May 12th, 2017 jamesdouthwaite

9 Skills You Only Have If You’re A Florist

Being an independent florist doesn’t just mean you’re good with flowers, as competition grows from both supermarkets and online operators what now sets a serious florist apart is a whole load of niche business knowledge as well. Like knowing how to get hold of unusual specialty flower varieties, providing top notch customer service, using beautiful branded packaging and knowing where to get the very best sundries to add genuine value to designs. Which is where we come in; renowned as the wedding and prom specialists but also offering hundreds of lines suitable for everyday work they’re a one-stop-shop for sundries and accessories to make every design extra special.

 

You can do anything with a piece of wire

It’s a longstanding industry joke that floral laymen couldn’t handle a double leg-mount, but it’s also true as it takes training and practise to really get your fingers round a 22 gauge. So many floral designs involve wire-work, and the extra special ones will often require a lot of it. Like this princess-perfect creation by Jens Jakobsen on which he’s wired succulents, seed heads, orchid heads, diamante sprays and… A WHOLE TIARA!

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And a tube of glue

Also a crucial part of training and if you’re keen to compete in national floristry competitions like RHS Chelsea you’ll find a tube of cold glue may become your best friend as it allows for seriously intricate design-work. But it’s also so handy for weddings, proms and even everyday arrangements as it’s crucial for so many corsage and buttonhole designs plus it’s used for gluing accessories like pearls, sparkles and other flowers to anything and everything.

 

 

And a knife!

An obvious one but it’s what you do with it that really matters, for example only a true creative florist would think to slice an Angelica flower in half in order to affix it to a flower girl’s wand, like this bright idea from Jens Jakobsen.

 

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You know where to find the smartest products

A few years in the industry means you’ll know your preferred suppliers and you’ll be in the know when any new product comes out; be it new solution to make your flowers last longer, the latest leaf shine, a clever new rose stripper or handy buttonholes and corsage clips like these from Corsage Creations which mean you can say goodbye to awkward pins as they’re all magnetic and come in a range of styles, all with design disks specially made for gluing flowers.

 

 

You source unusual materials

Renowned for thinking outside the box, creative florists don’t minimise materials to whatever’s on the flower stand. Instead shells, pearls, seed heads, quirky foliage, brooches, metallic leaves, fruit, snipped garden flowers, sparkly pins, skeleton leaves and so much more all add value and special touches to unique designs that can’t be found anywhere else.

 

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You’ll create bespoke designs for all tastes

Catering to different tastes and not being afraid to break the rules is a key factor for florists who care about pleasing their customer base, like this punky prom design created for a new teenage customer by Pip Holley.

 

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You have an eye for shape and texture

Designer Jens Jakobsen created this bridal bouquet with a serious eye for design, with no typical ‘flowers’ and petals, he’s used craspedia and rose hip berries to echo the shape of Corsage Creations pearl and flower brooches. And by immersing a large brooch in this en-masse gyp bouquet he’s created a dazzling combination of textures, plus only a creative florist could think to bend callas to make this circular chair back.

 

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And an eye for detail

Add immediate interest to a classic design with a string of pearls or pearl sprays, as Cathy Penrose from The Flower Shop in Oxfordshire has done here. Or in this design by Hattie Ali, a few simple butterfly pins hold the bouquet handle in place and immediately add a special touch for the bride who loves to sparkle; so much more exciting than a plain-headed pin.

 

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Your creations last forever

Your designs are so special they’ll be treasured in memories and photos long after wedding days have long gone, but actually with Corsage Creations you can genuinely leave customers with a keepsake as so many of their products can be kept and reused, like their tiaras, hair clips and massive range of corsage wristlets. Plus, flower crowns are still a mega trend but how many brides can boast being able to keep theirs long after the big day? Source your headdress from Corsage Creations and she can.

 

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Thanks to designers Katie Jane-Pridmore, Pip Holley, Jens Jakobsen, Hattie Ali and Cathy Penrose for these gorgeous ideas.

