“Inspiring, engaging and very helpful” Notes from the Flowerona Social for Florists workshop

Last week was incredible. 29 talented and inspiring florists gathered at Brixton East for the Flowerona Social Media for Florists workshop. The fifth workshop that we’ve run since we launched the venture back in July 2014, we had an absolute ball, and so did our students!

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Rona and I had worked so hard throughout September and October: reworking the content, introducing new group exercises and refining the day and I’m so pleased that we did. The feedback was overwhelming, with 90% of the delegates rating the overall experience as excellent.

Shall we dive in with some photos and then I can tell you more about the day?

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I always kick off the workshop by getting our students focused on their brand. For me, the key to success in creative business and in social media is to understand, define and celebrate your unique creative style and communicate that consistently and cohesively.

In the past, we’ve asked students to describe their creative style, but some have found that hard. So instead, we decided to take a more hands on apprach. The lovely Graeme of Zest Flowers at New Covent Garden Flower Market very generously sponsored the flowers and gave us enough for the students to play with as well.

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Invited to create a small posy or arrangement that reflected their signature style, it was fascinating to see the diversity in the room. And this just reinforced the message of how important it is to have a strong style to cut through the noise. Despite having access to the same flowers, everyone came up with something totally different.

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In groups the students described what they could see, and over the course of the morning everyone had a collection of words that described their signature style. Essential for everything else that followed.

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Of course, after all that hard work it was time for elevenses.  Quite possibly some of Maddie’s best yet. How delicious does that Blackberry and Rose Geranium cake look?

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We were channelling and autumnal look (in a summery Flowerona style!). Think blackberries, cafe au lait dahlias and armfuls of hydrangea picked from my garden. You can see more about my creative process behind styling the workshops here.

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After elevenses it was time for Facebook and Twitter.

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More delicious food (not that it’s a big thing at our workshops or anything, but you can see the care and attention lavished by Maddie, our chef).

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After lunch, a quick foray into Pinterest before a very practical Instagram session. We covered the absolute essentials of photography: light, composition, the rule of thirds, as well as leading them through a styling journey. It was so good to see how everyone’s photos improved in such a short space of time.

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On to blogging, a subject close to mine and Rona’s hearts, before setting objectives and goals for the day. We work so hard to create a special and memorable day out, but ultimately this is about learning. At the heart of every workshop I run is a focus on how we can help people move their businesses forward- and that means accountable actions!

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Thank-you so much to all of you for such an inspiring day on Tuesday. I fully appreciate all of the work that you all put into it. I thought the balance of the day was perfect and how wonderful to have both yours and Fiona’s knowledge and experience which has enabled me to recognise that I have so much to put into action to enable my business to move forward.
Shirley Dee

The serious bit over, it was time to head downstairs for cocktails. We had a ‘Plain Jane Prosecco’ as requested by Rona and a Blackberry Gin Fizz. Delicious!

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‘Inspiring, informative, the focus and kickstart I needed. The confidence to (find) and stick to my true style.’
Claire Warren-Munro, Bembridge Flower Shop

‘Wonderful. Awesome venue and food and hospitality. So much valuable information packed into one day. – Justine Speller, Atlas Flowers

Rona is now working to make her dreams of becoming a tv presenter a reality so we’ve decided not to hold any more Flowerona workshops until at least next autumn but I’ll still be running my Brand Stylist workshops in the meantime. I have a Colour for Creatives workshop coming up on 12 November which promises to be super inspiring and packed with gorgeous food, lovely students and game-changing content. There are a couple of slots left if you’d like to join us. You can see Rona’s post on the day here…

Images by the incredible Floral Alchemist.

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