Meeting UK florists
At BFA’s FleurEx
How it all started
Going back a few months in time. It’s May and we have an appointment with Nikki Meader, Vice-Chair/Retail Director of the British Florist Association (BFA). We have been working with the BFA for a couple of months now, but we had never met in person. Nikki tells us about the event they organise every year: FleurEx! A weekend where hundreds of commercial florists, floristry students and suppliers come together and get to connect.
Whether we would like to join this year? She asked. You bet! We love showing our flowers and sharing our story. We are just starting to get to know the UK market and now it’s time they get to know us too!
Let's do it!
And so it began… We started planning. We had the flowers, the information and the inspiration. The only thing missing was the actual talent for floral design. Of course we couldn’t show up to a bunch of florists with a simple display of our flowers. Enter Mark Entwistle. Also known as @thefloralenthusiast. He offered to help, we spoke on the phone and so that was settled.
Fast forward to last week. We collected all the flowers we wanted to bring: a few of everything for our booth, a lot of Craspedia, Gloriosa, and Clematis for Mark’s design, and a whole bunch of extra flowers for all the designers that were coming in to decorate the venue and give live demonstrations.
Flowering Direct took care of the transport for us. And when we got to Birmingham last Friday, everything was set out, ready for us to start building our booth. Mark had gotten a head start and was already finishing up his mesmerizing design. A true eyecatcher hanging over the railing of the very impressive hotel hall. We got to work as well, and a couple of hours later, we were all ready and prepped for the florists to come!
And then it was on
The next morning it was finally time… Time to meet the florists! They soon started trickling in and knew where to find our stand (thanks Mark!). It was great talking to so many interested people! To hear about their previous experiences with - and thoughts on - our flowers, but also to see their faces light up when we showed them one of our newest introductions. Clematis Amazing® Sevilla for example. Almost all of the florists were familiar with the Clematis Amazing® series and had used it before, but they didn’t realise that we have 14 varieties. Our new Scutellaria ‘Tinkerbell’ also stood out, and ‘Glass Tulip Award’-winner Talinum ‘Long John’ attracted a lot of attention as well.
It was so nice to see the enthusiasm about products that florists just saw in the live demonstrations, when they found out that they were part of our portfolio. You could almost see those creative wheels turning in their heads. Designers like Ahti Lyra, Carles Fontanillas, and Sabine Darrall (under the guidance of Flower Circus’ John) inspired the florists to explore new practices, whether it be with shape, colour or trying new uncommon combinations. A true creativity boost for all who came.
On Sunday, we held a drop-in session for those who wanted to look more deeply into our company and the Marginpar Concept. A chance to dive into our way of working. Our focus on our people. Our care for the environment. Why we do what we do. That led to a great conversation, leaving everyone with food for thought.
In sum, it was a very valuable weekend for both the visitors and us! We feel like we’ve really gotten to know so much about the UK market and are looking forward to connecting more in the future!