A CHAT WITH BEARDS & DAISIES FOUNDER JO LAMBELL PLUS AN EXCITING READER GIVEAWAY AND OFFER
It'll come as no surprise to regular What Now readers when I say that I'm a lover of everything floral! I mean who doesn't love flowers? Guaranteed to brighten anyones day and bring a little beauty into everyday life. So it's a pleasure today to bring to you a little floral and career inspiration combined, as I discuss turning something you love into your own business with Jo Lambell, the founder and brains behind the brilliant 'letterbox' floristry company Beards & Daisies.
Beards & Daisies was started by Jo as she pursued her real passion in life - a love of beautiful flowers. Leaving her corporate career and a poor work-life balance behind her, Jo sought out the skills to build her own business and create a better sense of wellbeing doing something that she really loved. Whilst the hours may still at times be long, especially during popular holidays, events and occasions, the joy found in doing and creating something that she is passionate about, from scratch, and calling it her own, seems to be what drives Jo to continue to succeed with her ever growing business.
This is a florist with a unique idea. It's not just the usual flowers to your door in a big bouquet or box, although that option is available, it can also be a bouquet of beautiful flowers that fits neatly through the letterbox. Flowers in a custom designed box, that can survive for a prolonged period of time without water. Ensuring that even if the recipient is not in to receive their gift, they will find their way safely onto the doormat and still be a beautiful bouquet of fresh, floral goodness once opened and displayed.
So today I share a little from Jo about her business and how and why she decided to take a leap of faith and set up on her own. Plus don't miss your chance to win a beautiful bouquet of your own, or get your hands on some stunning blooms with The What Now Blog unique discount code. So stay tuned!
Hi Jo, Firstly could you tell us what led you to set up your company Beards & Daisies and how you arrived at where you are now?
I felt like a square peg in a round hole having a career in sales. I desperately wanted to be doing something more creative. I was working long hours and just felt I could be spending that time on growing something that was all mine rather than contributing to someone else’s business. Plus having my own business would also allow me to balance work and life a little better. I’d always been surrounded by flowers having spent most of my twenties living on London’s famous Columbia Road with its weekly flower market, so I finally took the plunge to quit work and retrain in floristry.
I probably did things the wrong way around really as I started the business at the same time as re-training which was a little ambitious! The idea for the business began when I sent some flowers to my mum for her birthday as I couldn’t be with her in person and as lovely as the flowers were, I was disappointed that they didn’t look as beautiful as a bouquet I could have picked from my local high street florist. I realised that not everyone has the luxury of a local florist and although the supermarkets have a fantastic selection these days, it lacks the personal approach that my hand tied bouquets have. Plus they come in pretty snazzy wrapping as I’m a sucker for great packaging! So the idea for Beards & Daisies the online florist was born.
What's your biggest passion when it comes to your business, what keeps you going day after day?
Whenever I feel stress creeping up on me, I remind myself that a). I work with flowers for a living... I mean come on, how lucky am I! and b). I remember the place I was in two years ago. I honestly love having something that I can call my own and how utterly progressive a start-up business can be.
I'm intrigued to know what's behind the name Beards & Daisies, it's such a great name! How did you choose it?
I was helping plan my sisters wedding which was to be held in her garden. She wanted it to be informal with lots of wild flowers. This mixed with the fact that her fiancé and most of his friends have beards meant we coined her wedding theme ‘beards and daisies’ in amok. The phrase stuck and I’d like to think it’s memorable which can only be a good thing!
How do you set about conquering your biggest fears and setbacks in your working life?
When I was working in sales there were always scenarios that took me out of my comfort zone, whether it was a project, a meeting or a presentation. It would be easy to play it safe when you have your own business as there's no one to push you or challenge you other than yourself. It’s cheesy but at least once a month I try to force myself to do something which takes me out of my comfort zone or makes my stomach turn with fear. For example going to a networking group where I don’t know anyone. ‘Living in fear of making mistakes, is the only mistake you can make’ is a great motto to live by.
With the season of autumn upon us, which blooms should we be looking out for to keep our home or office spaces looking and feeling seasonally happy and cosy?
I’ve just finished shooting the Christmas collection of bouquets and we will shortly be seeing anemones and ranunculus back in season, which I will be using a lot. They come in the most amazing array of colours and ranunculus has an amazing petal formation, like a more delicate version of a rose. Just like fashion everything gets richer and deeper in colour, which is refreshing after a summer of colourful flowers.
Finally, with the idea of wellbeing in mind, what's your personal idea of the perfect weekend, how do you like to switch off and relax?
I’ve by no means mastered the art of switching off as having your own start-up business can be demanding, but my perfect weekend would be a magazine and coffee in the deli on my high street in the morning and then getting away to the coast for the rest of the day. I just love being by the sea and I feel very content when I’m there - it’s good for my soul!
Thank you to Jo for sharing her journey and I hope it has inspired any of you out there with a burning entrepreneurial spirit, not to give up on your goals and aspirations for the future.
Jo has very kindly offered a giveaway prize of one beautiful bouquet to one lucky What Now reader. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning please follow the instructions and T&Cs set out below.
Plus if you have a special occasion coming up and are looking to treat a loved one (or indeed yourself) to some beautiful blooms then What Now readers can receive £10 off of their first order using offer code THEWHATNOWBLOG between now and the 30th of September 2016. Take a look at the Beards & Daisies website and get yourself inspired: www.beardsanddaisies.co.uk
***THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED***
TO ENTER THE BOUQUET GIVEAWAY follow @TheWhatNowBlog on Twitter and RT the competition tweet.
The competition will close at midnight on Friday 30th September 2016. After this time the winner will be notified and I will arrange for your prize to wing its way over to you so that you can enjoy your beautiful blooms asap.
PLEASE NOTE entrants must be 16 or over and the competition is open to residents in the UK only on this occasion. The bouquet may differ from the one pictured in this post but will be a beautiful, seasonal arrangement that I know you will enjoy!
Best of luck.
*As part of this interview I was sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers as a sample of Jo's work and as depicted in the photographs in this post.