26.2.15

A PASTEL SPRING

                                    

 Hello everyone,

 A little bit of a throw back to last spring. I will always adore pastels no matter what! Hope you are having a good week.

                                                                   Emma x
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24.2.15

CRAFTY BUSINESS LEAP

                         

                         

Hello everyone, 
 Just sharing some of my crafty pics. I love making these little fabric roses! I've been so busy preparing new stock for my store, but when I get a spare moment I'll pop a tutorial on the blog.

It's been nearly a year ago that I started Emma Connolly Interiors, and I have to say I'm enjoying every minute of it! I'm still not ready to give up my day job though, although that is what I'm striving to do in a few years time. I've always had my own business so that isn't the scary part, I've run my vintage hair salon for over eleven years now. It's the change of direction that I'm really trying to get my head around! It's an industry I've been in for well over twenty years, I've worked in top salons, and became a lecturer, teaching my profession in colleges. You could say I quite literally have the styling bug, no matter what I touch it's an instinct to style it pretty, be it hair and make-up, flowers, weddings..... The list goes on.

It's just a case of building up confidence, and lots of research. I know how to do it, but that doesn't make it any less scary! And I know that now is the time to do it. I'd love to know if any of you have gone through a career change at all, and how you got on, are you glad?


For now I'm up to my eyes in fabric and cushions, trying to get everything ready for spring, and am chuffed to bits with my fabric collection. It's going to be an exciting year! Thank you for sharing it with me.

                         


                                                                Emma x

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HORSING AROUND

                                     

       

     My two girlies had so much fun at the new stables today. I can't wait for the warmer weather so we can all go on a summer evening hack.


 
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15.2.15

ANEMONES.





Oh anemone how I love the!

I can never pronounce that word Ha anemenemone..... anome... anomenny... 
Sorry, I'm done.

Hope your having a nice day!


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12.2.15

TULIPS



Hello,

I just adore tulips, and even though these ones are going over, they are still so beautiful.


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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.




Just love ranunculus so much!
Have a lovely Valentine's Day 

Emma x

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MAGNOLIA.


Spring is coming!
My magnolia in the garden is in bud, yay so exciting!

I have a little branch indoors from The Wild Flowers Company, and its just starting to open.
Will take some pretty pics when I have big blooms :0)

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CREATIVE CLUTTER.


Hello,

It's no secret that I don't do minimalism, I come from a family of collectors, ok hoarders lol
I do like my clutter pretty and organised nicely, except when I'm working, then I thrive on surrounding myself with as much inspirational clutter as possible, it's where my creativity comes from.


Most of my brushes belonged to my granddad, they mean so much to me! He taught me how to paint, and was the most wonderful man I have ever known. 
Even when I'm not painting, my brushes are always out, it makes me happy to see them, and this is how I feel a home should be, filled with things you love, and always on display! 




Flowers are vital! There are always flowers in my home. 
 And I feel so much better in the winter if I've got signs of seasonal life around me, even if its just some wild Ivy.




I offer product photography for crafters from April to September.
The conservatory ends up full of blooms and vintage props, its just a mass of pretty clutter, theres barely space to eat breakfast. I'm lucky Mr C is so understanding!


Some people have clear spaces and clear minds, but I like my mind the way I like my home: full of happy thoughts!

Emma x

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10.2.15

DREAMING OF SPRING TEA PARTIES.




Hello,

I love this photo of tea cups so much.
This was taken not long after the launch of my vintage china hire company.
Tea parties have to be one of my most favourite things ever!
Eating tiny sandwiches, and drinking earl grey from beautiful tea cups, whats not to love?

I'm thinking of throwing my own garden tea party to celebrate the launch of my new fabric collection, (as if I need any more excuses).

I'm so excited about this new venture! Its taken a good couple of years of hard graft, and studying Interior design. And there has been plenty of disappointment in getting samples back that just looked plain naff lol.
 Plus, I've loved re-discovering my passion for painting watercolours, as last year was the first time I'd picked up a paint brush since before my children were born.

