Photos by Emily Quinton
I love flowers. I don’t know many people that don’t, but I REALLY love them. As in, they make my insides turn to treacle, make my heart trill like a canary, kind of thing. Something about the colours and the shapes of cut flowers in whatever container just beams intrinsic pretty. And we love pretty!
Which is why this week, I am in the Best Mood Ever – not just because the sun is out, but because it’s the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the harbinger of Summer! Plenty of events and beautiful blooms everywhere. Tomorrow, West Elm London joins in the festivities by turning their store into a floral delight with help of The Cut Flower Project. What a great idea! We kick off the Flower Show feature with the lovely Saima Ishaq of The Cut Flower Project and her journey through floristry.
The Cut Flower Project is based in South London, and was founded by the energetic and creative Saima. After years of working in the media industry, Saima discovered that her passions lay with floral arrangements, and left to learn the art of floristry.
“I practised and practised,” Saima recalls, “I enrolled on a college course, attended many flower workshops, watched online tutorials.” She documented the hours of hard work and her progress on Instagram.
The effort clearly paid off, because The Cut Flower Project is growing (like a weed!). “Friends and family began asking me to do their wedding flowers, and the Southwark Arts Forum invited me to host a workshop at the Bermondsey Street Festival.” The Cut Flower Project also recently hosted workshops for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day at Boxpark, Shoreditch.
Top photo courtesy of Emily Quinton; bottom two images by Saima Ishaq (The Cut Flower Project)
The success is clearly spurring Saima on to greater things. “There’s so much I want to learn,” Saima enthuses. Besides being booked up for various weddings this summer, The Cut Flower Project is busy preparing for their first pop-up store at West Elm London. Inspired by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014, West Elm have asked Saima to take over their London store with her flowers, from 20th to 24th May – a challenge which she is grasping with both hands.
The Cut Flower Project will be at West Elm all day from 20th to 24th May, selling pre-arranged bouquets. There will be a focus area by the front of the store, with Saima’s beautiful creations dotted around the rest of the store
(sigh, sounds great already!).
What’s even better, on Saturday, 24th May, between 12pm and 5pm, The Cut Flower Project will be hosting a flower workshop. You can either buy a vase/pot/vessel from the store and create an arrangement or create an arrangement in a repurposed food tin. How fun does that sound? SO FUN. We can’t wait!
West Elm London is at 209 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7PN, UK
Details of workshop, 24th May
Tickets are £25 (covers flowers, tools, tins, etc.)
Ticket-holders can drop-in anytime between 12pm and 5pm
Purchase tickets from: https://thecutflowerproject-westelm-flowerworkshop-may2014.eventbrite.co.uk/
Visit the Facebook event page: bit.ly/cutflrprjct
Hashtags: #WEflowershop #westelmevents #TCFPflowershop
All photos by Emily Quinton, courtesy of West Elm London and The Cut Flower Project