From London to Beaminster: why the desire for sustainable florals was the change Kate was looking for.
It’s hard to miss this rambling beauty when you’re strolling through the shops in the town centre – not only because of the exquisite seasonal blooms that appear in the window, but the floral scents that graciously encircle you as you pass by, and invite you in. Rambling Rose has been in Beaminster for around a year now, and as Kate’s beautiful business continues to grow, so too does her desire to serve and collaborate.
We spoke to Kate recently about her business journey so far and the moment she realised that she was destined to become a florist.
A serendipitous window meeting
“I fell into floristry, quite literally. I’d finished university and was going to go into the restaurant business, but decided to go travelling first and decided that the hospitality industry felt like way too much hard work,” she laughs. Kate tells me that it was when she was walking past the most beautiful flower shop in London that she realised her true calling and asked for a job there and then, and within a week she was working there doing anything and everything from making the tea to sweeping the floors.
She tells me that she decided to work hard, and work her way up in order to learn the trade. And she did just that, and eventually found herself as the PA to the boss, organising all the critical events for the business – which included events that took place all over the world.
“That was it. And I realised that’s what I wanted to do! I worked in that job for about 10 years, which included the early morning flower markets every day. I then decided to support my best friend with her business who, at the time, owned the most amazing flower shop, and I worked with her for another 10 years before, learning more of the trade as I went along.”
The desire to follow her heart
It was at this point that Kate realised she was ready for a change, and she decided to move to the beautiful Dorset countryside. “I was always going to carry on with flowers, but look to do it in a much more locally-grown, sustainable way rather than fly in flowers from around the world with a ‘moneys no object’ approach.
She shares tales of florists shipping flowers from Holland to the Hamptons, and table cloths from South London to St Tropez, simply because they can. The “money’s no object unethical attitude bothered her, and so it was then that she decided that she wanted to make a change.
“I still love doing weddings – and I love the splendour of it all. But being able to do it more conscientiously and sustainably now, is what drives me,” she tells me. Being in Dorset lends itself much more to Kate’s personal ethos. “Your wedding is the one day of your year that you want to make truly spectacular, and Dorset lends itself beautifully to being able to do that sustainably. The flowers I buy, I try to buy locally as much as possible throughout the year. I have a great friend who owns a flower field and grows loads of incredible foliage and amazing flowers, and other local contacts that grow the most beautiful seasonal cut flowers. Everything is seasonal for me, and when it’s absolutely necessary, I do order in specific things in specific colours. I have just become conscious of what I order. I take note of the carbon footprint of something that’s being flown in, and I try to play to the strengths of local supply during the seasons. I try to avoid having ‘anything, all the time’, which means I won’t have peonies in December or sweet-peas in Winter – so even if they’re imported, they still need to work with the seasons,” she adds.
Although Kate will aim to serve client requirements as far as possible, her true drive to keep her business sustainable means that she hopes people choose her because her flowers look natural. She chooses not to use oasis in her arrangements. “It’s not bio-degradable, so really harmful to the environment. In its place, she gets creative, and talks to me about the pre-floral foam days when florists used moss and chicken wire to hold and nourish arrangements in situ.
Kate says that her favourite flower to work with and have in her home are, as one would suspect, anything seasonal. “I particularly love dahlias at this time of year, because they are bonkers with amazing shapes and textures. I tend to gravitate towards bright craziness than soft romantic hues. But saying that, there’s nothing more beautiful than a gorgeous scented garden rose in a blush pink!”
Kate’s roots to Beaminster were laid long before she decided to make the move. “My mum lives in Bridport, and I started to work for my friends Cass and Louise at Brassica and was helping them in their restaurant. It was a natural fit with my background in hospitality, and the fact that I absolutely love what they do! Really luckily for me, if anyone approached me to do flowers for their party or wedding, Cass and Louise gave me the time off that I needed to keep doing my flowers. And then the shop came up for rent, the shop was sitting here empty, and I couldn’t bare the thought of someone coming in and doing anything other than a beautiful flowers shop. And that’s when I decided to give it a go!”.
Kate’s amazing Rambling Rose florist does day to day beautiful hand tied bunches for local delivery but is also geared towards events; from weddings to dinner parties, life celebrations and more – if you’re looking for someone who has a true heart for sustainable living and a rare passion for beautiful florals and foliages that will brighten up even the dullest table setting, you need to pop in and pay her a visit. For more information, visit https://www.ramblingroseflowers.co.uk/