Today let’s talk to…
Founder: Rowan Lewis
Location: London, United Kingdom
Rowan Blossom is a florist based in Notting Hill, created by Rowan Lewis. Working from her shop/studio, Rowan specialises in wild and natural creations using seasonal blossoms, blooms and foliage.
How did you come to set up Rowan Blossom? What inspired you to create your brand?
Walking into a local flower shop as a child is one of my earliest memories; the overwhelming aroma and spectrum of colour was a delicious and intoxicating sensation, combined with the cool darkness I remember it feeling almost ecclesiastical. Ever since I always said how much I would love to work with flowers “when I’m older”… After working for British designer Matthew Williamson for many years, I decided in 2014 that the time was right (and I was finally “old enough”) to take the leap from fashion to flowers.
I grew up in the Cotswolds surrounded by beautiful countryside which stimulated an intrigue in the majesty of the natural world. I was named after the Rowan Tree which symbolises the hidden mysteries in nature, and felt that this was a perfect starting point for my business, and thus Rowan Blossom bloomed.
My degree in History of Art, attained at the Courtauld Insitute of Art, followed by my time working for Matthew Williamson, refined my eye and appreciation for colour, texture, line and form; these are such important things to consider when working with flowers to ensure there is innovation, interest and depth in my work.
I love my work being wild and natural, using the best seasonal blossoms, blooms and foliage, sourcing from British suppliers wherever possible. My aesthetic is very much rooted in my rural upbringing and is typified by a romantic wildflower feel.
What is a day in the life of your job at Rowan Blossom like?
Being a small start up means I’m currently a one-woman flower-powered machine, so the days can be very long! On market days I will be on the road heading to New Covent Garden Market in Vauxhall by 4:00am. Being greeted by a rainbow of flowers is an invigorating start to the day, and the banter and friendly jostles with the traders is sure to get the day going with a good laugh!
I’m usually back in Notting Hill by 6:30am, and spend the next few hours cleaning and preparing the blooms to ensure they are in the best condition possible. I’m usually finished by 9:00am, and will set about planning my day based around the commissions I have to do.
All my work is bespoke and arranged by me and, as I am working with perishable goods I always work with produce bought that day to ensure ultimate freshness and longevity for the recipient. I take great pride in the way my blooms are presented, and hand wrap and festoon them with ribbons and pom poms, and beautifully handwritten messages.
Where possible I do my deliveries in person, on my beloved Fred’s Bicycle, or in my trusty Mini Cooper. I love seeing the surprise and elation on the recipient’s face when they are greeted with flowers, nothing fills me with more pride.
My evenings are spent balancing the books, managing accounts and catching up on emails. Throughout the day I try and have as much engagement as possible on social media on Instagram and Twitter; I’m so lucky to work with such beautiful fresh product, I like sharing as much of this with my followers as possible.
Where do you source your flowers from?
I buy from different suppliers at New Covent Garden Market in Vauxhall, London. It is the most amazing place, not least because it is the biggest flower, fruit and vegetable market in the UK, but because of the sensational atmosphere. Even the most miserable days, when it is dark, cold and raining, are brightened by the wondrous array of flowers, foliage and plants.
Favourite thing about your job?
I love being able to work with organic produce that changes with the seasons; week on week there is something new and enticing to play with. I also love working with my hands and being physically creative, there are endless combinations of flowers and foliage and it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to explore these with each new commission. Seeing the delight flowers bring to people is another highlight.
What is your most treasured wellness secret?
I try to drink as much water as possible, aiming to have at least two – three litres a day. I am conscious to keep my flowers and plants watered, but I often need a little encouragement to keep myself hydrated and find it can become a little irksome. To combat this I often infuse water with cucumber, mint or lemon and lime to make it more flavoursome.
What is your approach to nutrition? How do you keep healthy?
My job means I’m on my feet all day running around, so I need to keep my body healthy and well fuelled. I love food and eat well, and enjoy having a G&T at the end of a busy long day. I’m somewhat of a detox/retox girl. I don’t believe in denying myself something if I really want it, because that makes me miserable. I just make sure I workout regularly, at least three – four times a week, and cycle as much as possible to balance out any little vices along the way.
Your most-loved flower:
This question is too hard to answer! I love all flowers, and each season brings something new to fall in love with all over again (before breaking my heart when it is out of season)… Top five would have to be:
Fave kitchen staple:
Really good quality sea salt, I particularly love French Fleur de Sel (aptly named ‘Flower of Salt’).
Can’t live without:
Leopard print and trainers – my wardrobe is an ever expanding collection of both, they go with everything and you can never have too many in my opinion. I see both as a wardrobe staple!
Your healthiest passion:
Running. I come from a family of runners and my boyfriend is a keen triathlete, so there is always someone to buddy up with, get the trainers on and get out there! No matter what time of day, time of year, where you are in the world, running is the most accessible form of exercise. Not only do I love it as a way of keeping fit, but it helps me to de-stress, and explore and appreciate the world at an altogether different pace from everyday life.
What do you do to relax?
In all honesty having my own business means there is always something to do or worry about or action, so I do find it hard to relax. My mother has been practicing yoga for twenty odd years and is amazing at it; she has inspired me to try and fit in at least one yoga session a week, and failing that to take time to do meditative breathing when it can all seem too much!
Your current mantra?
“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground”