Studying the NCFE courses gave me the confidence I needed to set up my own floristry business.
NCFE 2 & 3 in Floristry, as well as various short part-time floristry courses
Rebecca Yussuf is the owner of Lilac & Lace Floral Design, a luxury bespoke wedding florist based in Orpington. Lilac & Lace specialises in all aspects of wedding floral design, supplying wedding flowers across Kent and South-east London, and is an official supplier for Rock My Wedding, the UK's most influential brand in the wedding industry. Rebecca established the business in 2017, having completely both NCFE 2 and 3 courses at Hadlow College.
She explains her business approach: “I take a couples hopes and dreams, whether small and intimate or grand and awe-inspiring, and turn them into a sensational reality, with the aim of surpassing all expectations. The business is growing organically and I am delighted with how it is going.”
“No one wedding is ever the same and I absolutely love how creative it is. I really can let my imagination run wild!”
Her role as a florist is hugely varied, encompassing consultations, proposals, mood boards, bucket cleaning, flower ordering, conditioning, planning and creating designs, heavy lifting, accounting and most importantly, flowering someone’s wedding day.
She explains how she came to study at Hadlow College: “My husband bought me a 10-week ‘Introduction to Floristry Course’ for my birthday. I loved it and wanted to continue my study. The part-time courses were great, as I was able to fit them around my young daughter.”
Her favourite aspect of the course was the immediate creative freedom it offered and the opportunity to create new and exciting floral designs each week. She says: “I loved watching the demonstrations by my tutor Lesley Young and then going away to decide how to make it my own. Seeing it all come to life in my hands was truly awesome. I fell in love with flowers and floristry whilst at Hadlow.”
She recalls an “incredible” study trip to Holland, visiting the auctions, the growers and receiving a masterclass from an outstanding florist. “It was great to have an understanding of where flowers come from and the path they follow to get to us florists.”
Rebecca forged some great friendships at Hadlow, which have also become important to her business network: “The florist friends I made at Hadlow are now friends for life. We even work together on large weddings, freelancing for each other.” Last October, she freelanced for Kate Collier of The Floral Magpie, who she met at Hadlow. “I have watched Kate grow as a florist, take the plunge with her beautiful hut on Herne Bay Pier and best of all, thrive.”
When asked about her career highlights to date, Rebecca replies: “The business is just under 2 years old, but it has surpassed all my expectations! Booking my first ever wedding was incredibly special – knowing that someone had that belief and trust in me to create something truly magical for their big day - it is not anything I will ever take for granted. I know how lucky I am to love my job. I have featured in a national magazine and in the incredible Rock My Wedding. I am now a recommended supplier for them and that is truly amazing!”
Does she have any advice to others seeking to get into the industry? “Believe in yourself and always keep learning. Floristry is always changing, with new products, new skills and styles, so it is important to keep up. Find your unique selling point and market yourself in that niche.”
She adds: “Studying the NCFE courses gave me the confidence I needed to set up my own floristry business. The encouragement I had from my tutors at Hadlow, along with the skills I had learnt and the confidence I had gained made me realise my dreams were possible."