I’m so thrilled to be hosting the very lovely Liz of Blue Sky Flowers. Liz is the first wedding florist that I met after starting my business! Years ago I went on a workshop to make my own Christmas wreath and it was run by Liz in her flower market studio. I was new to everything wedding at that point but even then I knew Liz was highly respected and a leader in the wedding floristry sector. I think experienced florists really hone their signature style, and whenever one of her bouquets appears on my Instagram feed, I’ll know it’s Liz’s straight away as they are always distinctively hers. In Liz’s own words, her ‘happy floral place is pale and interesting with a little dark pop’! I love the way she combines colour and texture and movement in her florals, which you’ll get to see in the following images. It is an honour and a privilege to be hosting this big-hearted, generous lady here – she always makes me chuckle with her wicked sense of humour and so I’m going to let Liz tell you all about her and her business in her own words.
Welcome to the blog Liz, I’m delighted to have you here. Could you tell me what made you decide to become a florist? And have you always loved flowers?
I guess I have really – like most little girls I loved playing in the garden and my parents always had an incredibly colourful seasonal take on flowers. My dad also grew dahlias and they towered over me until I was at least 10. Becoming a florist was an accident… see below!
When did you start your floristry business? Did you do something else before?
I had a previous life/career working in magazines (Elle Decoration and World of Interiors) but became more and more interested in gardening, so I decided to do a garden design course. My husband slightly freaked out at the thought of my salary suddenly disappearing, so I spoke to a gardener/florist friend of a friend about part time work… I left that lunch, gave in my notice and went to work for him for 2 years. I learnt about running a business as well as some floristry on the side lines but didn’t do the design course. I then left him and started out on my own… the rest as they say is history!
How would you describe your style of flowers? Do you have a signature style?
I’ve never really thought I have a style, but people keep telling me I do and that my bouquets are recognisable, which is lovely. Having been a florist for around 20 years, I think I could probably discard the first 10 years as I was making it up as I went along and winging it most of the time. I then started taking it more seriously and investing in myself and my business. I would say that elegant, lush and natural sums up my look… it’s what I put on my website, so it must be true!
What is your favourite type of thing / event to flower?
A wedding, every time… the look on my bride’s face when she sees her bouquet for the first time or walks into the reception room before the guests see it… that moment is just priceless. That’s what makes the long days, early mornings, cold feet and sore hands all worth it, the trust that a couple gives me to deliver the wedding in their head or sometimes the wedding in my head is a big thing but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I look around at other florists, designers, gardeners but also around me when I’m out and about… I love the natural style of gardens, I don’t like tortured flowers that look uncomfortable or forced into a shape. I wouldn’t ever copy someone else’s style but there really isn’t anything new or particularly difficult about being a florist, we just do what comes naturally. The flowers just sometimes feel right and if they don’t, we start again!
What colour palettes do you love?
Hah my freelancers will laugh at this one… white, blush and pops of dark colour… if you look at my instagram feed that’s what I tend to show as I love it and so do my brides.
You’ve been flowering weddings for a while now, do you love it more and more as time passes?
Yes I do and can’t ever imagine stopping. That thrill of meeting a bride, finding out what she has in mind and then designing and delivering that vision will never go away
Where is your favourite place in the world?
My studio at the flower market in the run up to a wedding when I have shed loads of garden roses and peonies fighting to be the most fragrant over the sweet peas and jasmine on my work bench… or a deserted island in the Maldives in a very quiet January!
What’s your favourite cake flavour?! And what’s your favourite tipple?
Oh wow, that’s like when I ask what is your favourite flower… probably chocolate with salted caramel buttercream… or lemon with blueberry frosting… or good old vanilla sponge with raspberry jam and plain buttercream! The humble G&T at home, or a NZ Sauvignon… or a Porn Star Martini for those nights out. I’m clearly not the simple girl at heart that I thought!