Today, we’re speaking with Catherine Foxwell of Floral Evolution, a London-based floristry that has decked out beautiful weddings throughout the country for the past eight years. The florist, mentor, and now author, has brought her expertise to a book that focuses on the fundamentals of floristry. Balancing many hats, we sat down with Catherine to discuss how to create the perfect bouquet, her favourite-ever jewellery gems and exciting plans for the flower-powered future.
Tell us about your journey to becoming Floral Evolution
I have always liked to try different things and love flowers, so after trying lots of different courses I enrolled myself on a few short floristry courses and found I really enjoyed it and was quite good at it. I decided to take things further and completed a part time City and Guilds diploma in floristry which changed everything. I now knew this was something I wanted to do as a career. Once I finished my course, I decided to freelance in the industry and I was lucky enough to work with some of the best florists in London and worldwide. This work experience was invaluable and in 2015, I set up my business Floral Evolution. Since then I have flowered many weddings and events and have even got to travel abroad to work with one of the best florists in the world. I am so lucky to be able to spread the joy of flowers, as they really do make everything better in life.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I normally get up around 6am and either go to the flower market, or unpack my delivery which I sometimes get directly from Holland and condition all my flowers. If I have a wedding I will make the bridal flowers first and spend a lot of time making sure they are perfect. I then make the ceremony flowers and double check that everything is as expected. Items are then packed ready for delivery the next day. If I have the energy I will sweep and tidy my studio and wash all the buckets ready for the next delivery.
You’ve got five minutes to get ready, what are you wearing?
Sweatshirt, jeans, necklace and hoop earrings always.
Three starting steps for creating the perfect bouquet?
Think about the colours and style you wish to achieve. Select a good range of flowers, including focal, secondary and filler flowers in your chosen colour scheme. Choose a few stems of foliage for texture and interest.
Can you tell us the most unusual place you’ve found inspiration for an arrangement?
I love athletics and I found inspiration from an athletics competition I was recently at. The colourful kits with clashing colours and vibrancy, inspired me to explore more colour and texture in my work.
Wedding season must be crazy for you, do you have any funny or memorable stories to share from a wedding event?
I was invited to stay at the ceremony of one of my lovely couples as I was moving the wedding flowers to their reception. All of a sudden a flash choir started singing, it was an extraordinary thing to witness and was a wonderful memorable surprise for both me and their guests.
What goes into styling flowers for a wedding?
A lot goes into styling a wedding. Most of the work is done before you actually get your hands on the flowers as I need to make sure that I hit the clients brief. This includes collecting as much information as possible: details of the dress if it's a wedding, what the bridesmaids are wearing, table settings and the overall mood they wish you to create amongst other things. Once I have gathered the information it is just a matter of working to a carefully planned list and creating magic.
"I am so lucky to be able to spread the joy of flowers, as they really do make everything better in life."
We talk about jewellery being our everyday armour, how does jewellery make you feel?
Jewellery makes me feel complete. I always feel that by putting my earrings and chains on I am fully dressed.
What are your favourite pieces in your jewellery box at the moment?
It has to be my engagement ring that my now husband bought for me. He chose this all by himself which makes it such a special piece of jewellery for me.
What inspired you to create your amazing book?
When I was training to be a florist I didn't want to spend too much money on flowers so I repurposed them to make different things. I also didn't have huge budgets so chose to use accessible flowers and elevated them through design. This was the inspiration for my book. I wanted to show people how to design and make beautiful arrangements using flowers they can actually recognise and access. My book shows how to make something different out of the same bunch when flowers fade, ensuring that you make the most out of every stem.
What's next for Floral Evolution?
I have some wonderful unique weddings coming up and some special celebratory events. I am also exploring the possibility of a collaborative exhibition in the near future so watch this space.