From A Passion For Florals To A Blooming Beautiful New Business

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 And Daisies Bouquet

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!

Beards And Daisies Rose And Glasses

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.

Beards And Daisies Rose On Keyboard

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!

Beards And Daisies Rose

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.

Beards And Daisies Flower Card

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! 

Beards And Daisies Rose And Keyboard

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.

Louise

 

*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.


The What Now 'Unwind This Christmas' GIVEAWAY!

** THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED **

Now I know we're still in November and some of us really don't want to be thinking about Christmas just yet. However I'm afraid I'm going to bring it to your door today for just a little moment! I wanted to put together a box of goodies, inspired by many of this years blog posts, to say thank you for reading and with the idea of giving someone the chance to relax and unwind over the seasonal festivities.

The What Now Christmas Giveaway

I'm launching this giveaway today to give everyone a chance to enter over the next few weeks with a view to getting this sent out to the winner mid December. Ensuring plenty of time to enjoy the contents as the season draws near. I've personally chosen some of my favourite goodies for this selection box, the idea being that it will contain everything you need to kick start a little downtime amidst the hectic Christmas season.

So without further ado, here's what's inside the box with details on how you can enter to win.

 

THE WHAT NOW BOX OF RELAXING CHRISTMAS TREATS!

1. Essie Favourites To Fall For DuoFind the time to pamper yourself with a little seasonal nail painting to get you ready for all those upcoming Christmas parties. The box includes a gorgeous duo from Essie with a rich plum polish Bahama Mama and a sleek and more subtle grey, Chinchilly. 

2. Neom Three Nights Of Peace Mini Bath & Shower Oil CollectionIndulge in a truly relaxing bit of 'you' time with these therapeutic bath and shower oils from Neom designed to help you de-stress, unwind and achieve a good nights sleep.

3. This Works Sleepover KitYou won't fail to switch off and get a decent nights slumber this Christmas with this mini kit containing a cute pocket sized deep sleep pillow spray, stress less rollerball and sleep balm. 

4. Toni & Guy Nourish Reconstruction Mask. Treat your tired locks to some much needed hair therapy and get them properly party ready! A lovely deep conditioning treatment for dry and damaged hair.

5. Burt's Bees Lips To TipsAfter your relaxing shower or bath and before switching off for the evening, don't forget to pamper those puckers with this gorgeous coconut and pear lip balm and calm those toes with the soothing coconut foot cream. 

6. NPW 50/50 Pencils. You'll need these bright little beauties in order to complete the doodles in the next item!

7. The Mindfulness Colouring BookThis anti-stress colouring book by Emma Farrarons provides relaxing art therapy for those under pressure and in need of a way to unwind. If you're not convinced of the benefits of adult colouring why not re-visit this post from earlier in the year: Time To Unwind And Get Your Colour On!

8. Hotel Chocolat Christmas Eton Mess. Treat yourself to a little something sweet with this seasonal take on the famous Eton Mess in tasty, chocolate form. 

9. Paperchase Woodland Gift Box. Keep all of your treats safe and in one place in this gorgeous woodland gift box. 

 

So that's what you can win and here's how you can win it!

TO ENTER follow @TheWhatNowBlog on Twitter and RT the competition tweet.

For an additional entry follow and like the competition post on Facebook or Instagram. The competition will close at midnight on Friday 11th December. After this time the winner will be notified and I will arrange for your prize to wing its way over to you asap so that the relaxation process can begin! 

PLEASE NOTE that I can only accept entrants from the UK on this occasion. 

Good luck and thank you all for reading and being part of the What Now community in 2015.

Louise

 


Desktop Treats: Bonny Confectionery Gourmet Marshmallows

I feel today it's time to introduce you to something a little sweet and tasty. Treats to tickle the tastebuds and get you through this Wednesday hump day with thoughts of mallow loveliness and a knowing smile on your face. Something to treat yourself, or your work colleagues with (if you're feeling generous!) as you sit typing away at your desk, a way to add a little sparkle to your favourite desktop afternoon tipple! Plus stay tuned because if all of this sweet loveliness really tickles your fancy then you'll have the opportunity to win a selection box all of your very own.

Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Dipper Belgian Chocolate

When I was asked by the lovely duo at Bonny Confectionery if I'd like to review a selection of their tasty products, the sweet fiend within me just couldn't say no. However it wasn't just my cheeky sweet tooth that was keen to review these beauties. I was equally intrigued by the tale behind the Bonny brand. Two mothers, friends who made the decision to go on their own entrepreneurial adventure and turn their childhood memories and a burning passion into a business.

