Supporting Irish business is a passion of ours at Image, and it's easy with so many entrepreneurial and innovative Irish businesses to buy from. From now until Christmas we are highlighting Irish businesses or business people that we are excited about. Today it's Siobhan Harrison and Angie Byrne from Total Flower Designs.
What is your name, and what is your business?
Siobhan Harrison and Angie Byrne, co-owners of Total Flower Designs, a growing Irish floral design business that is inspired by nature. Based in Dublin, we offer a full floristry service and run The Total Flower School.
What is your mission?
Our business has grown organically in the last few years and began when Siobhan, who has worked in the floral industry for over 20 years, decided to start a flower school to share her passion and knowledge of flowers with fellow enthusiasts and young florists. Angie came on board as interest and the demand for classes increased.
Our joint mission is to shake up the staid view of flower arranging and to teach and create contemporary and natural designs for our customers and students.
Of what part of your business are you proudest?
We are most proud and forever grateful for the loyalty and support of our students and customers. The positive feedback we receive and the friendships we have made is testament to how our workshops and floral designs have made them feel. It's a wonderful feeling to know that we have done that.
Who are your heroes?
Our business heroes would be all women in business, particularly those who started at their kitchen tables and progressed to being recognisable globally, such as Jo Malone. When we were younger we would have admired Anita Roddick of the Body Shop. She was someone who built an amazing brand at a time when it was not the norm for women. She was a green pioneer and brought green issues and sustainability to the high street and highlighted the ability for businesses to be highly ethical and successful. We also greatly admire the work of Joseph Walsh, a Cork-based, self-taught furniture maker who creates the most stunning commissions with beautiful fluid shapes.
Another hero of ours whom we always draw on for inspiration in our work is renowned florist Constance Spry, an amazing woman who demonstrated adaptability and innovation throughout her career. Her work has been so influential in the floral industry.
How have you found the last six months?
It has been difficult for everyone but we have remained hopeful and positive about the future. Covid-19 and the restrictions led us to quickly re-focus and adapt our business. This led to the creation of our online store for bouquets, arrangements, and seasonal wreaths. We also began a monthly bouquet subscription service which has proven very popular as it makes a perfect gift for birthdays and Christmas. The continued support of our customers and family has really helped us and channelling our energy into creative projects has been a great de-stressor for us.
What keeps you positive?
When you work with such beautiful flowers and natural ingredients it is difficult to not feel hopeful and positive. Nature is a great lesson in hope for the future.
What new perspective have you gained from 2020?
We've learned to not take anything for granted and to truly value the time we spend with our family and friends. Working with nature is a very mindful experience and we've both felt great gratitude to have this at such an unusual time.
Best/worst moment from 2020?
The best part of our work is seeing the joy and comfort that flowers and flower arranging can bring to people. Being part of this is something that we are aware of now more than ever. The hardest part of the last year has been the lack of contact with our friends and families. Having to cancel and postpone our classes and workshops and having customers cancel their celebrations has been very difficult. We are both very sociable and have really missed that part of our work and personal lives.
How will you celebrate Christmas this year?
The build-up to Christmas is an eventful time for us: wreath making and creating festive arrangements, garlands and chandeliers along with winter bouquets. So we will celebrate Christmas this year relaxing with our husbands and children, in our homes which will be completely adorned with festive textures and fragrance. Siobhan has a stunning mantlescape planned for her dining room and Angie will be creating a natural hanging centrepiece over her Christmas table. We love bringing nature into our homes and Christmas is the perfect time for this. Christmas walks with our friends and some mulled wine in the garden are high up on our list of things we hope to do.
Another Irish business you want to shine a spotlight on?
We would like to mention the Irish Green Guys who supply us with beautiful fresh Irish foliage, their produce is high quality and grown to the highest environmental standards. With a large selection of foliage they are a great help to our business being sustainable.
Anything else you would like to let us know?
We are always open to new ventures and collaborations for our business. Flexibility and courage are great strengths of ours and we look forward to seeing where 2021 takes us.
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