Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lauren’s shaping her new business with flowers

How many Dorset florists have not one but two Chelsea Flower Show medals to their name? That's what Lauren Curry of Concept Flowers, based in Christchurch, has achieved, and her career has barely got going.

Concept Flowers is a very fresh, new floristry business. Less than twelve months old, it’s run from the family home Lauren shares with her parents. Begun in September 2012, the early months have already seen lots of positive growth and there’s plenty of early promise of future success.

Floral art saves the day and paves the way

Like so many young people, Lauren wasn’t sure what direction her career would take. Careers interviews led her to start a course in floral art at Bournemouth & Poole College. Despite never having worked with flowers before, by the end of the opening session, her very first creation was top of the class.

Eight years of dedicated training followed, leading to Lauren achieving a Master’s qualification, and winning those medals at Chelsea. Her feet were firmly placed on the path to a future in floristry.

However, her achievements threatened to be more of a hindrance than a help, with established florists refusing to provide employment. After almost a decade spent learning her craft, Lauren was considered to be ‘over qualified’ by the local firms she’d hoped to work for.

This left only one option open - to starting trading in her own right. From those rejections sprang an entirely new business - Concept Flowers.

Learning the new skills needed for commerce

Becoming a business owner means further education, usually through hard commercial experience. Lauren started by approaching a bank for the capital needed to establish her operation and fund the initial marketing, which she also invested into.

Without a High Street presence, Lauren had to find other ways to get noticed, to put herself in front of potential customers. Social media played a part, as did getting involved in events. A major wedding fair in Bournemouth proved the turning point, allowing her to demonstrate her skills in front of brides searching for the perfect floral creation.

Her early work has led to recommendations and repeat business.

Lauren ascribes her success to date to her marketing efforts and believes that personal contact is the key. “A lot of the time it’s you who makes the business,” she said. Online marketing has its place, but when it comes to securing sales: “People buy from people.”

Lauren’s story is an inspiration to anyone who’s spent years honing their skills and now plans to start their own business. We’ll be checking back with her in a few months, to discover more about how Concept Flowers is blooming.

To find out more about Concept Flowers, visit the website by clicking here.

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