Thursday, 31 January 2013

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday! - Campbell's Flowers is One!

Hello lovely readers, I'm brimming over with excitement today as Campbell's Flowers has reached their first anniversary and boy, so much has happened in a year I'm not sure where to start!

In the early days I found that I really needed to focus, I had gozillions of ideas but just had to start somewhere.  So I chose weddings, events and workshops, concentrating initially on weddings. Working in a shop, you'll find that some florists prefer the larger scale funeral work and others the smaller, more intricate, fiddly wedding work.  I've always fallen into the latter group. I love wiring and taping tiny flowery bits and bobs quietly in a corner somewhere!


I find making tiny buttonholes and all the really complicated small stuff strangely therapeutic!


So the next question was how were people going to find me? I knew that starting a business in the present climate was risky enough, so didn't want the added burden of the cost of retail premises and commercial rates.  Besides, I had a purpose-built workroom, crammed full of floristry sundries, in my basement - just waiting to be used to its full potential!  Without a 'shop window' I decided on using social media to build up a 'presence'.  Great idea, Tracey, I hear you say! Absolutely. However, I had no knowledge whatsoever of how to use any form of social media.
Nada.
None!
I had a personal facebook profile which I never ever used. That was it!


The workroom



So, I jumped on the steepest learning curve I've ever been on and signed up to a couple of workshops/training courses. And learnt lots. Very fast!

I started a blog which I used in lieu of a website, opened a facebook page and twitter account and entered a totally new world.  I then made all the mistakes that I'm pretty sure anyone new to social media has made.  I searched out blogs, facebook pages and twitter peeps I thought I'd like to work with and said Hi.

Cue tumble weed!

In my naivety I thought if I was nice to people, they'd be nice back.  What I didn't understand is that there's (a bit like any community) quite an established hierarchy in our Wedding world and newbies aren't always terribly welcome!  But, I'm a quick learner and since those early days have forged some really fantastic links with some truly amazingly creative people - all through social media -  many of whom I've met up with and now count as true friends.

Just over a year ago, I wrote a kind of wish list cum marketing plan and set myself some goals.  I'd hate anyone to think me smug, but I can tell you things have happened to me and the business, the jobs I've worked on, and, more importantly the people I've worked with, have far, far, far exceeded any expectations I could ever, ever, ever have had, even in my wildest dreams!

Here are just a few highlights of our year ...


             British grown flowers from farm via the workroom to Bride on our first shoot 'Best of British'




We showcased vintage cutlery made in Sheffield, along with local jewellery artists in our Women of Steel shoot 


Still our proudest moment, a golden bouquet for our golden girl, Jessica Ennis as Olympic fever swept over us here at Campbell's HQ


While I was in the VIP area, the family were in the crowd of over 10,000!


Team GB Buttonholes for all the civic dignitaries


Our first really big events job - the prestigious Graduation Dinner for The University of Sheffield


Followed by the MADE Festival





And flowers for Princess Anne & Sir Norman Adsetts

But I'm saving all the gorgeous Brides I worked with 'til last. The Brides I've worked with have been such a pleasure and a huge focus of what we do, so here are just some of our weddings from 2012:


Alice's bouquet


Hannah's bridesmaids ...


...and her bouquet


Shani and her bridesmaids


Rachel's bridesmaids


Clare's bouquet and bridesmaids


Emma's bouquet


Katherine's and her bridesmaids


Cath's bouquet


Sophie's bouquet


Apologies to my lovely brides if I didn't feature your bouquet, it was no reflection on the design, or working with you - one of the jobs I (or maybe a.n. other?!) needs to do urgently is sort out all my photos and put all my work into one safe, easily accessible place.

Well that's about it for this post - suffice to say, if you're thinking of taking the leap and starting your own business, all I can say is I've never been happier in my working life!  The Brides I meet, the corporate clients I work with and the people I teach on my workshops - coupled with the wedding professionals I know and love, make my job quite simply; a joy.  Oh, and just so you know, the social media gets easier.  It must do as we've featured on some really fabulous blogs, found ourselves in national wedding magazines, been in the local press, had interviews on local radio and even done a piece for the telly - an awful lot of these connections have come through social media.

So, as this is Oscar season ... I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me this year, it's been just fantastic!!  All I can say is, if you think this year one was good - watch out for year two and new additions to team Campbell's zooming around in our little darling, Dory ...



Much love and thanks for being especially kind, particularly at the beginning to:

Amy Freann-Worthington
Lottie Clark
Anne-Marie Smith
Sophie Colgate
Sara Doron
Alison Tinlin
Kelly Hood
Niel Stewart
Victoria Farr
Clare Luke
Lynn Tune & Jim Lawson

and to new friends
Jess Petrie and Jenn Edwards

Lastly big love to my fabulous hubby for all his support and graphic design expertise and to my two gorgeous girls - I know I'm biased but seriously, why wouldn't you get them to model for you?!




Tx

Photocredits 



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