May 12th, 2017 jamesdouthwaite

Bold & Bright Butterflies & Birds

Christmas might seem like decades away but it took place in February for designers all over Europe as they flocked to Christmasworld, one of the continent’s largest trade fairs and a true reflection of upcoming trends and not just for the festive season. We were there to spot not only butterflies by the bucket-load but also faux feathered birds and in bright clashing colours which made an appearance at exhibits featuring upcoming interior and décor trends.

They were most prominent at Surprise Surprise, a showstopping section of the show curated by top European florists Rudi Tuinman and Pascal Koeleman who designed a feast for the senses which, be it a little bit too kitsch and clashing for some tastes, gave a very clear signal for upcoming trends: loud, bright, colourful, optimistic, scattered with butterflies, birds and spring blossoms with pastel blooms frosted in glitter and ruffles. They explained, “Creative thinking nowadays is a must… we’re not simply selling products we’re selling emotions and a lifestyle. The more theatrical and shocking your effect is, the higher the turnover.”

So to tantalise your inner child why not take a leaf out of the designer duo’s book and bag yourself some loud and proud products like the new feather butterflies, colourful butterfly brooch pins, fluffy or sleek flutter feathers and for some seriously loud clashing colours use Bling it on stickers or Amazing glitzy wraps which can be used to cover anything and everything in enough dazzling colours to cover the eyes. Top it all off with their selection of metallic or bullion wire which comes in a whole range of bright colours to bring the theme through to every element of your design.

“Butterflies are increasingly appearing as a buoyant, happy motif”, says Elle Décor magazine in their feature listing key trends for 2017, meanwhile trend site My Design Agenda reckons “while 2016 was all about minimalism, this year will be slightly more fun!” Their take on the year’s looks predict butterflies will shape fashion and interiors bigtime because they’re “a symbol of grace and optimism.”

Our new feather butterflies are light enough to be glued or wired to any design be it wristlets for prom-goers, fun hand-tieds going out as gift orders, perched atop your spring plants or among wedding work for the fun bride not afraid of a bit of fun and colour. Or opt for the white glitter alternative for a subtler touch, and all are available in two sizes.

Browse it all online at corsagecreations.co.uk, and flick through our latest catalogue here.

October 4th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

Special Touches To Add Value To Every Order

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Pinterest is brimming with unique and quirky ways to add personality to bridal bouquets, event flowers, corsages, buttonholes and everyday blooms. Not just reserved for Etsy sellers, crafty and unusual accessories needn’t be extra effort or costly. In fact, Corsage Creations are sharing ways for florists to add sparkle to florals of all shapes and sizes, allowing you to offer special touches with serious added value.

Take our bunches of faux baby’s breath. Felt and fabric flowers are making a comeback thanks to cute arrangements appearing all over the internet. A pack of pearled baby’s breath contains six bunches at £3.95 per pack trade price. With a 2.5 mark-up each bunch can retail for £1.65; that’s cheaper than many mid-range fresh stems and fills a large surface area with a unique, permanent alternative.

There’s a huge market for romantic red rose bouquets, each adorned with its own special sparkle, and while some might say only diamonds will do, we offer tons of perfect alternatives. So if you’ve a customer-base with a penchant for things that sparkle, then we’ve got something for you.

 

 

We’ve the widest range of diamante pins around, and their crystal bunches total just 25p per bunch with a 2.5 mark-up; that’s a very small cost for an addition that could give a big boost in perceived value for your customer. Pick up a few packs of diamante branches to make a seriously sparkling statement with your florals, or create a dazzling window display using scatter diamonds and clear vases.

If your customers are more likely to wear pearl earrings over diamante bling have a go at wiring some subtle cream bead bunches into your work. At just 20p per bunch with a 2.5 mark-up they’re a steal and can add a thoughtful detail to orders of all sizes.

