The Interflora Florist of the Future competition is open to Interflora florists with less than 4 years of experience and is a fantastic way for them to showcase their talents at a professional level. Interflora introduced the competition in 2000 to nurture new talent within the industry and ensure a wealth of skilled, expert florists emerging for the future.
The seven competition finalists made it through tough regional heats last November to secure their places in the last stage of the competition. This year the grand finals will be held at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park in front of a live audience made up of members of the general public.
Working to the theme “To Celebrate Interflora’s 90 Years of Fabulous Floristry” they will be asked to create four different designs to showcase every element of their design skills from originality, technical ability and creativity. They will be asked to create a floral screen, a celebration floral cake design and a surprise item to be created under timed conditions in front of a live audience on the day. A floral handbag will be made in advance and brought to the competition.
Here’s your chance to meet the finalists…
Ireland – Adrienn Szentgali, Flowers by Linda, Greystones
Adrienn started her career in floristry five years ago in her native country of Hungary where she helped in her family’s own flower shop. Adrienn then made her way over to Ireland, in order to improve her English. She started working in a floristry shop where she learned a lot from the other girls working with her. She has a love of competitions, as she believes they are the best way to learn new skills, and so far she has done well; achieving 1st place in Interflora’s Florist of the Future Bridal Design regional heat in 2010, and 3rd place in the IFA’s Florist of the Year competition in 2012. Adrienn’s biggest ambition is to one day open her own floristry business and she believes that gaining recognition through events like the Florist of the Future is the best way for her to achieve this.
Wales – Ana Mitchell, Wine and Roses, Cardiff
Ana, originally from the Portuguese island of Madeira, actually started her working life in the UK in catering; even becoming an AA Rosette, award winning chef. However, Ana, who grew up surrounded by her mum’s passion for flowers, had her first real taste of floristry when she decided to make the floral decorations for her restaurant tables herself. That was when she realised her talent. Ana then sold her business, and she enrolled on a Level 1 floristry course, working part time in a few local florists to gain essential work experience. She has continued with her training, having just completed her Level 3 course. Ana opened her own floristry and wine boutique in Cardiff two years ago, combining her two passions, and the Interflora Florist of the Future competition is the first competition she has entered. Amazed but undaunted, Ana hopes that the final will challenge her skills, and her ability to be creative under pressure.
North – Rebecca Hough, A Secret Garden, Hartlepool
Rebecca discovered her love of floristry at the age of 14, when she completed a two-week work experience placement making Christmas wreaths, and loved every minute of it! Despite that Rebecca did not initially consider floristry as a career for herself, and went on to study glass and ceramic design at university. Upon graduating she got a job at a florist and completed her Level 2 qualification. She enjoyed it so much she completed her Level 3 last year, and is planning to start her Level 4 soon! Rebecca loves the job that she does now but in the future would like to look at becoming a teacher, so she can pass on her knowledge and passion for flowers. She has entered into several competitions in the last couple of years, and most recently her team won Best in Show at RHS Tatton Park last year.
Midlands – Amy Manley, Hubbard’s Florist, Coventry
Amy began her career in floristry less than two years ago when she secured a role at her local florist. She completed her Floristry Levels 1 and 2 alongside her A levels in 2011 and decided that floristry would definitely fulfil her creative skills. She has taken part in floristry competitions before, having competed at the NEC in the UK Floristry Skills Final. Amy enjoys competing as it gives her much needed experience, and allows her to push herself to the limit, to see what she can really achieve. She says that the Florist of the Future competition is a great opportunity for young florists like herself, and she hopes one day to represent the UK at the Europa Cup – the European Championship of Professional Florists.
Midlands – Isabel Garbett, Herbarium, Aldridge
Isabel started her floristry career three years ago when she first left school. What initially started as a Saturday job cleaning vases for pocket money, then became much more after Isabel discovered her natural talent for making bouquets. She suddenly had to make two for her employer, having never tried before, and her talent was discovered! During this time, she found a love of creating wedding and bridal pieces, and describes her personal style as unique and structured. Isabel has competed before, winning a highly commended in the intermediary category of the World Skills Floristry competition at RHS Tatton Park 2011, and a Silver medal in the 2012 Floristry World Skills final. Isabel hopes to enter more competitions in the future, and would love to study at the Covent Garden Flower School to help hone her skills further.
South West – Gemma Thresher, The Orange Pip, Wilton, Somerset
Gemma has been an Interflora florist for the past three years. She always had a great love of art and design at school and college, and after deciding not to go to university, she instead got a job in her local florist, as it still allowed her to carry on creatively designing in her home town. She particularly enjoys putting together bespoke wedding and funeral pieces, as the designs allow her to be more creative for her customers. Gemma’s hope for the future is to carry on with more competitions, and she has been preparing for the Florist of the Future final by looking at, and studying, other florists’ works. Gemma anticipates she will complete her Level 3 qualification soon, and move into teaching over the next few years.
London – Sandrie Pincon, Rushes, London
Sandrie, who is from southern France, originally wanted to be a doctor, but at 16, thanks to her Grandfather’s love of botany, she developed a passion for flowers, and decided floristry would be her future. After moving to Lorient to study, Sandrie won the title of Best Floristry Student in Brittany in 2010, and as the winner of the French skill show, was sponsored to continue her training in Britain. She moved to London in October 2011. Sandrie is a passionate florist, keen to improve her skills, and to see and learn about as many floristry styles as possible. She would like to travel the world with her training, and hopefully become a floristry teacher later in her career. Sandrie has previously competed back in France, and was also involved in the National Wedding Show, with Interflora’s Vera Wang Wedding Collection last year. She is very happy to be in the Florist of the Future final, and has been studying famous florists’ work for inspiration.
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