- Written by Katie Adams
- July 28, 2016
Cheekily named Prick is a stark contrast to traditional florist or garden shops, based in east London, it offers unusual and exotic plants sourced from across the UK and Europe. It’s the brainchild of Gynelle Leon, an award winning photographer turned florist.
“Both of my grandmothers bought me up with a love of flowers, they had amazing gardens in St Lucia. I started painting flowers as a teenager then moved onto specialising in floral photography, winning RHS Photographer of the Year 2014 in the abstracts category,” said Gynelle.
Gynelle’s passion for plants began to take over after visiting Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in 2011, she completed a City and Guilds Contemporary Flower Design award and worked part-time in Flowerescent, a florist which specialises in Indian weddings, to learn the trade. She started collecting unusual cacti and succulents, but it was hard to find shops where she could buy the rare plants she wanted so she opened Prick to be the kind of shop she was missing.
“I always expected to open a florist when I was about 40, after a breakup I thought ‘f-it I’m going to do it.’ But after working in a florist I realised how much I loved indoor plants.”
But why Cacti? Gynelle says that it’s their loyalty that makes them special. “They have outlived many relationships and just keep going. When I go away on a long holiday they’re still there at home looking just as good as when I left them.
“Art and design is a strong focus of mine, their graphic nature and geometric design is also a big attraction.”
Gynelle is a member of the British Cactus and Succulent Society, and has visited nurseries and experts across the UK and the world to observe plants in their natural habitats. Prick markets their cacti and succulents as living sculptures that take years to fully develop, the shop designed its own small contemporary terracotta pots, dubbed ‘Prick Pots’, created to perfectly present their plants.
The shop hopes to make shopping for plants as enjoyable as shopping for clothes, hosting a place to hang out, with drinks and accessories whilst admiring rare and mature cacti and succulents. Gynelle said: “We’re selling plants as living art and have created accessories and a shop that highlights their beauty and showcases them that way.”
Photo credits: Cactus & Sandbox