 

 

Pearl pieces are in abundance at the our webshop, be it whole loops perfect for spiralling into hand-tieds, plus sprays, pins, garlands, stick-ons and more.

Try designing with mini bunches or iridescent mixed mirror crystals for an other-worldly style, and check out our bling stickers and stick-on rhinestones for final finishing touches.

 

 

We also offer a wide range of leaf designs, with popular gleaming leaves at a trade price of just 33p per piece (£3.95 per pack), and a wide range of other styles in colours from silver to green to gold, with added sparkle or demure lace designs.

You might just be used to adding a novelty pick to orders at Christmas, but with this selection, non-flower pieces don’t have to be reserved for the peaks.

Browse the full range at corsagecreations.co.uk or view the latest brochure.

Images: designs by Hattie Ali, Philip Holley, Katie-Jane Pridmore & Jens Jakobsen. Article created in collaboration with Corsage Creations.

September 26th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

Ideas & Images For Your Internet Marketing

Cyberspace is the first place any bride-to-be, event planner or flower lover will look for inspiration and supplies for their upcoming event. So having a strong digital presence, be it with a bespoke website that shows visitors exactly who you are and what you offer, or sharing a bubbly, beautiful social media feed, will tempt new and existing customers to buy more.

We supply florist accessories in all shapes and sizes from corsage wristlets to ribbons, wires and hair-pieces, and we want to help our customers make the most out of the web, so we’re even offering up our image bank as a free resource for florists to use. It’s packed with commercial floristry’s finest, showcasing a spectrum of prom and wedding work by three brilliant designers, and all the photos are free for florists to download, simply to browse for your own personal inspiration, or to share on your website or social platforms as examples of what you could recreate.

Your online presence (that is website, social media and blog — if you have one) is like your 21st Century shop window. Here’s our advice for keeping it up to scratch:

• Ideally, all of your digital platforms should carry the same brand throughout, showing pictures of your designs and giving a feel for what you’re like as an independent business. For example, it’s so important to have an About Us page on your website and the public will warm to friendly pictures of the team on Facebook.

• Ask your web designer to make sure your site is mobile-enabled, and to make sure your SEO is the best it can be (that is, where your site lies on Google’s rankings).

• Offering e-commerce is a plus, and stats show customers will respond to an easy ‘Buy Now’ button on your homepage, or a ‘Book Now’ button for wedding consultations could also prompt faster action.

• Never, ever let offers or banners go out of date. So make sure your Mother’s Day deal is removed by 5pm on Mother’s Day itself. And during the summer months, why not have prom and wedding promotions or photos ready to go live instead. If you offer unusual products like brooch bouquets or unique corsages, make sure they’re one of the first things your prospective customer sees on your site.

• Sharing images and links from other places is a great way to create interest on your social media pages. Just always remember to properly credit where credit’s due and don’t claim designs are your own when they’re not. And make sure you hit Retweet, or on Facebook, click Share directly from the source rather than saving an image to your computer and then reposting… That’s not good internet etiquette!

We are happy for you to use their gorgeous images to boost your profile or business. All the stunning designs featured in their image bank were created by Katie-Jane Pridmore, Jens Jakobsen and Philip Holley.

 

 

Here’s a great homepage example from Neil and Anthony at Design Element Flowers

 

September 26th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

Floral Headdress & Hairpiece Designs

Popularity of the flower crown isn’t fading any time soon; increasingly sought after for weddings and events; parties, festivals, even christenings or birthdays, and we’ve seen a surge in florist workshops across the country, where guests learn the art of floral headwear.

Letterbox service Bloom & Wild held a sell-out flower crown pop-up in central Shoreditch, meanwhile Blue Sky Flowers, based at New Covent Garden Market, are preparing to celebrate National Flower Crown Day on 23rd September.

We love our lines in glitz and bling, there’s an array of silver and diamante pieces, like this Accent hair clip and Willow headband. Every item comes with a plastic attachment for cold-gluing flowers.

