Wednesday, 11 February 2015

When 'The Fixer' (almost) Came to Town!

Hello all

It's been a little while since I've written a post without Amy's assistance and so today I thought I'd share with you our story of last night's edition of 'The Fixer' which saw Jo and her family working with Alex Polizzi to re-brand their wedding events business and tell you of our part in the programme.

Pretty much a year ago to the day, I was contacted by the production company as they were making an episode about a wedding and events company based in West Yorkshire who had fallen on hard times, mostly due to them not keeping up with current trends in a very competitive market.  They went on to say that Alex would like to send the business owner on a floristry course to learn some basic skills, gain a greater understanding of flowers in general and would like to film Jo at the start of her journey, leaving it to her to follow up with any additional training she felt she needed. They loved my website and would I be interested in being involved in the programme?

As you can imagine, I was pretty excited at the prospect, so had a chat with the researcher who said they'd get back to me and let me know if they wanted me to put on a workshop.  It all went quiet for a while, as these things often do, until I suddenly heard back that they wanted to film at least half a day  but weren't sure about what the format should be.  So I made a few suggestions.  A couple of which involved perhaps going to the market together to buy the flowers or maybe Jo coming to set up a wedding with me.  Eventually they settled on me teaching Jo as much of the basics of floristry as I could in an afternoon and could it be with other people in the workshop and oh, could it be all done three days later on the same day that I actually had a wedding to deliver?!

Never having been one to 'know my limits', we pressed ahead.  I initially thought that as the whole emphasis of the programme was meant to be about trends, then surely it would be a great thing to have people at the workshop who were movers and shakers in the industry?  So I set about getting in touch with some of the lovely bloggers I've had the pleasure to work with in the past and who are based here in the North, thinking that their contribution would be really invaluable (and it might even be a nice day off too, designing with flowers)!  Sadly, none of them were available at such short notice so I roped in some lovely industry friends who stepped up to the mark at really seriously short notice.

The day was amazing. We took over the upstairs function room of the very wonderful La Patisserie (as we needed quite a bit of room for the crew) and were treated to the most exquisite French pastries by Hoosh, the owner.  Jo was lovely and very willing to learn, the crew were fantastic, in fact a really wonderful day was had by all. One of my fab friends, and ace photographer, Sarah Ropke of Key Reflections Photography took some great shots in between also creating a design of her own too!

You'll see from the shots she took, we had a really wonderful time  ....

So, I guess the million dollar question is, what did I think of the show last night?

Well, I'm not sure really.  To tell the truth, the whole team were pretty sad to find all our hard work had only made it to the cutting room floor, and Jo was certainly devastated when we told her. She wrote a really lovely piece on her website which you can read here.

But we weren't the only ones by any stretch of the imagination who didn't make it to the final edit, lots and lots of flowery help was given by the resident florist at Castle Howard, Kymm Queen, along with the lovely Jane Nordli and her team too.

There are a few things I'd just throw out there, however, which might provide some food for thought...

* I think anyone, including experienced florists, would struggle to create 6 sources of inspiration for a shoot with an hour for each!

* It's taken me 14 years to know what I know and I'm still learning. There's a limit to what can be learnt during two workshops!

* Trends aren't only Londoncentric (as a Londoner who has made The North her home, I'm acutely aware of regional differences) and because of the lead time in airing the programme some of the references, such as Pantone colour of the year, have moved on.

* Florists in the North win awards too, just saying!

All in all, it was a great experience. I got to go to the swanky 'launch' event too where it was lovely to meet Jo's family, see the crew again and meet Alex too, although I have to say I'm not a natural schmoozer, but it was certainly fun to be part of it!


Photo credit and thanks to Key Reflections Photography

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