Well, fingers crossed it will all come together this spring!
I've got a couple of months to get the garden into shape, Its just so exciting waiting for all the glorious spring bulbs to emerge


I just love this time of year so much! And I'm really looking forward to some exciting times ahead. I don't know about you, but I thrive on having lots of crafty things to do. I hope you will join me through my mad adventures this year, and when it all gets a bit manic we can sit down and have a nice cup of tea.

Emma x


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STYLING THE SEASONS WITH LAURA ASHLEY. FEBRUARY.


Hello everyone,

I love styling the seasons! And was so excited when Katy from Apartment Apothecary, and Charlotte from Lotts and Lots delivered the news of working with  Laura Ashley loveliness.

I love flicking through the Laura Ashley catalogue, drinking a nice cup of tea. 
It was so hard to pick something and I took ages to decide!

To me, February means anticipation of spring.
Spring = birds and flowers

So I finally decided on the New England Nesting Box, some paints and  the gorgeous Summer Palace wallpaper.



I decided to style a shelf in my conservatory as I love spending time out there.
I made these little origami birds from the summer palace wallpaper. They are so simple to do, and I will post a tutorial on how to make them soon.



I decided to give the New England Nesting box a little beach-hut makeover by painting it in alternate stripes of Sapphire and Pale Topaz.


I just love my seasonal blooms, and like to display them in jam jars.
I painted the bases in complimenting shades.
From left to right: Pale Delphinium, Pale Duck Egg, Pale Topaz and Sapphire.



The old window frames came off a vintage dresser, I love them, and putting the Summer Palace wallpaper behind them turns them into a real spring scene.









I love to mix vintage pieces into my styling.

Laura Ashley are offering you the chance to win  a £50.00 voucher.
Just hop over to their blog, and vote for your favourite styling the season post.

Flowers from Wild Flowers Company.

Emma x
















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4.2.15

WILD FLOWERS COMPANY. Sustainable, seasonal floristry the home grown way.


Hello,

I'm starting February with a post very close to my heart!
As you know I adore my blooms, and grow my own cutting garden so I always have something nice to fill my home.

But what about if you don't have space to do this... You go out and buy blooms right?
Have you ever looked at where these flowers have come from?

I'm on a little bit of a mission this year to encourage people to source their blooms local and seasonal.
Most of us do this with our food, so why not do it with our flowers too.

It upsets me to think of our British flower farmers going out of business.

I want to introduce you to a new floral company, where sustainability is the heart of their business.
Their aim is to support these flower farmers, and deliver to you gorgeous, seasonal blooms.
They offer some beautiful subscription packages, and one offs.





Please welcome one of the founders of  Wild Flowers Company Pauline.

What made you start your business?
I always said I wanted to do something with flowers (but not just being a corner florist like my grandparents), my thesis at business school was about sustainability, and I got very interested by the subscription format now booming. The 3 combined gave me the idea of this company and I convinced an affluent friend to invest a bit of money in it. The concrete kick that made me start is that I got pregnant and wanted to fit my work around the baby, not the other way around, and for that I thought I had to have my own company because no employer would agree to this. I have lost the baby since but there will be other babies attempts so it is still applicable! 

What do you love the most about doing what you do?
Buying the flowers from the farmers. Calling them, asking them what they have, and buying it. I know that lots of British flower growers have disappeared over the past 20 years, one of my supplying farmers told me his brother has just given up growing flowers to start a flat rental business, despite being the 5th generation of flowers farmers. I hope that by buying their flowers I can help avoid this.

Do you use any social media to promote your business? if yes, which ones work best for you?
Given that we are an online business we use lots of social media to promote what we do. Facebook is the first most popular one, but Twitter is more efficient I think funnily enough, because it is more dynamic, feels more real, brings people closer and creates stronger groups. Instagram and Pinterest are also very visual which works great for flowers so I try to make sure we are well represented there too. 

What advice would you give to others wishing to start their own creative business?
Be ready to learn what you don't know. With your own business you spend 5% of the time doing what you know and like, and the rest will be spent doing things you have no clue about but that need to be done. Be ready for long days and long weeks and forget week-ends.

What has been your best moment working for yourself?
The day we had the first sale on the website. 

