Last week we interviewed with Lil Caldwell, co-founder of Grandirosa, a London based floral design studio founded over five years with the aim of delivering luxury floral designs with impact, celebrating the grandeur of flowers She told us how she started the brand, as well as her festive edit.
Tell us your story - what sparked you to pursue a career in floral design?
I trained as a lawyer and was happy working at a City law firm, but then I got married and was truly wowed by the flowers at my wedding, so much so that it sparked me to look into floristry. What started as a bit of a side hustle doing flowers for friend’s weddings literally from my shed, fairly quickly blossomed into a full-blown business.
I was still working seven to seven in the City but getting commissions in for the floristry business – it got too big for me and I couldn’t handle it all on my own.
So I roped my best friend Mary into lending me a hand. We worked well as a team from the off and so much work was coming our way that it wasn’t long before we’d had a conversation about quitting our careers and really making a go of the floristry business.
How do you define wellbeing?
Well-being for me is finding balance between my working and personal life. I have two young children so I need be strict with my timekeeping and to know when to step away from work.
Any tips for inspiring creativity?
We are lucky to live in one of the world's oldest and greatest cities. I think London is constantly evolving and revising and I take inspiration from not only the historical elements of London, like the building and parks, but also from the people of who make up this City - the people who make it what is is and ensure that it keeps moving and changing.
What are some small habits you practice that make a big difference?
I do reformer Pilates 2 - 3 times every week and I find that makes a huge difference to my well-being. I also try and limiting time on social media or screen time helps me hugely - I'm not perfect on this but I try my best!
What’s your life’s philosophy or mantra?
Sleep can greatly affect our mood and stress levels. What’s your ideal winding down routine to find peace and calm?
Reducing screen time after dinner hugely helps me. I'm also trying to read more at the minute, although it can be tough if there is still work to do in the evening!
How do you stay calm and grounded when in the midst of event stress?
Surrounding myself with a positive and open-minded team who can keep a sense of humour in stressful situations.
What are your favorite kind of events to create for?
Bespoke, private dinners. I love the attention to detail and the fact that it's an event that is personal to someone
Something you’re looking forward to?
This year, I am most looking forward to Christmas with my family. We will be spending it in remote Scotland so it's a time to be together and enjoy a break from work.
A party isn’t complete without…
I may be biased, but I think that no dinner party is complete without beautiful flowers and candles.
What will your Christmas display look like this year?
We'll be installing a whimsical hanging installation in the shop, together with some classic wreaths and some twinkling fairy lights.
Any simple floral design tips for this festive season?
In terms of arrangements, keep it simple. We think having just a couple of varieties is beautiful. So single flower or foliage arrangements can be perfect. Just using rosehip or berries in an arrangement can be stunning, or flowering camellia.
What are your go to Christmas florals?
Our signature hand-peeled rose; for Christmas, this would be the stunning and unusual Red Panther rose which has a velvet texture and the most amazing crimson colour.
Any festive events design that really stick out in your memory?
We have been working with The Ned hotel since it opened in 2017, and it is a joy to work with them on their festive decorations. From the rooftop right down to the Spa, we’ve installed beautiful festive displays.
Garlands and wreaths are hung, trees are twinkling and the show-stopping halo is glistening above the bandstand. The main tree in the grand Banking Hall is the centrepiece. The British-grown Premier Nordman tree is decorated with over 6000 fairy lights, gold toned foliage and an array of classic baubles. In 2021, we were overjoyed to see that Harpers Bazaar declared it their favourite tree in the Capital.
Grandirosa Floral Design, 36 Chiltern St, London W1U 7QL