60 seconds with John Davidson, Tom Brown Wholesale Flowers

Meet financial director of family business Tom Brown Wholesale Florist, John Davidson. John’s also on the board of  Trustees for Floral Angels, a charity which recycles donated flowers and delivers them to those in need in local communities. He’s recently become a founder supporter of Good Florist Guide, to support, spread the word and encourage his customers to be a part of the GFG.

What three words would best describe you? 

Hardworking, passionate, honest and rebel

Best business decision?

Changing career after 18 years in investment banking – combining my love of numbers and flowers means work no longer feels like work.

Worst business decision?

Having my work emails added to my mobile telephone and setting myself up to work from home – my time is no longer my own but I love what I do so it is not all bad.

What turns your stomach and why?

The waste of flowers after a large corporate event – I am lucky to be involved with the Floral Angels charity and these unwanted flowers can be upcycled to make someone’s day brighter.

How do you relax?

I enjoy running, cycling and rugby as well as spending time with my two young children 

Greatest indulgence?

Coffee – I am not sure if it is an indulgence or a necessity in our industry but I am a coffee snob. 

What’s your biggest pet hate?

People who feel there is nothing to learn from criticism – we learn more from a single piece criticism than we do from being told how great we are.

What’s something you dream of doing?

This year I turn 40 and I am running my 3rd London Marathon on behalf of Floral Angels. I have a dream time to finish in but for now I am keeping it to myself!

What do you find most difficult?

Managing my time, balancing work life, home life and studying for my ACCA (chartered accounting) qualification means sometimes I neglect those closest to me.

Is the customer always right?

The customer does not have to be right always, but our customer service does. This means going the extra mile for our customers regardless of the situation we find ourselves in.

Most cringe-making moment of your career?

When I started work at 17 my boss insisted I would need a letter from my mum if I wanted to have a beer after work. My mum wrote me the letter which was promptly photocopied and distributed around the whole company.

Best piece of advice to someone starting out in the industry?

Loving flowers is not enough, to be successful you have to love the product, understand the financial aspects of business and most importantly be prepared to work tirelessly.

You’re stranded on a desert island, only one flower grows there, which would you choose?

Tulips – I love their unruly behaviour overnight!

And finally, the plug…

John Davidson is the Financial Director at Tom Brown Wholesale Florist Ltd in South East London and on the board trustees for Floral Angels.

He is running the 2017 marathon on behalf of Floral Angels. Donate to