For this month’s workspace series we visited Grace & Thorn's Hackney shop, to take part in their Hand Tie Bouquet workshop and speak to founder Nik Southern about her working habits & floral inspirations.
Tell us about your work?
I am the owner of London florists Grace & Thorn. I started the company from my basement just over two years ago and in that time have opened two shops in Hackney and Soho, a studio and acquired a brood of staff. Nowadays my role is focused more on business development and the day to day nitty gritty but I always make sure I have at least a couple of days in the shop, understanding our customers and what they want is paramount. Of course I am always hands on with flowers and get creative with the staff most days. It's what keeps us ticking.
How did you learn your craft?
Three years ago I took a 4 week career course with Jamie Aston after I decided to quit my career in IT recruitment. After that it was all self taught, this is when I really developed my style, creating the Grace & Thorn look that is synonymous with us today.
Describe your workspace…
We have two shops, our flagship in Hackney, another in Soho's red light district and a studio in Epping. All have totally different vibes and I love working in them all. The Essex studio has the space to get big events done, housing a extensive collection of vases, jugs, lanterns , even furniture for our events and weddings. It's like being in Aladdin's cave. It is also home to all our very large plants, so we have 10ft palms and Streletzias at every turn. This is where I get most of my work done as I also have the luxury of my own little office!!
What most inspires you, both in your work and life in general?
Being a florist the obvious inspiration would be nature but I am inspired by so much which means that both the business and I are constantly evolving. I love fashion and how it is so dynamic, a spirit I try to incorporate into all our arrangements and bouquets. We don't like to churn the same design out but rather make everything from a unique perspective. A lot can depend on our mood and what inspires us daily. I encourage this in my staff. I love the arts, the simplicity and genuine beauty of nature which I think translates in everything Grace & Thorn does.
Learn more about Grace & Thorn and their workshops here.
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