Having met in their local village whilst out walking their dogs (that's also where I meet all of the best people too!) Jackie and Cordie found that they had a mutual passion for making handmade, tasty sweets. After a little time running different ideas around, they hit upon the idea of making gourmet flavoured marshmallows, specifically designed to sweeten up your hot drinks in the most delightful and gooey of ways. Taking the humble marshmallow and elevating it to something just a little more special. With a range of flavours, from the perfectly traditional to the uniquely different and unusual, Bonny Confectionery was born and has been growing ever since.

I love the fact that these delightful, squidgy delicacies are not only a treat for the tastebuds and the perfect way to pep up a slightly less than shiny afternoon, but are also made with fine, locally sourced and natural ingredients. Hand-made with minimum processing, these lovely munchies are a little less cheeky than usual and a slightly less naughty way to enjoy a decadent mallow moment!

Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Dipper Belgian Chocolate

I had the lucky pleasure of sampling two of the Marshmallow Melt Dippers, a Belgian Chocolate* and a Blood Orange and Chocolate* version.

These mallow dippers are a most indulgent and delicous way to make your cup of coffee or hot chocolate all gooey and delightful! On a handy, sturdy dipping stick you can happily stir away and watch your marshmallow of choice dissolve into a sticky pool of happiness right before your eyes. The handy packaging makes them easy to pop into your work bag if you wish to whip one into the office to brighten up your day.

Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Dipper Blood Orange And Chocolate

If you're looking for even more marshmallow-ness then you may want to reach for one of the lovely Mallow Melt Bags.

These come in a choice of five flavours, including an unusual sounding Natural Lemon which Bonny Mallows suggest you try serving with crepes and vanilla ice cream for a lovely summer pudding. Certainly sounds delicious and intriguing.

However I sampled the delectable Spearmint and Chocolate* option and I think these stood out as one of my absolute favourites. I'm a bit of a sucker for mint and chocolate, which maybe isn't to everyones taste, but these little beauties really didn't disappoint on the flavour front. Big, buoyant and bouncy mallows that pack a real minty punch. Pop one of these into your drink, or just enjoy on their own, and you'll be very happy indeed.

Mallow warning though - don't eat these to excess whilst you're sat in front of the Great British Bake Off. You may find yourself feeling a little worse for wear if you do - not that I would ever do such a thing!

Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Melts Spearmint And Chocolate
Bonny Handmade Marshmallow Melts Spearmint And Chocolate

Last up, the cute little Raspberry and Vanilla Mallow Munch Bar*. These bars are slightly smaller little cubes of sweetness but they still pack a punch. These and the dippers were my favourite for actually putting into my hot chocolate - with the larger mallow melts from the melt bag usually heading straight into my mouth instead!

Bonny Marshmallows Mallowmunch Bar Raspberry And Vanilla

Seriously lovely treats and such a pleasure to review! Plus the fact that they are made with natural ingredients means you can enjoy them without the same guilt as you might encounter when grabbing that cheeky chocolate bar from the office vending machine.

These would make the perfect gift for a friend or colleague with a bit of a sweet tooth. Colourful, delicious and very reasonably priced, a selection box of gourmet bonny goodies is bound to please even the most difficult of colleagues to buy for. Certainly a unique and different gift option that's sure to get the rest of the office crowding around with foodie fever!

Want to know my drink of choice for sampling these tasty treats? Then you might find inspiration in this previous post here.

 

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN: Happily you don't just have to take my word for it when it comes to these delights. The lovely ladies at Bonny Confectionery have kindly offered up a selection box of goodies, such as I got to sample, for one lucky reader to enjoy. So if you'd like to give these tempting treats a try for yourself make sure you enter using the form below.

Entries close next Wednesday 26th August at midnight after which time one lucky winner will be contacted via Twitter and their box of yumminess sent out for them to try. So go on just tickle those tastebuds why don't you!

Please Note: 

This competition is open to UK based entrants only on this occassion.

The selection box will be similar to that reviewed here on the blog although items may vary subject to availability.

 

World Stationery Day GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone. I hope this Wednesday finds you well.

As you probably know I've been going on and on about about the fact that it's National Stationery Week this week, and that I have a personal penchant for all things bright and beautiful that fall under this particular category!

TWNB Stationery Giveaway

Well in honour of this week and the fact that today is in fact World Stationery Day I wanted to share my passion for paper and offer one reader the chance to win the little bundle of beauties pictured above.

Entry is simple. Track me down on Twitter @TheWhatNowBlog, find the tweet related to the post, retweet and follow. Then at midday tomorrow I will pick a winner at random, contact via DM and post the lovely selection out ready for use in the office next week.

I'm hoping this process will work - just wanted to keep it quick and simple. Best of luck and Happy World Stationery Day all!

Louise

PLUS DON'T FORGET to join myself and guest host Uli from Found Some Paper for this evenings #CareerBlogChat at 7:30pm. Review the topic, questions and all details here.

 

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. The winner has been contacted. Thank you so much to everyone for entering.