Meet the Florist: Kirstie from Ruby & The Wolf
We caught up with florist and The Real Flower Company trade customer Kirstie Deane from Ruby & The Wolf to discover more about her style and inspiration and why choosing sustainable, seasonal British flowers is important to her.
What inspired you to get into floristry?
I used to work for Aardman (the animation company that makes the Wallace and Gromit films). It was a really amazing place and I had a great career, but I’d always wanted my own creative business though I was never sure what that might be.
To be honest, I wasn’t really interested in flowers when I was younger – I didn’t even have flowers at my wedding as I equated wedding flowers with tight balls of roses which is not my taste at all! Eventually, several things inspired me to take the leap...
It started with Pinterest (where else!) where I’d been trawling for inspiration for a party and had seen some of the gorgeous loose floral designs by Amy Osaba in the US, which I really loved. Then I went into a local flower shop to buy flowers for a friend who’d just had a baby and I loved that too – I felt so inspired to be standing in a room full of flowers. Then I saw a magazine feature about the lovely Claire Ryan from The Informal Florist in Dublin while I was on holiday in Ireland and the seed was well and truly sown that I wanted my own floristry business. After that, I started to look at the gorgeous, loose and wild work of Ariella Chezar, Saipua and Nicolette Camille and I knew that was the type of work I wanted to do. I found the Tallulah Rose Flower School in Bath, where I did the career course. Rachel, who owns the school, gave me the confidence to set up Ruby & The Wolf in 2013.
How would you describe your style of floristry?
My style is loose, natural and organic. We are all inspired by trends, of course, but I try to keep my work timeless and artful.
I love parties and gatherings. Sitting around a table with friends, chatting and eating is one of my greatest joys and I keep this in mind when designing for a wedding. Even my larger weddings still have an intimate feel to them – no big balls of flowers in front of the guests’ faces so they can’t talk to each other but rather beautiful, spilling, low tablecentres with surprising details so the guests can either talk over them or, better still, talk about them, picking out varieties of flowers they recognise or asking about ones they don’t. I also really love big show-stopper installations or massive urn arrangements to wow the guests and draw their attention to the flowers and the thought the couple have put into the wedding.
What are your favourite roses from The Real Flower Company?
That’s so tricky – I love all of them! But probably my absolute favourite rose is Margaret Merril – it is just exquisite. I also really love Cafe Latte roses for their colour. David Austin’s Purity is a huge favourite – I adore the shape and the colour is wonderful – and David Austin’s Kiera is a beauty too. Other favourites are Golden Mustard and Cream Piaget.
Why is buying local and sustainable flowers important to you?
I think we are all trying to live more sustainably, so why wouldn’t we apply that to our businesses too? I don’t grow my own flowers, just some foliage and a few vines, so I’m very reliant on my suppliers. I adore The Real Flower Company and also have great relationships with a couple of other local flower farmers.
In terms of design, the really wonderful thing about British-grown flowers is that they haven't been bred to be ‘perfect’. They all look slightly different and always seem softer and more natural. They don’t have poker-straight stems designed with efficiency rather than beauty in mind, and it’s those animated, twisting stems that really bring an arrangement to life.
What are you looking forward to coming into bloom?
Snakeshead Fritillaria are just perfect and I feel as if I’m waiting for them for most of the year! I love the way their necks curve and their heads dance and nod. It’s also wonderful when the first flush of Margaret Merril arrives.
What is your favourite season?
It has to be spring. Seeing blossom on the trees is always exciting – a sense of renewal just as the wedding season is starting. In terms of design, I love the twisting shapes and rebellious nature of the softer-stemmed spring varieties – fritillaria, spirea and beautiful hellebores, which are one of the few things I grow in my own garden. I also love ranunculus – I’m always bereft when they are over!
If you are a florist and are interested in finding out more about having our sustainable and seasonal roses and flowers delivered, then please visit our trade site here.