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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

contemporary, caring & cutting-edge: fantail designer florist

July 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (9)

As regular readers of the wedding blog will know, we’re suckers for beautiful wedding day blooms and love to see florists pushing the design boundaries in order to deliver something that is both impressive and individual.

One such florist who does just this is Brides Up North Sponsor, Samantha Coventry, proud owner of Fantail Designer Florist. Supplying dream bouquets, centrepieces and styling for weddings in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire, Samantha enjoys nothing more than meeting new couples and translating their personalities and ideas into show-stopping arrangements.

This afternoon on the blog, we’re super excited to be catching up with this talented lady at her Sheffield-based shop to her learn more about her designs, service and style…

With images by Stu Ganderton Photography.

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (7)

Can you tell us a little about your background and how Fantail first came to fruition?

samantha says: Originally hailing from New Zealand, I came to Sheffield to peruse in a career in Interior and Furniture Design. Succeeding in this, and in the meantime having two children, a dog and a cat, I then retrained in floristry and set up Fantail doing freelance wedding floristry from my home studio in 2008. The business outgrew the house and when the local post office moved premises the opportunity arose in the village to open a shop, which I couldn’t allow to pass me by!

How has the business grown since that time?

Since we opened the shop back in November 2016, the business has grown ten-fold. It has given us the opportunity not only to offer more in the everyday bouquet market, including deliveries, but has also allowed us to expand our wedding portfolio. In addition to this we’ve been offering seasonal floral making classes, which have been over-booked to the extent that we had to double the dates! As well as flowers we also supply other, locally made, products, such as Sheffield Honey, Burgon & Ball gardening items, Nathalie Bond organic skincare and cards for all occasions. We’ve also taken the idea of a florist further beyond flowers by offering house plants in designer pots, with our own unique twist.

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (1)

What do you enjoy about working in the world of weddings and what is your favorite part of your job? 

I love weddings and take pride in being involved in one of the most important days of a couple’s life.  I enjoy everything about creating for a wedding. The initial consultation is great – you get to find out how the couple met, what are their likes and dislikes, their honeymoon ideas and by working together with them I can begin to suggest floral designs that work and create something unique that reflects their personality, the venue and the theme. The best part is when we meet them on the day to deliver the designs and they see the venues transform to the vision we created together.

How would you describe the style of flowers that you create and where do you get your inspiration from? 

We are contemporary florists, with classic style and dip into vintage. We use a range of different textures and tones and try to include something different.  We like to think that we are thorough and consider all the details, such as wiring succulents so they can be planted after the wedding and incorporating plants dependent on the time of year for the same reason. We take inspiration through the seasons, which sounds pretty obvious, but we always like to encourage seasonal availability. Yves Saint Laurent said: “fashions fade but style is eternal” and I think that’s as true for floristry as anything else.

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (4)

What process will a couple go through if they pick you to supply their wedding flowers?

We like to invite couples into the shop for a chat. We like to get to know our couples and I think jelling with each other is another key to the success of the relationship. We’ll go through all the nitty gritty things from floral bouquet style, the pins colours on the buttonholes to the length of a trail based on the height of the bride to the height of the candles used on a candelabra.  We then come up with a plan going forwards that suits that couple and their budget.

Where do you advise brides to source inspiration from for their flowers?

Most brides will have an inkling as to what they think they would like or want to achieve in the venue for their wedding day. That might be a colour or a favourite flower or style, including bringing along magazine cuttings to the meeting. We can generally get to a finalised design by the time we’ve finished. Pinterest is a massive influence and is helpful for both brides and grooms as well.

Fantail Designer Florist (c) Stu Ganderton (8)

Where do you source the flowers from for your arrangements? 

We source flowers from a range of suppliers including UK-grown flower farms, the Dutch auctions and even as far afield as southern Africa.

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petal perfectionists: introducing paragon floral design

July 27th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Paragon FloralDesign (12)

ZT Photography

As flowers are one of our very favourite wedding topics, we’re super excited to be introducing you to a fabulous new Premium Sponsor of ours today – the talented Paragon Floral Design.

