Why did you set up your business?

I’m originally from Connecticut. However, I had a career in fashion in the UK before I moved to Ireland. When I moved to Ireland, I decided that I wanted to work for myself. I remember reading an article that said if you are going to change your career, make sure you are doing something you really love. This really stood out to me because when I thought of what I loved, all I could see was flowers. I just thought if I could spend all my days creating flower bouquets, I would be really happy. My mother and grandmother were florists too, making myself a third-generation florist. I had an idea in my head of the work I wanted to create and most of the things I was inspired by were not seen in shops. All I wanted to do was make really beautiful arrangements that were creative and were a lot more design-led.

Can you chat to me about your creative process?

For me, inspiration comes from a lot of different places such as the natural world, seasonality and colour palettes. I try to replicate what I see around me by looking at the most beautiful flowers I can find. Sometimes my bouquets and wreaths are inspired by a particular flower I came across and then I build a bouquet that would complement that flower. I love to work with different tonal palettes and arrange flowers together that are harmonious from a colour point of view. I also enjoy experimenting with shapes and form to get a natural aesthetic.

Kelly enjoys experimenting with shapes and form to get a natural aesthetic.

Can you talk to me about your micro-flower farm?

Our micro-flower farm is something which is relatively new to us. It was always part of my bigger plan because of the desire to be able to pick my own flowers from my studio. Last year, we converted every bit of remaining space we had into growing space with raised beds. This year, we are expanding into the field adjacent to our courtyard which is something I’m really excited about. We also have a no dig philosophy and are very focused on soil health and not using any pesticides. Being able to grow our own speciality cut flowers and using eco friendly farming methods is really enjoyable for us and is essential to our holistic approach and unique designs.

An arrangement by the Flowersmith Studio & Micro Flower Farm.

Another element of our work is using dried flowers... people can keep their bouquets forever. We are also really passionate about our flower workshops. I do a lot of workshops for hobby florists and then ones for more serious designers who may want to learn more sustainable methods. The workshops are also for people who just want to incorporate a natural design-led aesthetic to their work. All of the workshops are an opportunity to explore the artistic principles and elements that underpin good design, arming out students with the foundations to further develop their own style.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing an artistic career?

I would definitely say when choosing an artistic career, it's important that it makes you feel excited, warm and energised, especially if you would like to go start your own business. Often, there are many moments that are initially not profitable. However, just keep having faith and continue to go for it. It goes back to the article I read saying choose something you really love and that will help sustain you in difficult times. You also have to really believe in what you do, after all you choose it for a reason.

The Flower Smith Studio can be found in Glanmire, County Cork.

For more information see: theflowersmithstudio.ie

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