Eeeeek!! I have been so excited to share with you our second #girlboss profile, all about the awesome lady who is behind Concept Flowers, Lauren Curry. It has been such a pleasure getting to know Lauren over the last few years, being friends in the industry, as well as (when we’re lucky) working alongside each other on weddings and styled shoots. Lauren is such a whirlwind of a character and her pure creativeness and passion for her work, shines through in everything she does and is truly infectious!
Lauren has recently taken a big step in her career in leasing a unit to work from, and I know her already successful floristry business, is going to grow in leaps and bounds.
Heres what happened when I visited Lauren (and Bruce the best florist puppy around) at Concept Flowers HQ a few weeks back….
Tell us about your decision to launch Concept Flowers. What inspired it?
After completing my masters degree in Floristry, I found finding someone to employ me in the local area was a challenge. Recession had hit, small business were not thinking of hiring, but more like firing!and In a lot of cases my difficulties in finding work was due to being over qualified, Which to be honest, really made me sad and question my future in floristry. I’d found a love and passion for flowers and wanted to work, or pass this onto other somehow, but kept hitting this wall. So I decided that I should try this for myself.
Build a company where creativity and passion is infectious, but one which ultimately is professional, experienced and qualified. As part of the masters degree, I learnt how to write a business plan, because this gave me a bit of knowledge and confidence, to give it a go, I thought, sod it! the worst anyone is do is going to say no! LETS DO THIS!
Were there any lifestyle changes you had to make in order to make the leap? Did you ever doubt your decision?
I guess I made the most out of living with my parents whilst I built the business up, believe me this helped! I have an awful lot to thank them for. And sure thing I did! From sitting in that meeting with the bank manager, to sitting right here right now on the sofa typing this, I have doubted myself a lot along the way, not just on the decision to start my business, but the decisions to grow the business along the way too… but once you start doing what you love for a living… its kind of hard to give up on that- its the key to being happy and that I manage to get by at the same time is a blessing.
The actual process of getting a company off the ground is challenging. What steps did you take to set it up for success?
Originally I started with writing my business plan, approaching the bank and achieving a small start up business loan, 5 years later, and I found myself repeating the process to move forward to gain the new Concept Flowers HQ over in Poole.
The second time around is more nerve wracking than the first! haha!
What does a typical day in the workshop look like for you? Oh man- theres sooo much more than just creating that goes on!
Admin- there is SO much admin and paperwork to do its relentless! However I am glad to be busy- thats totally not a complaint!
Sweeping, tidying up, prepping of packaging, buckets to be bleached, Bruce to be walked, buckets to be filled with water, flowers to be conditioned, floors to be mopped, flowers to be ordered, van to be cleaned, vases to be cleaned, sundries to buy, alllll alongside planning for the rest of the year- right now I am not only thinking about my brides to be for this weekend, but thinking of those in 2018 who are needing quotes, and of christmas! It is madness and you have to learn to juggle and prioritise.
What’s your favourite social media platform, and why?
I do love Instagram, its great for creatives to use it like a portfolio!
pinterest too is great for visually explaining whats in my clients heads to me,but I do feel it needs to come with a warning! The floral designs represented can be beautiful,but are usually pricey!
What is your work-life balance like? Do you think such a thing even exists when running a company?
I work all the time….but at different times of the year, the stress and pressure and hours vary!
At the height of wedding season, Ive been known to be sending emails from the kitchen whilst I’m cooking the dinner, or I take my paperwork to the beach just so I can join in on days out with friends and family, and yes.. that kind of is my decision to do so. but you also HAVE to work hard in this industry if you want to reap anything from it in the end!
I have learnt over the years ,you can say no, and be a bit firmer and Fairer to yourself- its not selfishness, its self preservation
Very rarely do I get to escape, and when I do, that time is incredibly precious to me and good for my soul!
What have been some of your professional highlights?
All of it to be fair! Im lucky enough to do what I love for a living!
However I enjoyed myself immensely participating at Chelsea Flower Show and winning a Silver Gilt and a Bronze medal.
This year I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in an international photoshoot with Floral Fundamentals and went over to holland to visit growers of the products I work with on a daily basis – that was pretty sweet!
What is one thing you wish you had known before starting Concept Flowers?
tricky question.. I quite like that this whole process so far has been such a creative and emotional rollercoaster, and that along side the business growing and maturing along the years, that I have done so at the same time with it.
I guess…. that i’ll answer this one with that;
mistakes get made, don’t be afraid to make them, and don’t be afraid to make changes, just have faith in yourself and keep on swimming!
What’s next for the company?
since moving into the unit, I guess its time to find my feet there!
workshops, more weddings, a new website, and i’ll be opening up as a pop-up-shop over christmas this year which I’m really looking forward to doing!
What advice would you give other women hoping to run a company or propel their careers forward? To not loose sight of who you are and not to be scared to make sacrifices for what you believe in.
Having a strong wolfpack around you is essential.
Always take time to fall back in love with your creative soul.
Best moment of your career so far?
Is it corny to say that every time a client is happy with the flowers created for them, it gets filed under “best moment so far”
its such a lush feeling to put smiles on others faces through something I have made.
What advice would you give your 24-year-old self?
Keep on, Keeping on!
You got this.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Oh jeez.. just the one thing?! hahaha.
I know THE WHOLE of the script, songs and all, to the film The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Thankyou Tim Burton and Danny Elfman.