Tell us about your company...
Ecoblooms is a small business crafting flowers from plastic bottles that would otherwise become rubbish in landfills or pollution in the oceans. The plastic is donated from neighbours and small businesses who would like to be part of the solution to the pollution situation the world is facing right now. Each flower is handmade and therefore a totally unique, eco-friendly and everlasting alternative to stem blooms or whole bouquets.
What's your background and why did you launch your business?
I'm not your obvious artist but I've always been crafty with a make do and mend attitude and love up-cycling. I've been very lucky to be at home while my boys grow up but always wanted something more; a job that still had the flexibility to allow me to be at home with the boys as my husband still works away a lot. I was walking the dog back in February 2018, thinking about the David Attenborough's Blue Planet series and wondered what could be made with plastic bottles. When I got home, I drank the rest of the lemonade and made a rose from the bottle. I put a picture of it on Facebook and the response was overwhelming. I spent another week working on how to colour the plastic and get a steady supply of plastic and haven't looked back.
Why is being eco-friendly important to you?
My Mum spent her young adult life in Germany, which has had an ethos of recycling in it's society for a long time, and brought me up to recycle. Whenever I complained about washing out the tin cans and peeling off the labels she would reply, "It's not for me, it's for you and your planet in the future." Now I have children, I completely understand this! I don't want to preach, I'm far from perfect. Small changes are the way forward. I go to schools and empower children to make ecofriendly shopping choices and help them to believe they can think creatively for reusing/upcycleing.
I believe the wedding industry is a leading force in living more eco-friendly. From DIY couples who save glass jars and make their own lighting decorations, to florists who were already seasonal and are sourcing more locally, to buying beautiful second-hand gowns from places such as Bridal Reloved. It's become second nature to us all to live more economically and the knock-on effect has been to become more eco-concious.
What's your top tip for couples planning a wedding?
My top tip is based on my experience as a wedding supplier; never be afraid to ask. This day is all about you, your style, loves, personality and budget. A couple will often send me a picture of a bouquet and ask me to quote based on the image. I will quote based on what I see and offer at least two cheaper alternatives and always ask the couples to let me know if there's anything else I can tweak; size of flower, ratio of flowers. I am always happiest when a couple comes back and says, "What if we have...instead?", "Can you make the roses smaller?"
They've got in touch with me because there's something about me or my flowers that speaks to them. It's the least I can do to try my hardest to give them their dream. As a bespoke handmade business, I pride myself in being able to do that. I think that applies to most aspects of the wedding industry. So if you have your eye on a supplier because you love their style, ask for a quote and if it's not quite what you had in mind, don't be afraid to go back as ask, "What if we have.....instead?"
What's the most common question couples ask you?
I often get asked, "Have you ever made........before?" There is always a new flower for me to try and make, and new type of foliage to try and recreate. It is my customers that keep me going, keep me fresh, keep my business blooming.
How have you helped your customers during the coronavirus crisis?
I have always offered my couples payment plans to help spread the cost and that's even more important right now. We're living in uncertain times and incomes have been hit hard. This is why I'm happy to quote, tweak and quote as often as is needed to make sure those couples have the feel, style, colour and beauty they deserve, no matter what.
I have a Bride whose April wedding was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis and I got in touch to make sure she was okay. She was looking on the bright side, had already rearranged for November and was relieved her flowers were my everlasting ones as it was one less thing to worry about.
Check out www.ecolooms.net
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