 

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Plus our accessories allow florist freedom and creativity, for example this diamante wire has been twisted into a headdress with delicate yellow flower heads. You’ll also find clear hair combs, a clear plastic and plain silver head band for fully flowered pieces, plus hair pins for finishing touches.

 

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For extra detailed head wear, check out the Imagination and Luxurious Head pieces, both have a 1940’s feel, as does the Gatsby Lace headband which comes in cream and would work well with ever-popular lace bridal gowns.

 

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But it’s not all bling and glitz. We also offer a range of festival style headbands. Available in a variety of colours and styles, these make natural-looking flower crowns a million times easier because you simply have to wire onto a pre-made head piece, giving you the freedom to create crowns as big or as dainty as you please.

 

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All Corsage Creations pieces are created with florists in mind, so you’re offered ease and flexibility with your products, with a focus on where you’ll place flowers.

 

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Designers: Jens Jakobsen, Philip Holley, Katie-Jane Pridmore

June 22nd, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

12 Prom Corsage Ideas To DYE* For

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How to make a corsage is one of the most Googled queries in floristry and we can see why. Do you wire or glue? How much stem do you snip? And what about buttonholes, isn’t there an easier way?!

As florists of course you know most of the answers but prom accessories have been undergoing a serious surge in popularity plus an upheaval in methods so we’re sharing a range of contemporary ideas in both style and technique so you’re totally ready for that swarm of teenage customers we hope will arrive over the next few weeks.

 READ OUR ULTIMATE CORSAGE GLUE GUIDE 

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Blue roses?! Yes, blue roses!! Whatever you think of them, it’s proven that loads of teen prom-goers are head-over-heels for dyed blooms and don’t give a damn that they’re not au naturel, so don’t be shocked to find a few in this list. We adore the way Philip Holley has combined one with a striking peacock feather on the Zoey Corsage Cuff. With that stunning dress, we reckon this really is a mix of colours to die for, even if they are dyed. *Pun intended!


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The colouring of the beaded Nadya Corsage Bracelet is coordinated perfectly to bring out gold touches in this Treasure Chest brooch and pink shadows within this chrysanth bloom. A great choice for selling to girly girls with added bright pink Flutters feathers.

 


 

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Achieve a more demure look with orchids and a touch of gyp. Dark green fern contrasts elegantly with whites and pearls, and for something unique, this wristlet comes with a watch.

 


 

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Another blue, this time teamed with spiky succulents and thistles with sleek dark callas and foliage. The result? The perfect choice for a teen prom-goer who picks out the Rocker wristlet from your pick n mix selection.

 


 

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A very special prom accessory, or an even more special gift from a first date? We adore the combination of shells and fuchsia in the design above, and with a touch of cold glue and a bundle of patience, stunning detail work like this won’t take as long as you think.

 


 

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Before offering design suggestions, ask teen customers what their prom outfit will be like. This Stylin bracelet and Sparkling Heirloom brooch pick out the subtle sparkle on our model’s dress perfectly.

 


 

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Never sure whether your stems are poking the right way? If you can’t cut your flower at its head and have to leave some stem, often bits poking out of your corsage can look out of place. As with this calla-on-a–cuff design, add a colourful floral collar to detract and neatly tape-up to make the whole thing tie-in to create the desired shape.

 


 

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Here’s another example of detracting from an unruly stem with bullion wire wrapped around the end of this scabious on a silver Rocker bracelet.

 


 

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Not too big and not too small, traditional in style but oh-so-pretty, this design simply glued to the Savannah wristlet is a sure-fire win with young prom-goers.

 


 

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Sparkles! For so many teens there’s just never enough. Go on, give them what they want. Find the pearls and glitzy picks here.

 


 

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Great for corsage customers looking for a very simple piece; this Athena wristlet has a plain silver band but of course comes complete with the special Corsage Creations plastic attachment for gluing any flowers you choose.

