Upcoming talk on trends in floristry

We’re really looking forward to the Bloom and Bust: Trends in Floristry event at our local Garden Museum on 23 April. This talk is part of an ongoing exhibition called Floriculture: Flowers, Love and Money, which was opened by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall on 14 February. Supported by the Covent Garden Market Authority and sponsored by Waitrose, the exhibition looks at use of flowers in art and life from historical times to the present day.

We’ve very happy to be part of this coming together to celebrate and explore the importance of flowers. Lauren will be sharing her personal and professional thoughts, ideas and observations on past and current trends in floristry. The event is open to the public and there are still tickets available.

Lauren will share some reflections about the event soon.

Spring Culture Series at the House of St Barnabas

The House of St Barnabas is an exciting venture to ensure sustained employment for homeless people by creating revenue streams through venue hire and hospitality that provides work-related experience and jobs. If you haven’t had a chance to check out HoSB, please do make an effort to enjoy this beautiful space. Its fantastic history and aesthetics have made many a magical event. As a precursor to HoSB becoming the first social enterprise members club, it has opened its doors for a mix of banging music events and stimulating discussions. Please do go along to one of their Spring Culture Series events. We were lucky enough to be commissioned to provide the floral installations for last month’s soirée – ‘A Mighty Big If’, hosted by magnetic Richard Strange, who said to us, “Ooh, they’re lovely flowers! What are they thinking?” The event was jam-packed, with words from Brian Cox and David Coulter captured by HiBROW TV

We are providing the flowers for their next event: HoSB and Moshi Moshi present Martin Creed, Slow Club and Sweet Baboo. The event will be hosted by Turner Prize winner and musician Martin Creed, which has Lauren very excited, particularly as he has created a poster especially for HoSB – a beautiful watercolour of the saint’s face.

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Our brief from HoSB was to keep this amazing piece in mind but also be fairly elaborate. The new decor for the venue is pretty top secret so let’s hope we can get some pictures in situ for you this time.

There are plenty of events coming up for which you can still get tickets. We are looking forward to The Secret Meaning of Shoes with the ever-knowledgeable taste-maker  Ekow Eshun, Miranda Sawyer (our lovely and local journalist) and, of course, Mark Hare (we like that pair). It’s only a tenner – get in there!

School for Social Entrepreneurs Stories of Change Awards Ceremony

This event as always brings together the mighty spirit of those brave enough to dare challenging the status quo with those who are similar but working within the financial services. SSE provides a platform for the learning and development of those that graduate from the programme and the tools and support for the enterprises they start.Stories of Change

Among the award winners, special mention should be made of Lucy, who overcame the barriers of homelessness to acquire 11 acres of land on which she will build a homelessness rehabilitation centre based around land-based learning and acupuncture, and Ian from May Project Gardens, which is starting a permaculture garden in Morden with the aim of bringing communities together through ecological and ethical activities.

We were asked for something bright, cheerful and celebratory because this year’s ceremony was earlier than usual. We chose white glass vases and clear glass for the long-stemmed irises and, keeping in harmony with the SSE colours – magenta, gold and blue – we thought sunflowers were fitting to represent their logo. We used the irises to represent vision and fidelity, which we feel is needed for those who take a social or environmental entrepreneurial path.Magenta, Blue and Gold

Floral donation went to the Karibu Centre, Gresham Road, Brixton, which allowed for the space to be dressed for the funeral of a young male victim of violent street crime. Elaine Holness, the director of the Centre and an SSE fellow, continues to create an accessible and safe environment for the Brixton community to hold meetings and events.

RBS Social Enterprise 100 Awards

We were invited back this year to provide floral designs for the awards ceremony held by Royal Bank of Scotland on 5 December at The Atrium. We made an arrangement for each table and a special installation for the awards ceremony table. We very much enjoyed the challenge of an extremely colourful story to illustrate and embellish the event colour scheme. This year we chose to take the number-based impact measurement theme pretty literally with big, bold vintage, numbered velvet rosettes.RBS SE100 5th We thought this retro feel was fun and fitting as it went along with the handmade ceramic awards provided by Koestler Trust: arts by offenders. The flowers we used were a combination of pink orchids, peach roses, blue thistles (as requested by our Scots friends last year), red berries and giant yellow chrysanthemums. Each table was dressed in multicoloured runnuclus in tall slim vases with the big vintage rosettes.RBS SE100 3rd The blue laser lights in the venue really set everything off.RBS SE100 Awards

Fair Trade Floral Design at the V&A

We delivered a workshop at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 1 December. The journey to the market was especially beautiful walking across the park with its crispy fields and bare trees in the winter sunlight.Image Lauren was impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of Marissa, the workshop assistant, who was standing waiting for her at the flower market at 6:00 am. It was lovely driving over to the V&A and passing the Natural History Museum in awe of the architecture and design – the scaled reptilian brickwork is exactly right for the purpose of the building. It was bordering eerie walking into the V&A with no sound of other people and being watched by the big golden angel called ‘Spirit’ that looks over the staff entrance.

Preparation was fun, with Marissa and Lauren setting out the Rainforest Alliance certified flowers for the bouquets.Image The workshop was equal parts theory, practice and creative space. We talked a lot about our experiences of flowers and how we see them in the world for the future. Lauren demonstrated small arrangements that have a low impact on resources and high visual flair.Image Participants then made their own arrangements and bouquets.Image

The women attending were a mix of experienced florists and inexperienced flower lovers and came from several different countries including Kenya, Italy and Canada. We would like to thank everyone who participated – Lauren had a great time sharing her experiences. We look forward to further collaborations with the V&A in the future. 

Good Deals Conference

The Good Deals Conference was held at Southwark Cathedral on 28 November and at Vinopolis on 29 November. The keynote speakers were Jonathan Greenblatt, Head of Social Innovation at the White House and James Featherby, author of ‘Of Markets and Men’. We love working with Good Deals because there isn’t a better feeling than knowing that there is a movement towards a conscious effort to invest for returns that are greater than just economic.

Within the arrangements we used black pebbles as they are symbolic of the stepping stones ethical businesses take to become investment ready. The colour black here is used to represent the infinite possibilities that await the investors who are prepared to risk the new and unknown. Black Vase - Spray paint We wanted to echo this air of excitement by using magenta orchids.Small Vase - Orchid In this case, the orchid flower represents the symbiotic relationships that ethical organizations have had to develop with investors and each other in order to survive.Coffee Table

The line and form used in the installation placed on the stage was created to reinforce the simplicity and animated use of stick men in the Matter and Co graphics for the event. So for us, the light-heartedness of the graphics and the unconventional use of line is about freedom and the opportunities that can be created when this is mixed with calculated risk.Stick Men

Fair Trade Floristry at the Victoria and Albert Museum

We are delighted to be offering a workshop at the beautiful Victorian and Albert Museum. Long have you found us enjoying Postmodernist, Brazilian or Afropolitan inspired Friday night lates at the museum and making a B line for Hussein Chalayan talks or Yojhi Yamamoto exhibitions. Now it is our turn to share our art of Thinking Flowers? with you. Our aim is to inform and inspire you with ethical flower thoughts surrounding the global cut flower industry coupled with simple design-focused tips on colours, containers and compositions you can use at home.
We are looking forward to a fun day (10:30 to 16:30) of sharing flower thoughts on Saturday 1 December. We have worked hard to have a concession rate of £64 so as to make it more affordable for everyone (£80 full price). All the materials are included and you get to take your bouquet home. For more information, see http://tinyurl.com/8tanxql