In this article series, we give you a peak in the life of a fellow florist. This week’s article features florist Gabriella Brook, who has already made some life-changing career switches. She discovered – through floristry and her Ambassador role at Florismart – that she loves to help and teach other people. Even more than flowers!
Written by Gabriella Brook – Gabriella Brook Wedding & Event Floristry
When I was younger, I always wanted to be a florist…. Not! Never ever did those words leave my mouth. I was, in fact, a language student through and through. I did exceptionally well in my GCSE’s (blows own trumpet) and I was indeed a swot & teacher’s pet. It’s true. I thoroughly enjoyed school. In my careers course that school ran, I had to answer all these questions and at the end, it would spit out what career I would excel in. It churned out ‘DIPLOMATIC SERVICE OFFICER’. Honestly! Even more alarming I believed it and so off I popped to do my A-levels in Foreign Languages.
Then…. They cancelled the exams! Not just one year but two years in a row. Apparently, not everyone enjoyed languages and they weren’t worth the costs. I was in limbo. I’d been working part-time in between waiting for new enrolment years dabbling in bakeries, waitressing and florists and so when the second year failed to run its exams, that was it. I’d had enough and I ended up opening my own little flower shop at the tender age of 18!
Gabriella Brook Wedding Floristry
It was all systems go. I was self-employed with my own business having to do business things and somehow, I became a full-time florist. With my very little experience and very little cash I just went week to week winging it. I’ll be honest. Then suddenly, I’d had my own shop for 5 years and I realised that I had in fact missed out on a lot of my social life and young independence. I hadn’t made ridiculous mistakes or been brought home in a police car drunk to disgruntled parents!
So, I rebelled. I became PA & Assistant Manager running nightclubs and restaurants. It was exciting, sociable and I had a lot of fun! Probably too much on occasion!
It didn’t last long, two years to be precise. In that time, I’d managed to find my now husband and have our first daughter, Alba. Suddenly running around being PA or Assistant Manager wasn’t going to work with a toddler on board, so it was back to Floristry. Good old self-employed freedom and the beginning of Gabriella Brook Wedding Floristry.
I’d had a shop, so I knew how committing it was of my time. There was no way I’d be able to do the school run or make it to a nativity scene during the Christmas rush. Choosing the hours that worked best for me and my growing family was just what we needed. So, a work from home wedding florist it was. That and mucking in where needed elsewhere.
Being a wedding florist comes with all the loveliness of flowers without having to endure the everyday routine of the shop life. I get to meet blushing newly engaged couples in cosy environments and have a lovely chat about what they’d like for their day. I get to meet them at amazing venues and have a measure up for eye-catching installations. Then I’m left to my own devices to order a load of flowers and play with them!
Working alongside being full-time mum hasn’t been without its challenges mind. Along came Anna, my second daughter, days before a Christmas wedding. It might just have been the most sleep-deprived wedding I have ever successfully completed. I have been very lucky to have a super husband that picks up a lot of mum duty while I’m playing with flowers. Yet – alarmingly he says “yeah – it’s fine! Go for it!” which is exactly what he said when I was offered the opportunity to go to Amsterdam with Florismart. So, I did!
I have absolutely no idea how this happened. One day I was reading up on new wholesalers and I came across Florismart and so I got in touch for an account. Then the emails started to come through and along came this one from Steve asking if any florists would be interested in a trip to Amsterdam on an Ambassador trip. Yeah! Why not Steve! I replied and then I was there! In a hotel in Amsterdam amongst florists from all over the place. Florists who it turns out I’ll remember forever. It was meant to be.
Since that first trip, I have become a Florismart Navigator (we do the training sessions) and a Florismart Ambassador. It has become apparent that in all the work that I do for Florismart that what I enjoy more than flowers is helping and teaching people. I absolutely love my training calls and helping florists become better florists. Even if it’s just a little IT help it’s still helping, and I think that’s important.
My training and Ambassador work has become more of a priority to me over wedding floristry. I absolutely have Florismart to thank for the next stage of my life.
I didn’t dream of being a florist, but it is floristry that has shown me what I dream of being. Going forward I intend to continue with Florismart for as long as they’ll have me whilst I go back to student life to finish what I started. Wedding floristry will be phased out in favour of a fulfilling career in teaching. Probably foreign languages! Here’s hoping they run the exams.
I am very much looking forward to a new chapter and what the future could possibly hold. Who knows…?
Have a look at Gabriella Brook’s wedding designs in our Florist Finder. Go check it out!