 

June 17th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

Prom Buttonhole Ideas

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We’re in the peak of prom season so prime time to get your name out there amongst your local teenage scene, promoting your wares and making it known that corsages and buttonholes are an essential item for the end-of-year ball. This week we’re sharing inspiration for buttonholes; because the boys need a special school-leavers accessory too, and the range of boutonnieres from Corsage Creations is perfect for teen prom-goers because it allows for maximum creativity and lets you be a bit more ‘out there’ than your average grown-up groom.

The Florentine offers a large flat surface perfect for getting the cold glue out and getting creative. Below.

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Say goodbye to fiddly stem-wrapping with this Calla Lily boutonniere which acts as a miniature vase for the most delicate of flower heads, with just a touch of glue needed to hold everything in place. We love Philip Holley’s choice of colours and materials here; kanga-paws combined with blackberries! Above.

This simple and elegant idea also uses the Calla Lily boutonniere plus some Chic Leaves with a dainty, tight rose head on a bed of skeleton leaves. Below.

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The Monstera Bouttonniere is another piece perfect for gluing. If you’ve a pick ‘n’ mix prom bar set up in-store, have some delicate flower head ideas on-hand so your customers can pick the materials themselves. Above.

The Calla Lily boutonniere also works with larger stems too, and looks sleek with its namesake. Below.

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The same goes for this art-deco style Grecian boutonniere; a classic design and one teenage boys can keep forever for future events… why not suggest they come back to you for fresh flowers. Remember he could be your customer for many Mother’s
Days and more occasions to come. Below.

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Use the Grecian or Florentine as a blank slate and completely cover in flower heads or just add a few adornments. Above.

For easy-to-glue boutonnieres in a whole range of styles plus loads more prom accessories and essentials, visit corsagecreations.co.uk.

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May 4th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

How To Use Our Fairy Tale Brooch Bouquet Kit

In this video we show you how to make a Brooch Bouquet using our Fairy Tale Brooch Bouquet Kit:

Fairy Tale Brooch Bouquet Kit (BK1612)

A Roll of Organza (SO1112)

A Roll of Metallic Wire (MW1107)

Oasis Floral Adhesive (FA1754)

May 4th, 2016 jamesdouthwaite

How To Use Our Fantasy Brooch Bouquet Kit

In this video we show you how to make a Brooch Bouquet using our Fantasy Brooch Bouquet Kit:

To make this you will need the following:

Fantasy Brooch Bouquet Kit (BK1603)

A Roll of Organza (SO1112)

A Roll of Metallic Wire (MW1107)

Oasis Floral Adhesive (FA1754)

August 26th, 2015 jamesdouthwaite

The Scoop On Our Drop In Photoshoot

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When we asked Jens Jakobsen, Philip Holley and Katie-Jane Pridmore to get together one early Wednesday morning in New Covent Garden Flower Market, handed them buckets of flower thanks to Dennis Edwards and Porters Foliage, plus a massive array of our accessories, picks, pins and sparkly things we couldn’t have been more blown over by the outcome.

Not only did our designers (plus a handful of lovely drop-ins) produce over 50 pieces of varied and exquisite work, but they also clicked as a team leading to such a fabulous floral atmosphere that no one wanted to go home! Hattie, a newly launched florist, dropped in with her husband Erkan to have a go. After creating a princess pink bouquet using the Rhinestone Romance Bouquet Collar and Butterfly Pins, Erkan said, “I’ve never seen my wife this happy, not even on holiday!”

 

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Top: Hattie and Erkan Ali, Bottom: Cathy Penrose, The Flower Shop Oxfordshire

The lovely Pip Bensley, Mala Williams, Cathy Penrose, Davinder Sahota and Anita Choudhary also popped in and created some beautiful work, proving our ‘drop-in photoshoot’ model a success and one we’d love to use again.

