Emma took what felt at the time like a huge leap of faith in 2014! and decided to take a big change in direction starting up her own floristry business. Emma studied geography & economics and then an MSc in Sustainable Development at The London School of Economics – entered the civil service working at The Office for National Statistics just outside Fareham for a few years completing a MSc in Statistics from Southampton Uni whilst there.
However growing flowers and creating beautiful bouquets was what secretly floated her boat probably inherited from Mum Dorothy and Gran Sylvia, both keen gardeners who always made sure she had her own little garden patch to tend. And thought nothing was better than spending an evening toiling away at the allotment (which was more flowers than veg based as you can imagine!) and making flowers arrangements for friends and family.
Anyway for one reason and another, the time was right to take the plunge in 2014 and see whether the business would be a goer………. based from home, starting with absolutely no contacts in the industry and no shopfront, it was going to be a challenge! One of the best things we did in the early days was taking on a small stall at Lymington Market outside what was Coastal Shoes opposite Costa (and attending Winchester Vintage Markets) – it gave us the opportunity to display our style of flowers directly to you our marvellous customers and we were soon asked to supply events, especially for weddings which subsequently became our main business along with corporate flowers for businesses and hotels in the area.
Inevitably there was a conflict attending a Saturday market, with most weddings being on a Saturday! – and whilst we were very sad to leave our market colleagues and the banter (although holding onto the gazebo for dear life down the perfect ‘wind tunnel’ that is Lymington High Street not missed!) – ultimately it had served it’s purpose for us and we decided to give up our plot a couple of years later. Now our reputation for quality, recommendations and our website was what really drove the business forward. And we are very proud to say that lovely things have followed. We have always been based from home, first in Hythe Hampshire and more recently Barton on Sea. The major plus side for us, that we could put all our energies into specific events, and supplied blooms absolutely fresh, not from held over stock.
We have supplied wedding flowers for the largest of events roping in all the help we possibly could – to the smallest and everything in between. Been to what are considered the ‘top notch’ venues and also the smallest charming out of the way places, even fields in the middle of nowhere and often drifted from our own county of Hampshire into Dorset, Wiltshire and beyond. Featured in magazines, had one of our bridal bouquets featured large on the front cover of what was the go to glossy for our industry Wedding Flowers and been asked to host a series of workshops for Jo Malone to coincide with the launch of new fragrance lines.
We’ve relished in it all! However with this terrible pandemic hitting and the lockdowns that ensued and our lovely couples having to reschedule numerous times – as we know so many families and events across the country have been similarly affected. The downtime gave us the chance to reflect on what is really important to us – beautiful naturally inspired creations using home grown and British Blooms where ever possible. We can’t help but be inspired by the Coast and New Forest we are so fortunate to have on our doorstep. We also realise that the very nature of weddings has changed and is likely to be different for sometime moving forward, if they ever return to the big extravaganzas of the past – smaller, intimate affairs are the new norm and our offering needs to change to reflect this – especially giving our wedding couples the flexibility to specifically select the key items they require, even if this is just a beautiful bridal bouquet without the need for long lengthy face to face consultations.
So starting in 2021 we are very excited to launch a new website showcasing our newly refined collections especially designed with you the customer in mind whilst also holding true to the flowers we love.
(not forgetting the 3 Jacks – Chalky, Bob and Peggy – who are our mascots and key team morale boosters!)
p.s Why did you call it Emma’s Flower Hut, Emma?!
‘When I started the business, ‘something & something’ florist names seemed to be all the rage, like Rosemary & Thyme! However I couldn’t help but think back to a florist from my school days in Reading, at the entrance to House of Fraser, in the newly opened Oracle shopping centre which was called ‘The Flower Box’.
It sold bouquets like we’d never seen before in that neck of the woods! no flowers in fixed repetitive matrix designs for them, brown paper wrapping and raffia abound and actual eucalyptus – prior to that you were lucky to see any green or maybe just a couple of fern leaves!
So instead of Flower Box, Flower Hut! And Mum ever sensible said you have to include your name so people can say hello Emma! So there you have it Emma’s Flower Hut.