In 2003, Kay realised that there was a real niche for wedding flowers. Many of the customers at the florist she worked at were bridal and it created additional workload on the other floristry services they were providing. Thus, the idea for Flowers by Kay was born and she took the bold steps to set up on her own. The business has gone from strength to strength, with couples now booking even a year in advance for her wonderful designs and personable service.
Kay’s passion began in a chance discovery of local interest courses. Having worked in the planning department at Bassetlaw council for some years, Kay decided following the birth of daughter Emily that she wanted something that would suit around her childcare and provide her with work she would actually enjoy! She wasn’t sure what path to follow but took a floristry course out of curiosity and realised that it was something she was not only good at, but really loved.
“My teacher told me to take a full qualification as I kept winning the weekly competitions so no one else had a chance!”, she laughs. “So, I enrolled on an NVQ with North Notts College and was able to secure work with several lnterflora florists successively.”
With over 20 years in the floristry trade under her belt, Kay has been able to carve out a robust name for herself both locally and across the region and she has been associated with some of the area’s top venues, providing anything from contemporary to the more traditional. And whilst she is very much focused on wedding and reception flowers, Kay does also take some other commissions, including for funerals and other celebrations.
“Any opportunity to pick up some flowers and work my magic I will jump at,” Kay says with a smile, “but certainly for me it’s the wedding commissions that really make me happy as I can say I have been a part of the couple’s celebration, and this is always a lovely feeling, and anything that involves tulips and roses – both my favourites!”
Flowers by Kay can provide anything from button holes and poseys for flower girls and page boys through to bridal bouquets and corsages. Also, cake flowers, bridal arches and even full venue decoration. Regardless of the size of the project, Kay works tirelessly to make dreams happen. No mean feat for one person who still does every aspect of the work herself!
As far as trends go we were keen to understand from Kay if anything significant has dominated designs in 2021 and what to look out for in 2022 but interestingly there have been some really diverse requests all year and no two weddings have been the same. Something which suits Kay down to a tee as she loves being as creative as possible though in producing something bespoke for each couple.
“Pink is always popular though”, she laughs “That never goes out of fashion.”
2022 is going to bring more of a focus on country flowers and rustic styles we are reliably told, and again, this is something Kay enjoys – and she has produced some incredible rustic designs in her portfolio.
Whatever the style or colour theme, Kay lovingly creates each bouquet or posy in a simple, elegant, manner that clearer depicts her natural ease with her art. She considers every stem to ensure they sit comfortably within all the other elements of the wedding for a seamless finish.
We wondered if Kay had experienced any difficulties with supply and demand in the past year due to the ongoing pandemic circumstances but thankfully Flowers by Kay has retained a strong customer base and demand for wedding flowers is higher than ever.
“We have been fortunate that the many cancelled occasions are now back in full force, and we have not had any issues with supplies”, Kay explains, adding “the cost of flowers has gone up considerably though as growers had decreased their production due to the halt last year and are now playing catch up.”
Thankfully, it has not had a knock-on effect on Kay’s customers as she is able to offer considered less expensive alternatives for most flower requests
We also asked Kay if she has any advice for brides and grooms when considering their flowers for the big day.
“I’d advise them to select their florist carefully. I always ensure my couples are comfortable with me and that we communicate regularly and trust each other. It’s such an important day so building a relationship and fully understanding what each couple’s vision is ensures there are no surprises on the day! I am also really careful to look at keeping their costs down and will always make suggestions on suitable alternatives so we can keep to their budgets.”
With focus increasingly on environmental impact and keeping the planet safe, we were curious as to how Kay is addressing sustainability, reducing flower miles and addressing key ethical concerns.
“The majority of our flowers do come from the Netherlands, but we are increasingly working with suppliers in the UK, and now have three in England and Ireland. One thing I always stress to my customers is the importance of choosing seasonal blooms wherever possible and I find they are usually happy to be guided by me on this.
“Also, I think brides are much more switched on now to the impact their wedding choices can have and social media such as Instagram and Pinterest are playing a significant role in giving inspiration through eco choices. I am seeing a high uptake in the ‘just picked’ natural look without the adornments of ribbons and diamantees, for example that used to be so popular.
It certainly seems that Flowers by Kay is ticking all the right boxes, and their signature service is as fresh and vibrant as the lovely blooms they provide.
For further details, visit: www.flowersbykay.co.uk