12 January 2021
Following a successful career as a visual merchandiser, Amelia Florence Ellerby moved to Canada and found a new love for floristry. Now she's back in the UK and runs Florence in Flowers out of her studio in Levenshulme, a full service florist that's inspired by wild English meadows.
I live in Ancoats but work out of Bankley Studios in Levenshulme which is full of artists. My friend is a silversmith so we share the space half and half. I’m pretty much full time although I still have a part time job and it’s actually helped me to be in lockdown and furloughed as I was so busy in the run up to Christmas.
My name is Amelia Florence, it took me a while to figure out what to call it and now people think I’m called Florence! I started the brand in February 2020 but I’ve been a florist for about three years now, starting from when I was living in Canada where I worked for three different florists. I had no real floristry experience, before I did this I was a visual merchandiser and the owner of the first businesses loved my background. She was like, ‘you’ll get it, you can do it, just come and do it’.
In my previous career I worked for Tiffany and Mulberry and did their shop windows, displays and events. Because I had a background in events she trusted me so much which was really nice but I was completely thrown in at the deep end. They were all insane and would just constantly shout at each other, that’s how they communicated, it was bizarre, everybody seemed to hate each other!
After that I worked briefly at another florists which was terrible but the third florists I worked for, The Wild Bunch, was probably the nicest, dreamiest florist in the whole world, an absolute dream place to work. It was so amazing and I learned so much there but I had to come back to the UK when my visa ran out. I was living in Vancouver which is surrounded by mountains and beautiful scenery so when we moved back we wanted to live somewhere close to the countryside but with a city feel, that’s why we chose Manchester.
My floristry style is inspired by English meadows, wild countryside vibes for sure. I really like to follow the natural flow of flowers. I wouldn’t make a bunch of flowers in a rigid circle in the old school, traditional way, my arrangements are more free and wild, tall bits, short bits, natural.
Most of the flowers I use right now are imported from Holland which is amazing, what they have is incredible, they’ve obviously been doing it for hundreds of years and are experts who grow incredible quality flowers but I don’t want to always rely on them. Next summer I want to work with more local growers as it’s better for the environment and you get a much more unique variety of flowers.
I used to have a stall at Levenshulme Market which is such a nice market and community and the people who run it really care about the traders. Selling things at the market was really helpful because it helped me work out what people wanted on a weekly basis. I had originally planned what my products were going to be but after having a stall that changed. My advice to other people would be to start small, see what people like about you and your brand and what you’re creating and then build on that.
I sell bouquets at a lovely new cafe called Long Boi’s Bakehouse in Levenshulme and I used to have my flowers in Trove when they did their pop up which was a really great way of getting my name out there. I’ve now expanded my ‘everlast’ range of dried flowers which people love and I ship nationwide. People have asked me to ship fresh flowers to them across the country and I am looking into how I can do that.
This year I have a lot of weddings booked which hopefully still go ahead. That will have a really big impact because the more people that see your creations the more well known you become. Hopefully companies are able to start holding events again soon too. I’d really like to work with more brands to do events because of my background in visual merchandising and I just love them so much and I’ve worked on so many.
The ambition is to be able to do this full time but I still have imposter syndrome, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I was a visual merchandiser for so long and maybe partly because there’s so many different florists around here too. Ultimately I’d like to have a studio that’s also shopable, where people can come in and see what you’re doing, what you’re creating. The best part of being a florist is making everything, being able to create something as the main part of my job because that’s really my favourite thing to do, to see it happen in front of your eyes.
Florence in Flowers is a full service, foam free florist based in Manchester. They create designs for retail, events, weddings, the home and more. Visit their website www.florenceinflowers.com