Based in a wonderfully creative workshop in Oldham, there isn’t much that its experienced florist owners, Lisa Holroyd and Kate Whelan, don’t know about beautiful buds and blooms. Having worked together for more than a decade, the skillful ladies say they share a “geeky passion” for both the wedding industry and floral design, which you can see reflected in their stunning work.

Keen to create arrangements that are as individual as their clients, Lisa and Kate take their inspiration from a wide variety of sources and love showing how flowers can really bring the wow-factor to a wedding.

For more details on what they offer and the way that they work, we’ll hand you over to the lovely Kate…

Paragon FloralDesign (15)

Can you tell us how did Paragon Floral Design come to fruition?

kate says: Paragon Floral Design came about after Lisa Holroyd and I had worked together in various places for about ten years, both in the UK and abroad. We both share a geeky passion for the industry and design in general. After running a chain of shops and an event studio in Bermuda we decided it was time to come home and do it all for ourselves. It’s been slowly coming together since we arrived back in the UK in 2013 and we have been busy with all the preparation, branding, wedding fairs and promotional gubbins since then! In amongst that Lisa had her second child and I gained a teaching degree (we do like to keep busy!) The website went live back in November and we are really pleased to have bookings coming in already. Lisa and I have the same work ethic, which is nice to have in a ‘work wife’. We are perfectionists so we know how important it is to ‘get it right’ on the big day.

What do you enjoy about working in the world of weddings? 

It might sound cliché but every day is different; one day you can be cleaning vases and the next you have a massive delivery of beautiful flowers to condition and sort out. Then the next week you might be in the office and in meetings all day discussing new jobs. We love the concepts, that every couple has a different view of their big day and it’s fun to get all those images together and create something new and unique. You meet so many different people; it’s an all-go industry!

Paragon FloralDesign (13)

ZT Photography

What is your favorite part of your job? 

For me it’s actually a moment you get on the big jobs, where the flowers are in, tables set, lighting is on and being tested and the music is playing. Just before we leave you get to see it perfectly intact, like the guests will see it just before the party. The calm before the storm sort of thing. I love that – it’s a bit emotional and makes me really proud.

For Lisa it’s the brainstorming with the couples, the making and setting up of an event too. There is a very unique feeling you get when you know you have been a part of helping clients create a beautiful memory. We basically love it all!

How would you describe the style of flowers that you create and where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere. We especially love texture and detail – creating new shapes, something a bit quirky but still elegant. We love architecture, nature, fashion and learning new craft techniques. We bounce ideas off each other too, that’s cool when you can say “hey what do you think about this?” and then it suddenly takes a new direction and becomes something awesome you never thought of. We like to spend time just creating, so we can show couples fresh ideas.

Paragon FloralDesign (18)

What process will a couple go through if they pick you to supply their wedding flowers?

In the first instance couples can email or call directly if they like. Alternatively, we have a contact form on our website that they can fill in. We always respond within 24 hours and we will send out a wedding welcome letter with some basic info on it about us and how we work. It includes some basic price ranges too so that you can have a stab at a budget to work on. From there we usually have a phone call to get an idea of your vision and then set up a meeting to discuss the bits and bobs. If you are happy to pick us then we take a 25% deposit and you are booked in! We’ll then send you your mood board and you have a full-itemized invoice. Six weeks before the wedding the balance is due and up till a few weeks before we can make little tweaks as those extra guests accept, or you forgot about Aunty Marjorie who needs a corsage!

We collect all the info we need from you to deliver the bridal bouquets, set up the florals and then collect anything that requires doing so after the wedding so that on the day, there is nothing to worry about. Lisa and I are on every job we do. We make the flowers and set up, so all you need to do is be there to enjoy it.

Where do you advise brides to source inspiration from for their flowers?,

Every wedding is different. Pinterest is great and it’s a good source but many images are lit/ have filters added so that the colours you see are not really like that. Take into consideration your fashion sense and the colours you like to wear and how you’ve decorated your home? Sometimes you don’t think about that stuff but it really says a lot about who you are every day and we can use that to design something just for you. Take into consideration the venue and your wedding dress too. The style of the venue and the shape of your dress can dictate the feeling and style of floral designs. You don’t just need to show us images of flowers either, perhaps there is some art you like? A photo you love? We can use all that too!

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