Known for the simplicity and understated elegance of her designs, Mary Jane Vaughan has gone from running a shop in Fulham, London to becoming an award-winning luxury weddings, events and contracts florist some thirty years later.
In 2008, she and the MJV Team of currently fifteen people moved to a spacious studio in Battersea, just a stone’s throw from the Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market.
“I love it there. We’re close to the Flower Market, close to the West End. And being in a bigger space allows you to create bigger things not just physically, but also mentally!” says Mary Jane.
Contracts wise, her clients include The Sky Garden on Fenchurch Street, banks, restaurants and offices. “I’ve found that I love, love, love contracts! Because in a way, I now understand that contracts are one of the most creative things in the whole of my business. You come to the Flower Market with a budget for a particular client and you’re thinking, what’s good value, cool and different? You’re very much making a decision on the spot.”
“We recently created a special installation for Coutts to coincide with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It was an all-British design in celebration of a British grower who they support. Around the outside of the ‘Garden Court’ pond at The Strand office, we made a ‘growing fence’ with hostas, agapanthus, bamboo and fern plants. Vases of cut alliums gave colour and height. And we created a living wall of ferns alongside the escalator.”
“I also really love weddings and events, where the process is completely different. For example, for a wedding we might have fifteen tables with a chosen colour scheme. We’ll then create a sample, which we replicate. It’s fun but it’s all set-out.”
“Event-wise, earlier this year, we designed and created the backdrop for the film premiere of ‘Beauty & The Beast’ at Spencer House in London using purely British box. We were very proud of the design. And it’s the kind of thing that we love doing.”
“I just couldn’t be happier doing what I do! And everything is all about teamwork.”
Mary Jane & the Flower Market
“We’re so lucky to be so close to the Flower Market. We have two passes, which are always being used. I visit about three times a week. And every day at least one or two of my team are there. We buy virtually all our product from the traders.”
“Most of our flowers we buy from Pratley, Zest Flowers and Dennis Edwards Flowers. Plus foliage from Porters Foliage and GB Foliage. In our contract work, we use lots of plants, especially ferns and herbs, which we buy from Pratley, A Goodchild, Quality Plants and Evergreen. And sundries-wise, we buy from C Best and Whittingtons.”
“We use British flowers whenever we can. For example, in the summer, we’ll use sweet peas and peonies when they’re at their best. Foliage is also an important part of our work and it really shows the season.“
“I’m Colombian so I come from a place where there are no seasons. So, my love of flowers and foliage is about seasonality. For example, spring is such a wonderful time. I feel so excited when the first spring flowers appear. And autumn is such a beautiful season with all the berries. I didn’t grow up with berries and those colours at autumn are amazing!”
“For British Flowers Week, we’re planning on using lots of British cut flowers, foliage and plants in our contract designs. For example, designs using allium and lupin plants beautifully arranged in clear glass vases.”