In Conversation with Fiona Pickles, Firenza Floral Design

Good afternoon lovely people!

Can you tell that I'm very, very excited (and really incredibly daunted) to launch my very first podcast today? To celebrate a year since I launched Brand Brilliance I've recorded some conversations I've had with some truly exceptional and inspirational entrepreneurs who I feel really embody some of the philosophies within the book.

Throughout the week I'll be releasing several podcasts and who better to kick this whole thing off with than the wonderful Fiona Pickles of Firenza Floral Design. Fiona lives so many of the principles I feel strongly are at the heart of creating a successful, inspiring and sustainable business and in this episode we explore her journey from busy florist to celebrated floral designer.

The Brand Stylist in Conversation with Fiona Pickles

Fiona has built an incredible business over the past couple of years. Named as a Telegraph top 20 florist, featured in Vogue, Creative Director for the Castle Howard Flower Festival and with collaborations with And Other Stories and Sarah Winward under her belt, Fiona really is working to her creative edge, following her inspiration and running a sustainable business in the process.

She's had a really inspiring journey. Hop on over to her instagram account and you'll notice a beautifully curated feed, an engaged tribe and a wealth of confidence oozing from her work. It would be so tempting to assume things had always been that simple, but one of the reasons I wanted to kick this whole thing off with Fiona, was because, like me, she too has made that transition from the busy hustle to a business that very much puts her creative flair front and centre of what she does.

In this very first episode, Fiona talks about her journey from busy florist, chasing down every enquiry to empowered, inspired floral designer.

In danger of losing the love and challenged by a number of injuries, Fiona decided to make some changes. She says 'I didn't feel in control of it, it felt in control of me.' She talks about what drives her as an entrepreneur, how she stays on track and maintains her focus.

Fiona shares a lot of brilliant advice. Here are some of my favourite gems.

Words of wisdom from Fiona Pickles

  1. How to start filling your day with the work you love. Know what that is. Until you know you'll always be putting out a really confusing message.
  2. On social media. Don't be tempted to post for the sake of it. Don't feel you need to post every day. If you're not inspired, don't post because you feel you should.
  3. On your creative style. Don't try to imitate others. If its not genuine to you it won't come across
  4. Plough your own furrow. Ignore what's going on around you. Don't be trapped by comparison. Don't let others' successes or failures affect you.
  5. Only put out what you want to be doing. If you want to do beautiful installations, make a beautiful installation and put that up.

Enjoy!

You'll find the feed for my podcasts here on Soundcloud and hopefully, if it all works, if you search for The Brand Stylist on iTunes it will all show up.

Oh, one more thing. Embrace the dogs. Part of being an entrepreneur is making your business work for you and your life. In fact, you'll notice that life cropping-up is a recurring theme in these recordings: whether it's my five year old playing with lego or a dog barking, the people and pets we love are all part of what makes life worth living, aren't they?

The fact that the sound is not perfect in any of these recordings is probably what I'm most daunted by. I'm really, really new to this. I don't know what the tricks are yet and I don't know how to make things meet my extraordinarily high expectations. I guess what I'm saying here is, please go easy on me. I hope that what these incredible entrepreneurs share with us will be worth a little distracting background noise here and there. Over time, I hope to record more of these and I will learn as I go.

Images of Fiona Pickles, Belle and Beau photography