The florist and illustrator behind The Good Natured talks plants, flowers and career changest.
We spoke to Suzie Winsor, a designer and illustrator turned florist, who showcases her work at The Good Natured. Suzie recently made the move from London to the North East of the UK. We asked her about starting a business and making a lifestyle change.
I’ve always liked to be outside and amongst nature. I grew up spending a lot of time in the garden or at the allotment, so the interest was always there through my family life. I’ve been working at a computer for years and I really wanted to get out of my seat and create something physically with my hands.
Picking a favourite flower or plant is so tough! A friend asked that yesterday and saw how hard I found it to answer so said ‘how about this season?’ Which helped a little bit. I love hellebores and anemones at this time of year. I like to work with flowers and plants in seasonal and locally sourced when I come to making my arrangements.
Foliage plays a really big part in my work. I think it’s almost more important to get the foliage right when you’re designing a bouquet for example. I’m passionate about explaining this to new clients in wedding consultations. I don’t believe it should be an afterthought – there is just as much beauty in the intricate lines, textures and form of a leaf as the flowers. A good choice of foliage can really make an arrangement sing.
Leaving London has was something I decided to do quite slowly. I’d been building up to it having lived there nearly 10 years. I have mixed feelings about the city. It’s so vibrant, bursting with culture and opportunity in many ways but it’s also quite financially difficult these days to make a go of a new business if you’re starting from scratch. The North East is where most of my family and a lot of friends are for me and it’s an absolutely beautiful place to live. Living here allows me to put all my time and energy into exploring this new venture fully and to give it a proper go.
I try to use locally sourced flowers and foliage from the garden or from local growers whenever possible. I started to read a lot online about British flower farms and looked for people who grew in the areas where I was working on events throughout the year. Flowers from the Farm was an amazing resource for this as you are able to search by location. I’ve met some brilliant people that way and it feels like a really supportive network of passionate, like minded people.
I love being outside and looking out for patterns, unusual shadows, reflections and beautiful colours in nature, visiting a new city, looking out the window , going to a gallery, people watching, learning a new skill, spending an hour on the phone to my best mate – you can find inspiration everywhere.
Working with plants has emphasised my appreciation of nature and science. It has taught me to be a little bit more patient too… just a little bit!
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