20 Questions with Floral Designer Sophie Powell
1. Where can people find you on social media?
SP: Instagram @u.fl.o.sophie
2. Where are you located?
SP: London, U.K.
3. What is your business name:
SP: U.FL.O.—Unidentified Floral Object
4. Who is your favorite floral social media creator?
SP: Sue McLeary @passionflowersue
5. How many times a day do you check your social media?
SP: I don’t like to admit to it, but a lot.
6. Did you go to flower school or complete and apprenticeship? If so where and with whom?
SP: I didn’t go to school or complete an apprenticeship. I managed to get work experience in a very small London shop after asking almost every shop in the city if they would have me. I worked whenever I could and then, one day, a guy got fired, and I took his job. The rest in history.
7. Who is your dream celebrity-floral client?
SP: Ooh, that’s a great question. I would love to be Kat Von D’s in-house florist. Her aesthetic is so beautiful.
8. Which chore do you dread most?
SP: Breaking down installations. Untangling chicken wire is probably the worst!
9. Which chore do you find strangely satisfying?
SP: Conditioning. I love the quiet time I have with the flowers, preparing them for use and giving them a moment of calm in water before their performance.
10. Which three tools can you not live without?
SP: Scissors. I am useless with a knife, so without scissors I’d be doomed. I am also an avid note writer, so my notebook is a must. It’s where I scribble and draw really bad drawings that make sense only to me.
11. What current floral trend excites or inspires you?
SP: Sustainability is a subject that I have been pushing for the past few years within the school [McQueens International Flower School–London], and every day we explore, invest and practice more sustainable methods, which is super exciting.
12. Tell us about your proudest moment as a florist.
SP: I am super proud when students go onto to have flowers in their everyday lives. The fact that I may have had an input in their floral careers is massive for me.
13. Share two lines of advice you wish you were told when you became a florist.
SP: “Enjoy the ride, time takes time” and “Even when you make something you don’t like, don’t give up.”
14. What is your favorite rose variety?
SP: ‘White Majolica’ spray roses. I love their pretty little centers.
15. What is your favorite flower?
SP: Tulips are most definitely my favorite. I love how rebellious they are.
16. What is your favorite foliage/greenery?
SP: Geranium—the scent is insane!
17. Which flower do you wish more customers would request?
SP: ‘Secret Garden’ roses. They are not only a beautiful soft pink but they also open to be big and blousy, and, for your money, you get a lot of drama.
18. Is there flower you dread designing with, and why?
SP: Hyacinths. The smell just kills me. Also, their fat stems make designing with them difficult.
19. Where do you go flower shopping?
SP: New Covent Garden Flower Market, in London.
20. What is your No. 1 most surprising nonfloral super power?
SP: Dog whisperer. I adore dogs and want to spend every spare moment I have with them.