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Caroline Marshall-Foster and Jens Jakobsen comparing corsage tips

Pip Holley of Bournemouth-based Willow Floristry said, “What an amazing and inspiring day. The Corsage Creations products were beautifully designed and an absolute joy to work with. Caroline and Hannah of Purple Spotted Media had chosen perfect materials for us to work with and the organisation of the day was spot on. Working with designers such as Jens Jakobsen, Katie-Jane Pridmore & Pip Bensley proved to be so much fun. A perfect day of design in my opinion.”

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Karen Hatch Photography and one of our lovely models Georgie

The event, organised for us by The Florist, created floristry in a huge spectrum of styles ranging from woodland princess and eclectic boho to intricate artistry, punk, princess and everything in between. Our fabulous photographer Karen Hatch shot each design over the course of two days, both in still life and ‘on location’ in Caroline’s back garden with a few teenagers roped in!

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Pip Holley, Willow Floristry, and Caroline Marshall-Foster 

We’ve a natural, blousy flower crown by Katie-Jane, a collection of intricate, one-of-a-kind corsages and buttonholes by Philip and some serious structural masterpieces by Jens, plus a fair few pieces using – shock horror – Caroline’s favourite blue roses. Yes you may think they’re tacky (and don’t get us wrong it took some persuading for our designers) but if they sell they must be photographed and we reckon they did a brilliant job.

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Pip Holley giving the blue roses a chance!

With our product laid out to fill an entire stage in one corner of London’s famous flower market, the designers could pick from armatures, wristlets, tiaras, hair clips, boutonnieres, wraps, stickers, feathers and more, generating designs from blingy corsages perfect for a teen prom-goer to stylish floral jewellery and tons of drop dead beautiful bridal bouquets.

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Katie-Jane Pridmore and Pip Holley working together

Katie-Jane, owner of Garden Studio Events, said, “It was a pleasure to be asked to work with Corsage Creations for their photoshoot. They have a huge range of products that did not disappoint, in fact there were not enough hours in the day to be able to use everything! The whole day was fun and relaxed, which I think reflected in our work. It was nice to have other florists drop in and see what they thought of the products. All in all I think the day was a huge success. Myself, Jens and Philip are all so different, so between the three of us we managed to created lots of different style designs which showed the products off in ways they hadn’t been used before! ”

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Katie-Jane working on a headdress

The shoot was commissioned by James Douthwaite, head honcho at Corsage Creations, who wanted to see his products used a little bit differently, which is why we opted for three designers we knew would each bring something new and varied to the table but who also come from floral businesses where saleability is key.

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Karen at work

James comments, “It was a fantastic couple of days, with some great designers! It exceeded my expectations and was really well organised by Hannah and Caroline. I was really impressed with the variety of designs from the contemporary and elaborate bouquets to the commercial corsages. And designs fit for any occasions from a rustic wedding to a glitzy prom!”

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Jens’ business Jens Jakobsen Floral Construction is based in London. He said, “It was like being in an Alice in Wonderland film set! With new glittery products and flowers everywhere it was a true fairytale day — suddenly stardust was created — it was magnificent. A day you wish would never end, just like in the fairytales.”

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Jens creating a chair-back design

With so many photos to share you’ll be seeing the full range over the coming months in articles and updates, so stay tuned to theflorist.co.uk, corsagecreations.co.uk and Facebook and Twitter for all your prom and wedding inspiration. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come…

With very special thanks to…

New Covent Garden Flower Market, for their space and assistance.

Dennis Edwards Flowers, for a huge and utterly stunning selection of blooms.

Karen Hatch and her brilliant photography.

Porters Foliage, for all our fabulous greens.

C Best, for the loan of their oh-so important sundries and vases.

– Zoe, Georgie and Olivia for being such marvellous models.

 

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All our wristles & hair clips come with an attachment for gluing, or if you’d like to add to a headband why not add cardboard for the same effect!

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