International Women's Day - An Interview With Rosebie Morton
Wednesday 8th March 2017 is International Women's Day. A day to celebrate women's achievements, challenge bias and inequality, campaign against violence & champion women's education. This year's theme is #BeBoldForChange, encouraging everyone to help drive better outcomes for women around the world.
Today, we have chosen to celebrate women's achievements, in particular, our founder Rosebie Morton's. A successful, passionate woman who is determined to bring fragrance back to the flower industry.
1. Where did your love of scented garden roses originate from and why did you decide to start growing them?
My childhood was spent running through my grandmother’s rose gardens and the scent of those roses has inspired me ever since. I started growing scented roses due to the frustration that the roses available in flower shops had no scent and this was wrong!
2. Tell us about your current companies.
There's Rosebie Morton flowers which is where all our English roses, herbs and foliages are grown to supply The Real Flower Company (TRFC) and from where I run the TRFC workshops and then there is Greenlines Nursery which is at Chichester and which is where we grow about a million Sweet peas per year.
3. What advice do you have for women looking to start their own business?
Do your research, make sure you have the right motives for starting i.e. just because you like cooking doesn’t mean that a business making cakes is going to be what you want it to be. Speaking from experience, if your business succeeds you will have had to change from the role which was the reason you started the business ( ie the cake making ) to doing a multitude of different roles ( the logistics person, customer services, accountant etc!) leaving no time to make the cakes which is what you enjoyed in the first place!
4. Were there any points in your career that made you question what you were doing? If so, how did you overcome them?
I cannot tell you how many times I nearly gave up the business, especially when my children were very small and the nanny was getting to know them better than I was. I moved my office back to the house from Durleigh Marsh which meant I was more on hand for the children which made a big difference.
On several occasions when the finances were looking dire, something in me kept saying, we will give it just one more year! Dogged determination!
5. What would you say have been your biggest achievements with your companies?
The fact that when I started the TRFC, everybody told me that it would only last a year and we are still here 20 years later.
Winning the Walpole award for Brands of Tomorrow and Grower of the year award.
6. How about personally?
Balancing Business and family life and still loving what I do.
7. What are your plans for the future?
To continue to curate original and scented flowers for the TRFC and to be growing the first collection of seriously beautiful Japanese garden roses for both cutting and garden flowers.
8. What has been the boldest thing you have ever done?
Giving a flower presentation in front of a large crowd of people having had no time to prepare and find that I had to talk for not just 5 minutes but half an hour! I thought I was going to be sick! On a personal side – going paraponting in the highest place in the alps with a fear of heights!
9. How are you going to #BeBoldForChange this year?
I am going to try and put my idea into action which is to involve more young people and people with stress and anxieties into horticulture and to open our business up to more apprentices. I feel horticulture has huge benefits to empower people and to make a difference to people's lives.
If you would like to be part of the #BeBoldForChange campaign, visit www.internationalwomensday.com to find out how.