With a background in both creative floristry and supermarket product design, Helen Chambers has played for rival teams within the flower sector. In this two-part feature, she shares behind-the-scenes insights into the world of large-scale product development, and offers practical, takeaway advice for flower businesses of all kind.
About Helen Chambers, Evolve Flowers
Helen’s career began with traditional floristry training, but took a swerve when she started working for a company that developed sundries products. She was later offered a role as product developer for a Dutch flower supplier, designing bouquets for the likes of Shell and BP. She admits, “I decided to go for it, though it’s really not ‘PC’ for a Society of Floristry diploma-holder to be designing bouquets for petrol stations… Pull that knife out of my back!”
Following a move to a new supplier, Helen began designing floral product lines for major supermarket chains, plus exhibitions and events like London Fashion Week. Selling tens of thousands of Kenyan rose-based products, the business extended its range with themed bouquets which became Helen’s specialty, drawing on the experience she’d gained as a florist.
She’s now re-entered the independent sector – running workshops and selling her own designs as well as working as a consultant, sharing her inside knowledge with the wider industry. Somewhat akin to the Hotel Inspector of floristry, she’s an expert not just in flowers but flowers that sell. Oh, and she’s toying with the idea of opening a shop; she says, “It would be bonkers but bizarrely I’m tempted!”
Part 1 – Coming Monday 8th October 2018