Why did you set up The Flower Press Company?

All my happy childhood memories are somehow entwined with nature. Whether I was serving up a daisy salad on dock leaf plates to my teddy bears or picking bunches of fragrant sweet peas with my mother, being outside among nature was my happy place and still is to this day.

It was this absolute love of nature and my desire to bring families together making beautiful memories that inspired me to create The Flower Press Company.

I see the whole process from foraging for flowers and foliage to a whole family gathered around their kitchen table with their flower press, busy preserving their day’s natural bounty. Once pressed, they can also create beautiful framed pressings to decorate their homes or greeting cards for friends and family.

Put simply, I just want both children and parents to set aside their screens for a little while and spend time together outside enjoying our beautiful Irish hedgerows and woodlands. I see a flower pressing as a way to encourage people to reconnect with nature.

What process do you use to create your products?

I wanted to create a beautiful object that will last for many years and even become more beautiful with age.

With this foremost in my mind, I am blessed to work with a very skilled Kerry-based carpenter who cuts, veneers, engraves and oils my Flower Press boards.

Flower presses are available in a choice of chestnut or sycamore veneer. I then assemble and package them in my Blennerville studio with all solid brass hardware. I chose solid brass as it will age with a beautiful patina. Each large press has 30 pieces of brass.

What is your best-selling piece?

Definitely my best seller is the large A4 classic chestnut flower press. However, when I do release a limited collection of seasonally engraved presses, they fly out the door also.

What is it about your business that brings you joy?

I honestly can’t pick one thing... it all brings me joy!

I really enjoyed the whole process of creating my brand and the presses. So many demos were made and rejected!

Ann Marie O'Leary's love of nature inspired her to set up The Flower Press Company.

Seeing my wild hare logo appear on my packaging and presses definitely fills me with joy. To me, he is Hazel from my very favourite book, Watership Down.

Also, the wonderful feedback I receive from customers is beautiful and fills me with pride and joy. Mostly, I’m so proud of myself for believing in myself.

What are your hopes for your business for 2022?

To create another limited collection of engraved flower presses. I’m currently looking for an artist to create beautiful botanical drawings for me that I can engrave on to my presses.

Customers who purchase Ann Marie's handcrafted flower presses can use them to create beautiful framed pressings to decorate their homes or greeting cards for friends and family.

I would also like to start selling to the US. While looking over last year’s website analytics, I noticed that 18% of website views are from the US.

What is the best piece of advice you would give a start-up business?

Just go for it. Dream big and practise visualisation of seeing your final product perfectly created and selling well. Be very detailed in your visualisation.

Try your hand at designing your own website and social media platforms. This will save you lots of hard-earned money and also offers you total control over your business.

Be confident in your business idea, however 'out there' it may be.

Once you have started the process, record everything with both pictures and images. All of this will be vital to your social media. People love to see your process.

Most importantly, be real and true to yourself or else you will grow very tired and stressed of trying to be something you are not. Authenticity sells.

Also, have a really good accountant who understands and encourages crafters and small businesses.

For further information, visit www.theflowerpresscompany.ie or follow on Instagram @the_flowerpresscompany