Words by Jodie Kharas
In the first of our ‘meet the team’ interviews, we introduce Jack, our awesome Creative & Events Florist. After grafting for six months as an intern last year, Jack was hired as a Retail Florist, off the back of his rock-solid work ethic and natural talent for floristry. He swiftly moved into the events team, to help them make their floral designs a reality. He’s been blossoming there ever since.
What’s your career background?
Everything! I'm literally a Jack of all trades; hair dresser, wig maker, Bar tender, pencil pusher, PA. The lot.
How did you get into floristry?
I came back from a long trip to India and needed a Job. A friend of a friend ran a flower stall in St James and got me a job on a Monday morning stripping flowers and helping with contracts. I then did a course to gain some much needed extra knowledge. Once the course was done I happened to see that Nik was advertising for an intern on the Grace & Thorn Instagram account (I stalked the Instagram account everyday). I couldn't write the email quick enough. I think I literally wrote ‘I'd love to work for you, can I have the job?’ and the rest is history.
What made you want to be a florist?
I wanted to be challenged and for work not to be monotonous. I have a huge love of colour and texture too. Having the chance to create beautiful things with no negative connotations is a dream.
What’s your official title and what exactly does your position entail?
Creative/Events Florist. I work with Nik, coming up with ideas and proposals for event briefs that come in. I also work with the team creating the flowers / plants / installations for events and weddings.
What does an average day for you look like?
Its so varied, that’s why I love it. I could be in one of the shops, at the studio, on a site visit, trying to master using a Mac or creating beautiful designs. Day to day, my main responsibilities include meeting clients, coming up with briefs and ideas, doing site visits, curating looks and installations, working out budgets, and creating mood boards and presentations. I’ll also physically put together what has been planned, on site installs and green ups. I work in the shop on a Saturday which involves making sure orders are fulfilled and keeping the shop looking its best. Every day is different.
What’s on the agenda today?
Today was a morning wedding install - lots of foliage in a beautiful location - dream. Then back to Soho to help out the shop and work on future events/installs.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Without sounding like I’m sucking up, I love it all. But if I had to choose, I’d say working on a really creative brief or a large event.
What’s you least favourite part of the job?
Having to ask for IT support.
What were your first impressions of the team?
Dream. It was smaller when I started, I was in awe of the talent and aesthetic of Grace & Thorn, how it was growing and what was being created (I liked it so much I interned for 6 months - basically until Nik would give me a job!) That hasn't changed and the team continues to get stronger.
What’s it like being the only guy in the team?
Both our drivers and Tom in head office are also around so it’s not a exclusive as it seems. Plus we’re all equal. Although most of the girls are more ballsy than the guys.
How do you like to spend your days off?
Somewhere Hot! Or in bed after the night before. If I’ve been sensible then with friends of course, eating/drinking/exhibitions/hanging out - the usual.
Autumn’s officially here. Which flowers are we likely to see more of?
Ranunculus will be back, which I love along with anemones. The foliage at this time of the year is pretty good too. The autumnal colour palette is one of my favourites.
According to Nik, when you applied to work at G&T, you stood out because you were the least fluffy in your application. What advice would you give to aspiring florists looking to get hired?
Get as much experience as you can, whether it be work experience or a course you can never know enough. Oh and don't mince your words, get straight to the point with gumption and conviction.
You interned for 6 months before you got hired. How was that?
I loved it! My bank account didn’t but I did! Standing back and watching how a successful florist ran and how people who's talent I admired create designs was priceless. Everyone was so inclusive so as well as stripping and washing vases I also got involved with events and got one on one training with Nik. Again, PRICELESS.
The flagship store is based right in the heart of Hackney. What are your favourite hotspots in the area?
Clutch for fried chicken, cocktails and tunes. The Boundary rooftop for views and cocktails, Ace Hotel for late night drinks, The Marksman after work on a Friday.. there seems to be a theme here…
Which plants are on your radar right now?
Kentea Palms. I love the 1920s regency vibe that they lend to any location.
What are your tonight plans?
Drinks with the guys from Soho then an early night (I promise Nik)..I’m working tomorrow.
Finish the sentence: Flowers are… old mother nature at her best.