What are your plans for the future?
Spending more time educating people about seasonality and flower provenance. We would also like to develop the B2B segment, as well as some partnership with some relevant brands. We have just had our local organic shop agreeing to sell some arrangements from us for instance, that is one step in this direction.The biggest plan is to create a grant for flower farmers through a membership, a bit like what Naked Wine did with their "angels system".



Who are we:
Appalled by the poor diversity, quality, and the lack of seasonality of flowers on offer by most florists (online or retail), we decided to offer the UK customers on a wider scale seasonal, British, farm and love-grown flower arrangements. 
We then created a new start up which is based in Kentish Town in North London and just launched in the new year.
We only sell online and solely offer to send on a regular basis flower arrangements (and one-off arrangements by way of exception).
We buy from UK growers, from Cornwall to Scotland.
We are a sustainable business from which the farmers, the environment and the customers all benefit from.
The company is also part of The British Flower Collective, a group of passionate British flower growers and arrangers who are working together to put seasonality, local, home grown (and British) back into the flower industry.

Our values:
Seasonal, British, local, high-quality, diversity, passionate, and sustainable.

Our products:
Our subscriptions can be open-ended ie with no end date (the customer just drops us an email when he wants to amend or cancel it). Packages can be weekly, fortnightly,monthly or seasonally (four seasonal bouquets a year). Prices start from £24.00 incl delivery. Subscription payments are taken every month a few days before the flowers are sent. Please check www.wildflowerscompany.co.uk for full subscription details, and prices.

We can send one-offs arrangements but we only ship on Thursdays.

Generally, if one wants a different combination we are always happy to arrange anyway.


Why order with us?:
Because the flowers will look nothing like the ones you usually see at the supermarket, online, or even at your local florist.

Because our flowers have not travelled for days, but instead are cut the day before we ship.
They have not been frozen nor heated to control flowering, they arrive fresh and last long.

Because the flowers are curated every week using what's in season, it creates surprise and anticipation.

A gift says a lot about you, and this one will show consideration and thoughtfulness.

This is a gesture towards the environment, there are no air miles attached, and it is beneficial to vegetation and pollination.

We care about the provenance and the conditions in which we create our bouquets.

We choose quality and sustainability.


A few other hints:
Our British grown flowers have no air miles attached to it contrary to 90% of the flowers on the market today which are imported from the Netherlands, but also Kenya, Colombia and Israel to name a few.
Flowers farmers have disappeared in the past 20 years as Dutch flower companies have invaded the market with their imports, but the number of farmers growing flowers has enjoyed a revival lately (although not enough to reverse the trend -yet).
Some countries where flowers are produced (like Colombia) use pesticides that are completely banned in the UK with an impact on the workers and the environment.


The company curates the arrangements led by seasonal and market availability. The selection of the flowers is made on a weekly basis at minimum. They are then prepared, laid and wrapped in the delivery boxes in Kentish Town, north London, before being delivered to customers’ doors. By buying and preparing flowers upon orders, shelf time is reduced and the flowers last longer than if purchased from other classic companies.
The company's mission is to bring British flowers back into British homes, and its values, are sustainability, passion, quality, and buying local.
The Wild Flower Company is part of The British Flower Collective, a group of passionate British flower growers and arrangers who are working together to put seasonality, local, home grown (and British) back into the flower industry.



I'd love to get these gorgeous blooms for mothers day!







A little note from me...

I have had my gorgeous blooms for a week now, they are still looking beautiful.
I've had so much fun styling so many wonderful flowers and foliage in lots of different ways.
These flowers did not arrive with big bows on, but in a lovely box that matches the earthiness of these blooms. 

As they are fresh (not treated or stored) they need to be separated out, snip the ends off, and putting straight into water for a long drink, somewhere cool for at least an hour before you arrange into your final design. For me, this is the fun bit!
Dress in one huge arrangement (like the garden urn shown above), or make lots of little posies to dot around your home.

I hope we've inspired you!

And if you haven't already, go and check them out, links at the bottom of the page.

Pssstt Its nearly Mothers Day!

 Flowers from Wild Flowers Company. 
Photos by Emma Connolly.






*This is a non profit post.



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