It's "Meet the Designer" series at the cafe today and I'm doing my "happy dance" today...stopping by the cafe to share a little of her world with us and lots of GORGEOUS florals, the oh-so-fabulous and talented, Joanna Rodwell ofJo Flowers! I love Jo's floral designs...she has such an AMAZING style and I so enjoy following her on social media to see all the pretty blooms she shares with us!! Jo works mostly in Norfolk and Suffolk on weddings.....lucky brides!!!......Without further ado....here's Jo!!
From Jo....."I'm a Floral Designer from Norfolk ~since my childhood I've had a passion for flowers & gardening. I spent long summers in my grandparents beautiful English cottage gardens in Suffolk amongst the flowers & vegetables.
I started selling bunches of my homegrown flowers at the Antique Fairs I used to do.....selling mostly garden wares. The feedback from people was lovely. I did my first wedding and I soon after started Jo Flowers."
TBC: What’s a typical day like for you?
JR: I don't really have a 'typical day'. Everyday is different~ whereever I am it is started with a cup of Earl Grey!
Whether I'm in my workroom designing or at antique fairs sourcing wares or in my gardens where there is always something that needs doing. I try to have Sunday's for country walks.
TBC: Describe your client?
JR: I like to think my clients have the same outlook on floral design as I do. That's why they come to me. It's lovely to have clients who totally trust your ideas and let you 'do your thing'!
TBC: Where do you find inspiration?
JR: Everywhere ~ Nature.. Art .. Fashion ...Books.. Interiors.
TBC: Name one of your favorite “vendor” sources that you just can’t do without.
JR: One? Oh.. I can't do without any of them.. Everyone/thing I use is essential.
My garden & local country side. I couldn't do without these. They provide those 'extra little bits' to help make a design. Car Boot Sales...I couldn't do without these either....whether it's for buying vessels, plants, or even flowers......AND my flowers suppliers also. But that's not one is it.
TBC: Describe your design style.
JR: I guess my style is kinda English wild romance! ~ I love the use of pretty colour combinations and interesting textural ingredients to give a visually pleasing design.
TBC: To date, what has been the highlight of your career?
JR: I don't really have a highlight. Every wedding I do is a highlight. When I deliver the brides bouquet to her....that is always a highlight for me!
TBC: What was your “big break”?
JR: I'm not sure I've had it! Saying that having Harper's Bizzare include me in their list of the 'Top 10 British Florists' last year was an honour....to say the least.
TBC: What advice would you give to upcoming floral designers?
JR: Practice lots and take inspiration from others...but stick to your own style. Have confidence in what you are doing and be prepared to not actually sleep that much!
TBC: When I’m designing, I love to light my candles and play “old school” music. Do you have a ritual that you like to do when designing?
JR: Music plays an important part in my everyday life. So it is most definitely played whilst I'm designing. 6music is on the radio most of the time OR I put on some Dylan .. Nick Cave.. Richard Hawley or something more upbeat ..a bit of Northern soul always gets me dancing around the workroom.
TBC: What’s your favorite part about weddings when it comes to the florals?
JR: Oh definitely the brides bouquet. This is always the first thing I make. I love gathering all the ingredients for this and getting started.
TBC: Describe a “wedding weekend and how many additional staff do you hire?
JR: Hmm! Additional staff! A wedding weekend consists of very little sleep..lots of hardwork and most definitely a cold beer at the end!
I'm far too fussy to have help with the florals....but an extra pair of like minded hands sounds wonderful and I'm possibly going to hook up with another florist this summer on some of my weddings. I just think it's really important to keep my business small enough so that I actually can make the most of the designs instead of having staff doing all the work. It kinda takes the personal touch out of it.
TBC: If you had to make a career change, what would you do?
JR: Oh definitely a Camp Site ! My other loves are camping and old motors. So there would be a few beautifully decked out old buses to stay in for a bit of luxury camping.
TBC: Finish this statement: A bride’s bouquet should reflect……
JR: Her style!
TBC: Describe your personal style…what are your favorite stores to shop at? Personal as in your fashion style or your home.
JR: My style in my home is pretty much my overall style. There is not a lot of colour in my home or wardrobe. Preferring calming pale tones throughout. I have a love of old objects. In my home these can be a rusty piece of metal work to a small animal skull. Or simply a piece of furniture that has been rescued and given a new lease of life, along side modern items.
I wear a mixture of old and new clothes. Mixing old French / Victorian nighties with a pair of AllSaints jeans. A little cardi and my Victorian style boots.I shop mostly at antique shops / vintage clothing stores / antique fairs / auctions /……And online retail outlets such as Toast / AllSaints / Anthropolgy / or when I visit other towns and cities, I have some favourites…..Soendergaard in Suffolk (for some beautiful cups). * vintage emporium off Brick lane in London (for a collection of Victorian dresses to die for).
TBC: Just for fun:
Do you prefer tea or coffee?
JR: Tea.. All the way!
TBC: Do you prefer blogs or magazines?
TBC: Chocolate or Vanilla?
JR: Chocolate~ why wouldn't you?
TBC: And, I have to ask…what’s your favorite flower?
JR: This week Hellebore is my favourite ~ as they're little faces have appeared in my garden.
I guess another favourite in the garden and in vase is the Foxglove....I grow a lot of them in my Norfolk garden....and look forward to their arrival more than any other flower.
Jo, thanks SO for stopping by the cafe today and sharing your beautiful floral designs with us and sharing a little bit of your "world" with us..it's been a pleasure and I look forward to your next visit to the cafe and thanks for all of the lovely inspiration....xoxoxo