxury weddings of all sizes.
My background also consists of event coordination and floristry, I started the floristry part of it six years ago by working in a small flower shop owned by locals in Hanoi, Vietnam and then continued with weddings in Bali and Cape Town. I have now rooted myself in Bristol where I opened my own Flower shop in Clifton village after moving to England from Cape Town the first weekend of the first lockdown. Finding a job in events during this time was obviously never going happen due to the virus, although everyone wanted flowers so I took the opportunity and all my spare time to focus on "Forest and the Flowers" shop.
There was always a part of me that just wanted to open a small flower shop and live a slow and gentle life but my nature pulls for the thrill of big events and I hope to incorporate my "all rounder" event design knowledge into never before seen and magnificent floral creations for weddings and corporates which comes out of my cute shop and studio space.
What motivates you each day?
I am a busy body and have a passion for the pressure of big events, juggling multiple clients and creating cool things. The creative side of it is where I find real joy and get completely lost in it, from concept to completion. I have absolutely no idea where the passion comes from, I just wake up every day and follow it because it keeps me alive. I just thank my lucky stars that I found the job for me.
What makes your flower business stand out?
The Forest and the flowers shop is a uniquely designed space and described as a striking destination store that specialises in fresh floral arrangements for weddings, events and celebrations as well as hand-tied bouquets for delivery. We offer eco-friendly bicycle delivery from BS1- BS9 and "click and collect". The store stocks vases, botanical products, and a variety of other floral-related gifts. Forest and the Flowers welcomes walk-in customers, offers online purchases, and hosts creative workshops for those wanting to gain a new skill.
What's been your biggest accomplishment to date as a business owner?
I would say opening a shop during a world wide pandemic by myself and making it to almost 1 year. I am now beginning to get some amazing clients who understand the concept and don't see flowers as just flowers but the medium they are to create a different "wow" factor to their wedding, event, celebration or home space.
What is the hardest thing that comes with being a business owner?
I think it would be that I never "turn off" it's the first thing I think of when I wake up and last thing on my mind before I go to sleep. My brain is like a washing machine that is forever cycling around ideas and things that need to be done.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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