Day Two | Jennifer Pinder

Jennifer Pinder has made the transition from working as a lawyer in London to becoming a full-time florist in Kent. Championing British flowers, her business has bloomed with the help of her meticulous focus on posting beautiful images on Instagram. She’s wowing brides-to-be and florists alike with her stunning natural floristry style.

Jenn says: “I’ve always really liked gardening. But it was only when friends were getting married and my own wedding that I encountered floristry for the first time.”

“I then decided that flowers would become a hobby and I started doing floristry courses for fun. I learnt a lot and they were especially good for grasping the basics. I helped at friends’ weddings and actually did my own wedding flowers, gradually I started to think about whether I could make a business out of this new passion.” 

“The real trigger for me changing my career all comes down to Instagram. I’d started an account, which was flower based, when I was a lawyer. It didn’t build up a huge following, but it built up enough of a following that I was getting floristry enquiries. So that gave me the confidence that if I did leave my job, I would have some work coming in.”

“Like lots of people, I discovered that an office job wasn’t for me. I was desperate to leave but didn’t know what I could even do. So it was a very lucky coincidence that I found something that I really, really loved.”

At the end of 2014, Jennifer left her job as a lawyer, set up her business The Brixton Flower Club, went full-time as a florist and started taking on small weddings.

“I was living in Brixton at the time and was working in my kitchen. Then, in January 2016, my husband and I moved to Kent. I wanted to have a studio and a big garden to be able to grow flowers. In my garden, there are now masses of roses, gorgeous foliage and shrubs and I have a separate plot where I grow annuals. At the moment I also use imported flowers but I’m aiming to use just British flowers within the next two years.”

Jennifer Pinder for British Flowers Week 2017 by New Covent Garden Flower Market
 

Moving to Kent, The Garden of England

“When we moved to Kent, I changed the business name to Jennifer Pinder Floral Styling. The original name, The Brixton Flower Club, wasn’t going to work. I also was finding that the Brixton name cornered me into a more edgy London feel. I actually wanted to use countryside flowers and have a more romantic and wild look.”

“So even before the move, I was a bit unsure about the name. Although having said that, it meant that lots of people in Brixton followed me on Instagram and that’s how I got my following!”

“As well as changing name, the business has altered as well. I’ve got more space and more access to local British flower growers. And last year, I was joined by my mum, Jane, when she retired. She’s now become integral to the business and helps out at most weddings.”

“As well as weddings, workshops are also a huge part of what we do now. They’re virtually half of the business. And during the growing season, I try to use 100% British. We find that most of our attendees are mainly florists but also hobbyists who want to learn a more natural style.”

Jennifer Pinder for British Flowers Week 2017 by New Covent Garden Flower Market
 

Social Media

“I find that so much of my wedding work comes from Instagram, which means travelling throughout the country. Recently, we went to the Isle of Wight and I’ll soon be off to Wales.” 

“I spend a lot of time and care taking the photos, which I post on Instagram. A while back, when I had about 2,500 followers, I found I wasn’t able to break that barrier. So, I took a step back and looked at other people’s feeds and saw how they took real care over their Instagram gallery. It was then that I started to make sure that my images were just about flowers. I realise that it’s the only window into my business for most people. I want it to look professional and only the best pictures go on it.” 

“When I do a wedding, I don’t just take a quick snap of the bouquet before I leave. I use my digital SLR camera, have a table set up or might ask my mum to hold the bouquet. Occasionally, I’ve been known to put on a wedding dress and take a photo in the mirror! These photos help me obtain more business and so are worth the extra effort even if I’m exhausted after a long day.”

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Jennifer Pinder & the Flower Market

“I remember the first time I came to the Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market. I was completely overwhelmed by how much there was on offer to buy. I was absolutely clueless and really apprehensive! But, the guys at Bloomfield could see I didn’t know what I was doing. They held my hand and explained how things went.” 

“As soon as you learn more about flowers, you become more comfortable going to the market. You start to know roughly what things are going to cost, where everything is, which traders are best for what. Now I love going to the Flower Market. And the new market is so easy for a novice to find their way around.”

“There’s a good sociable side to the market. From running workshops, I’ve got a big network of florists I know now. So I regularly run into people when I’m buying flowers. There’s always someone I can have a chat with and working on my own most of the time, that’s important.” 

“For my wedding work, I source from my garden, local growers and the Flower Market. And I try to use as many British flowers as possible, but would say there’s a pretty even mix between homegrown and Dutch blooms. Although, I’m moving towards using more British as time goes on.” 

“I come to the Flower Market two to three times a month. And I buy British flowers from Pratley and Zest Flowers, Dutch flowers from Bloomfield and foliage from GB Foliage.”

Jennifer Pinder for British Flowers Week 2017 by New Covent Garden Flower Market
 

British Flowers

“I offer 100% British wedding packages and for my other weddings, I use as many British flowers as I possibly can. I feel it’s worth going the extra mile to get them when you can.”

“For wedding consultations, the couple are able to choose a very loose colour palette, either pale colours or dark and vibrant. That’s how tight I allow their brief to be because I like the flexibility to choose the flowers. And that means that I can use British flowers, because I’m not tied to a certain type, like peonies. So, if they’ve finished early, I can use something else instead. I’m really obsessed with colour. I like to check the flowers and make sure that everything sings together on the day.”

“If florists are interested in using more British flowers, my top tip is to get your couples to trust you to choose varieties without their involvement and then you’ll find sourcing flowers a lot less stressful. You’ll go to your flower market or grower, look at what’s best and that’s what you’ll take home with you.”

“You just can’t beat the truly natural shapes, colours and scents of the flowers that aren’t mass-produced. For me, nothing compares to using homegrown flowers to create something beautiful. That’s why I’m a florist and why I plan to be a florist for the rest of my life. When I leave a wedding and I know I’ve done a great job, that I’ve nailed it. Well, nothing beats that for me.”

 

Jennifer Pinder | www.jenniferpinder.com

Instagram: @jenn_pinder_flowers