And I’m opening my notebook with the story of a village florist near Ilkley Moor who has a global reach!
“I remember feeling quite nervous about my photoshoot with Kathryn as I’m a little camera shy, but she made myself, Martha and Teddy (my two slightly sceptical Chihuahuas) feel so at ease. We all really enjoyed ourselves, in fact I think it’s the first time I’ve enjoyed being photographed! I loved Kathryn’s ideas for the shots. I think of Mollie & Mauve as a bit of a lifestyle brand as much as a florist, and Kathryn really understood how to portray this in the images. I’m so excited to bring a little more personality to my brand on social, show the face behind the name and bring my brand story to life!”
Sometimes you just know when your brand aligns with another brand – there’s a similar ethos, style, way of doing things, a visual synergy perhaps and then there are dogs!
There is definitely brand synergy when I’m photographing a business who has a dog or two!
Based just outside Ilkley in her garden studio, with her dogs by her side, Rachel at Mollie & Mauve has a fascinating story to tell about her brand so far, her style and a few trends she absolutely loves…..
“Before becoming a florist I worked as a Project Manager at event agencies in Leeds, organising press shows and product launches for some fabulous brands in the retail and beauty industries, often taking place in London and across Europe. Quite often I had the joy of creating floristry briefs for the florists who would help us style the events, choosing various areas in the venue where we could create floral installations as well as briefing the florist on the style of flowers I felt would fit well with the brand. My favourite event in particular was for a well known ‘nature inspired’ shampoo brand. We covered the staircase leading up to the venue in foliage garlands, as well as creating a huge wooden tunnel which was covered in flowers and foliage which the attendees would walk through to enter the event. It looked and smelt so amazing and I loved the way flowers could set the mood and create such a ‘wow’ entrance! I then decided to take a number of courses whilst working part time in a florist shop as well as freelancing on large weddings, before deciding to launch my own business.
I’m truly inspired by nature and the seasons. I love my floral designs to reflect the current season so they always look unique and as though they are ‘just picked’. I’m also inspired by other florists on Instagram and I like to keep up with trends in floristry as well as home interiors, as ultimately I want my designs to look good in people’s homes as well as creating a moment of joy on the doorstep!
I like to think my style is natural and seasonal, as though the flowers have just been picked from the garden or the hedgerow. When I’ve been out on a walk in Spring and I’m surrounded by blossom and Spring flowers, I just get the urge to bring a bit of that seasonal beauty into my home to enjoy. That’s why in Spring for example I tend to use interesting stems such as magnolia, large-headed ranunculus and anemones as they look so unique and are only around for so long. I like to think my clients choose my designs for this same feeling, to feel that the flowers they are sending or receiving are special and unique to the time of year. Being an online florist, my clients are often from all over the world sending flowers to their loved ones in Ilkley, Skipton, Harrogate or surrounding areas for all sorts of occasions. I’ve had orders from as far as Australia, New Zealand and America! When I first set up my business from my little garden studio, I didn’t expect it to reach that far but I find it so exciting waking up in the morning to orders from global customers which have been placed throughout the night.
Seasonal wreaths are a favourite trend of mine (they’re not just for Christmas!). I love ordering in a selection of textured, seasonal materials and creating something beautiful and unique to adorn someone’s front door. Whether it be Spring, Easter, Christmas or Autumn, I like to think there’s a wreath for every occasion now and I love that people enjoy celebrating the different seasons. I also feel sustainability is such an important topic right now and I enjoy the challenge of thinking of new ways I can make even a small difference with the way I run my business. My packaging for bouquets is completely recyclable and biodegradable with the exception of a small cellophane bubble (and always with the option to send in a vase) and I create my wreath bases with moss and jute ribbon backing instead of floral foam. There’s now more of a trend for using British flowers as not only do they smell amazing and have wonderfully characterful wonky stems, they are great for the bees and there are zero air miles and no plastic packaging. I love that I am also supporting small local businesses who have put their heart and soul into growing beautiful blooms against all the elements! I like to use them as much as possible during the summer when they are available and I hope more people will look to support our British growers.”
I’d love to hear from you if you have a brand story you’d like to tell. By having some beautifully crafted photographs, you will find it so much easier to stand out from your competition and relate to your most ideal customer, because they can see you. Just drop me a line here and we can chat about telling your brand story with creative and meaningful portrait photography.