Elise Hedges, Hedges & Flowers. #FounderOfTheFortnight
Tell us about Hedges and Flowers, what do you enjoy most about it?
Hey! So my name is Elise Hedges (yes that really is my name and no I did not change it when I became a florist!) I am a 23-year-old, small business owner from Kent. 'Hedges and Flowers' is my 1-year-old baby! I promote my brand as a bespoke floral design company specialising in weddings and events. I really emphasise the word 'bespoke' as that's exactly what each and every one of my designs aims to be. I believe every individual is unique and I try my utmost to relay that individual in the flowers they order. And I suppose that is my favourite aspect of what I do; interacting with people from all walks of life and really trying to get to know them so that I can accurately portray them in my design.
What are your influences for creativity?
From the ages 4 to 15/16 I spent nigh on every weekend at our family caravan on the coast of West Sussex. From as far back as I can remember I have the strongest longing to be by the sea (in all weathers, especially the coldest months) and I think my love of natural things stems from there. My design style is wayward and wild and 'growing' to mimic the shapes and movement of plants and flowers in their natural state. But of course I take influence from the people whom my flowers are intended for and I am always willing to hone in the 'wild' for more reserved and classic clients.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
I think my highlight so far is being asked by my bestest friend to design and create her 2019 wedding florals - I've never been more excited in my life!
What is your biggest challenge you face regularly? How do you overcome it?
I think my biggest challenge personally is throwing myself out there. I have quickly discovered that being your own boss is a 24/7 graft - trust me it is not the easy option - and it is hard to take rejection, or to fail. But when something you've worked so hard on comes through, or just 1 positive comment from a stranger makes it all worthwhile and spurs me on to start it all over again. I wouldn't say that I ever overcome the feeling of being shot down, but I definitely learn something from every experience and take what I can to better my next effort!
Whats the best and worst piece of advice you've been given?
Ooh, good question... BEST piece of advice? "Just do you". There are a million and one people in this world that aren't going to like or agree with what you're doing, but if its right for you, then carry on! WORST piece of advice... Someone told me once the current world was too saturated with girls like me trying to break through so to stop wasting my time... Sorry hun but look at me now! Life's farrrrr too short to be a sofa-sausage!
Whats next for you? Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
Of course!! Whats the point in living if you don't have something to work towards! This year I want to achieve some kind of studio space for my work (instead of my dining room!) and I'd also like to network a little more and make some incredible creative friends - self-employment is a lonely biz sometimes!
What are you favourite Instagram accounts at the moment.?
Oh gosh, Instagram is my life (my boyfriend will tell you), but 5 accounts I am LOVING at the moment...
@boutierre_girls - the Aussies really are owning the floral design world IMO!
@jasminedowling - stunning feed and very talented digital content designer
@esteelalonde - one of the realest female bloggers out there, just love her
@splendor_of_eden - more unreal flowers
@ohwondercalligraphy - stunning wedding stationary!!
What would you say to yourself 5 years ago?
Stop trying to decide the rest of your life right this second. 5 years ago I was starting a degree in Digital Photography with the intention of being the next Tim Walker in fashion photography. Just rolllll with ittttt.
Tell us one surprising fact about your self
Maybe that, I do have a degree in Digital Photography ... or maybe that I suffer terribly with hayfever - good career choice eh?
Looking back, whats the best decision you ever made?
Not exactly career related, but in the winter of 2015, I took the plunge and moved to France to complete a ski season. There I met the love of my life, who has pushed me and supported me in every decision both career and general life-wise. In short, say YES because you never know what that YES is going to lead you to!