Rebecca faced tough opposition from six other florists, regional winners from across the UK and Ireland, but consistently impressed the judges with her originality and innovation. She came first in two of the four competition pieces and claimed joint second place for a third item.
The competitors’ first piece, a Floral Handbag, was pre-made and brought to the show – the ultimate designer accessory for the Interflora 90th Anniversary Gala Ball. A free standing Floral Screen to express floristry from the past 90 years, a deliciously designed Floral Cake, and then a surprise item, revealed only on the day, a hand-tied, were all created on the day under timed conditions and in front of a live audience.
Commenting on her win Rebecca said: “After winning a silver at Chelsea Flower Show, I really began to believe more in myself – it was a massive boost to my confidence – so really thrilled to win today – they will be over the moon back home!”
“The Handbag is my favourite item, it turned out just as I imagined it, just as I had planned, even though the frame alone took fifteen hours to put together. The Floral Screen is more vibrant than I had thought – using black and gold of the Interflora logo mixed with yellows and purples which are party colours to me – all to celebrate our 90th anniversary.”
Rebecca was also quick to thank one of her greatest influences, her college tutor, Lucy Hatton Smith of Askham Bryan College in York: “She pushed me to look at things a little differently and inspired me to be more creative – a real inspiration to me.”
Now in its 13th year, the Florist of the Future competition continues to nurture exciting new talent, offering up-and-coming florists the chance to learn different skills and gain competitive experience.
Year on year, these amazing finalists (all have to have less than 4 years’ experience in the trade) have shown real flair, creativity and innovation, putting their mark on the industry before going on to achieve great things in their careers.
Rhys Hughes, President of Interflora UK, was at the show to present the prizes to the winners: “Florist of the Future has only been running since 2000 but it is hugely important to the organisation. We have to invest in new talent to ensure that the standard of floristry on the high street remains high and today has demonstrated that creativity and passion is still at the heart of what we do. I’m immensely proud of all the finalists.”
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