As you may have seen we've been busy announcing new workshop dates over the last few days and this one we are very excited about! Floristry is one of our favourite crafts, the beautiful colours, the smells!!  We've been grilling (oh sorry I mean interviewing) our lovely tutor Clare, learn about how she started her floristry business, her favourite plants and more!  

BellaCrafts: How did you decide/begin your Floristry business? 
“I’ve always loved flowers, from a child I would go out and pick flowers from the garden and press them/dry them and then make cards and gifts. I was so lucky to grow up locally on a dairy farm where my love of nature and flowers grew. I left school without really knowing what to do but it was almost expected that I do something academic so I went to college and studied law, I left college and got a job as I hated college so much! I found myself working at Winchester Crown Court eventually. It was the best job for a long time and I met some of my forever friends through it but after getting married and having our 1st child, I couldn’t go back, so I got a part time job to fit around my children in my local library (again I loved this job!) but was finding it more and more unfulfilling. I turned 30 and my beautiful Nan gave me some money, I decided to put it towards a floristry course….. and I haven’t looked back since. I started off creating wedding flowers for a few friends and friends of the family and slowly Bloomin’ Clares was born! The name originates from my Grandad who sadly isn’t around to see my business become what it is today but he was such a strong influence in my life and he always used to tease and call me ‘Bloomin’ Clare!!!! “ 
BellaCrafts: Have you always had a strong interest in floristry? 
“I’ve always loved flowers, I didn’t really get into creating with flowers until my late 20’s. I remember receiving a bouquet from a friend when I was quite poorly and remember how special it felt to receive them and a lightbulb moment happened where I thought about floristry as a career.” 
BellaCrafts: We know one of your core values is sustainability. What does this mean in floristry and how does it influence your arrangements? 
“I started learning about techniques through a college course I attended and all the arrangements were made using Floral Foam, there were no other alternatives that we were told about. I went on a course run by a floral designer in the north of Hampshire because I loved her style of floristry and this is when I learnt about techniques other than using floral foam. To begin with I enjoyed these other techniques because of the freedom it gave you to arrange the flowers in a more natural way creating bends and twists with the flowers natural form. Through researching these other techniques I learnt that floral foam was made of many chemicals and single use plastic that will never break down. The real wakeup call for me was when I read an article about the amount of plastic bases and floral foam that are chucked away into landfill daily at crematoriums and cemetery’s and I found it so shocking. I made a conscious decision to avoid floral foam and plastic bases from then on in. I can’t say I am completely foam free yet – there are certain occasions when there is no alternative. However, I feel I am hopefully paving the way and creating a little less plastic pollution by creating my designs foam and plastic free wherever possible. I have loved learning about sustainability and find it such an important topic for our future, especially having two young children. So as well as being conscious of my plastic use I also buy and grow my own flowers and foliage when seasons allow and I recycle and reuse many jars and vessels as I possibly can! 
BellaCrafts: Do you have any favourite plants that you use in your designs? 
"I love to use herbs in my design – they are great! And so versatile. The first thing a lot of us do when we see a flower is bend down to smell it! And a lot of the time we are so disappointed because that flower has no smell! Herbs are great because they look fabulous and smell amazing pretty much all year round! I always put a sprig of lavender in my buttonholes – to calm the nerves. And a sprig of Rosemary in my Funeral designs as it represents remembrance." 
BellaCrafts: What will we learn during the Easter workshop with you? 
“We are going to create a beautiful spring arrangement with in a tin pot together! I will talk about the different flowers we are using, how to condition them properly so they last that little bit longer and I will show different techniques of how to create a reusable arrangement without the use of floral foam! I can’t wait to see them, I love workshops because everyone has their own unique take on their creation. We will all have the same flowers but no two arrangements will look the same!!” 
BellaCrafts: Do you have a favourite season when it comes to floristry design? 
“ Arghhh! I Love winter for all the evergreens and dried flowers, Spring is a riot of colour, Summer is English Rose heaven and Autumn colours are just divine………so no I can’t choose!” 
BellaCrafts: Aside from the gorgeous display you're making in our workshop what other pieces will you making for Easter this year and how will you be celebrating? 
“I have a few Weddings to prepare for Easter, which I’m really looking forward to. However, our Easter will consist of probably way to much chocolate and lots of family time which is so important to me!! I also have a stack of seeds to plant out!!!! “ 
If you have a question for Clare we'd love to hear it and pass it on to her. just drop us a coment below.  
Having gotten to know Clare over the last couple of years, we are really excited ofr her workshop... plus we may have a few more dates on the way! Keep your eye's peeled  
Till next time our crafty friends,  
The team at BellaCrafts (and Clare!)  
The workshop will be taking place Saturday 13th April 10:30-12pm. Places are filling fast and are very limited so do book below or drop us a call on 023 8051 7054.  
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