Meet Pip Holley, joint-owner of Willow Floristry with his partner Tony. Pip’s won a variety of awards for his floral arrangements, working from his brand new shop located on the Dorset/ Hampshire border.
Why did you decide to join the Good Florist Guide’s advisory panel?
I decided to join because I totally believe in having an online directory for florists and customers where they can be absolutely sure that they will get great quality floral designs, the best customer service and great value for money from the best florists around the country. It is my personal opinion that customers don’t get great value for money from order gatherers and I can give my customers the option of going directly to the best in the area they need to send flowers. I’m my opinion GFG is invaluable!
What do you think you bring to the panel?
I know great floristry, I’ve seen appalling floristry and I have no hesitation in weeding out the bad from the brilliant. I feel that I and all of the GFG panellists bring wisdom to the table in our decisions on who is selected to be in GFG.
Best business decision?
To start with a studio, building up my client base and embedding our brand before opening my own shop. This has proven beyond doubt to have worked for me.
Worst business decision?
To take on the “most difficult to please bride” this year thinking of it as a great challenge. A mistake I will never repeat, but hey, we’re well over that hurdle now.
If you weren’t a florist, what would you like to do?
I would probably have gone into professional photography.
Your perfect day?
My perfect day is a Sunday, nothing to do with flowers and floristry. Just staying at home with Tony and the dogs. Everyone needs a day off even if you totally love your work right?
The simple things in life, fresh flowers at home and a bottle of good white wine. At the shop I indulge my customers with lots of different flowers they don’t usually see elsewhere.
What’s your biggest pet hate?
Sparse sympathy tributes that have cost the customer a fortune with all old flower used. Fair enough a couple of days so they’re beginning to open and look lovely, but five to six day old flower, this needs to change. I’ve seen some shockers. Also order gatherers, I won’t go on about it though!
What do you find most difficult?
I find floral crowns the most difficult, I dislike making them immensely.
Is the customer always right?
Absolutely not. However, sometimes as a professional it’s far better to keep quiet than let the customer know just how wrong they are.
Best piece of advice to someone starting out in the industry?
I’d say learn professionally every technique you can, do as much work experience as you can, GO TO COLLEGE and keep up with trends by enrolling on workshops and classes.
What are you most excited about in the next year?
The peak periods in the next 12 months as they will be my first in a retail premises, I can’t wait for the madness to begin.
You’re stranded on a desert island, only one flower grows there, which would you choose?
To be stranded on a desert island with only orchids wouldn’t be so bad, another of my greatest indulgences.
And finally, the plug…
Willow Floristry (aka Pip & Tony) is based in Verwood, a small town located on the Dorset/Hampshire border and is ideally situated to support customers from the New Forest to the Jurassic Coast.
We create beautiful arrangements for all occasions whether it’s a birthday gift, an anniversary remembered, a wedding celebration or a sympathy tribute for the loss of a loved one.
You won’t find us on the High Street and we are not tied to a retail chain or internet florist! Instead we have a wonderful workshop and the freedom to create unique and stunning floral designs to truly meet our customer’s requirements. We offer a local delivery service or alternatively you can collect your order from us; the choice is entirely yours!
Fully trained and qualified to ‘ City and Guilds’ Floristry Diploma Level 3 standard, you can be confident the level of service you receive and the quality of our work is second to none.
Not one to blow our own trumpet but you really should know that Pip has won awards for his floral designs! Need we say more?
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