Whilst the rest of the world tucks into pancakes, we're tucking into some well earned cake! Well earned I say, as today we are celebrating the 5th Birthday of Frances and Rose! I can't believe how far we've come since that first day of floral faffing, I didn't have any clue that I'd be here today, running my full time dream, working with the best clients and suppliers and using the most pretty seasonal blooms in my designs.
Our lovely friend Hannah Clugston interviewed me to celebrate how far we've come...
Marianne Slater is being modest when she refers to the birth of her floristry business Frances & Rose as a “happy accident”. It was really the culmination of years studying gardening, art and design, but it only came about because – post degree – Marianne needed something to do. “My mum suggested we do an adult education course to get me out the house!” Marianne laughs. “We picked flower arranging, and as soon as I picked up the first stem and started working, I felt like I should have been doing this all along! I went home and I posted a photo on Instagram that said ‘I found my calling in life..’ and it went from there.”
Following that ‘accidental’ six-week course, Marianne founded Frances & Rose with her mum, Alison Slater, starting small with a friend-of-a-friend’s wedding. The business felt like a natural step for the pair because Alison had spent years growing flowers in her Derbyshire garden. “We sow the seeds, tend the plants and cut the flowers all by ourselves before we even start arranging anything,” explains Marianne. “The flowers have come on the full journey with us.” Their seasonal, hand cut creations were a hit, and 2018 marks the duo’s five-year anniversary adorning weddings, brides and venues with carefully curated floral arrangements.
The five years is to be marked by Marianne taking the plunge and going full-time with the business. “The most difficult part of quitting my job in interior design was making the decision. People say, ‘it’s a leap of faith’, but it honestly felt like I was jumping off a building into the unknown! Even once I’d decided, actually handing in my notice was nearly impossible. But once it was done, the metaphor ‘a weight off your shoulders’ took on a whole new meaning!”
Marianne hopes this “leap of faith” will open up the way for specialised commissions, new design ideas, workshops, larger projects and generally the growth of Frances & Rose. Although, even within the first five years, Marianne has already seen one of her dreams fulfilled: “A photoshoot I did the flowers for was featured in a national wedding flowers magazine. The shoot was originally featured on the fabulous Rock My Wedding blog. Afterwards, Wedding Flowers & Accessories magazine got in touch and asked to use it for a double-page spread. It was one of the first magazines I ever bought when I was starting the business and getting inspiration, so it feels pretty amazing to be able to say my work has graced those pages!”
When it comes down to it though, Marianne has to admit: “my favourite thing about being a florist is flowers!” She adds, “I love the way the flowers mark out the seasons. I look forward to seeing every flower throughout the year. I’m craving seeing tulips and blossoms at the moment, and what I might be able to do with them when I get my hands on them.”