Buds and Blooms is full of eye-candy for everyone who loves flowers! Shilu Amin has been running this beautiful store in the heart of Esher since 1997, although her passion for floristry began much earlier than that. Born in Kenya, her mother owned a garden centre, stocking a wide variety of local flowers. She helped her mother out from a young age and designed her first arrangement at the tender age of 6!
Her family lived in Kenya until she was 13 years old and then they moved to Harrow in London. She went to study Interior Design at Brighton University where she learnt more about colours, shapes and textures and soon after she returned, she got married and moved to Surrey. In 1997, she bought Buds and Blooms which was already a well-established business, having been in Church Street for 20 years prior to the purchase. She moved the business to Esher High Street a few years later.
As a mumpreneur, Shilu finds that she has developed her listening skills to better understand what her two children need from her. This skill, she says, is also useful in the store because people buy flowers for a variety of emotional reasons and it’s important to be able to empathise with each new customer. Flowers are bought at times of joy, sorrow, sadness and happiness and a bouquet is an excellent way to apologise to your better half, she hints!
Floristry and fashion are closely intertwined and to stay in touch with latest developments, Shilu consults the Flower Council of Holland for updates on wedding trends so that she can make recommendations to her bridal clients. Hand-tied David Austin rose bouquets are a good choice for their guaranteed quality. She has a passion for new styles, new designs and the creativity that her business affords her. She is happy to incorporate people’s own bottles and jars into their arrangements to create unique and personalised products. She prefers to use eco-friendly and ethically-sourced flowers.
Shilu is very proud of her team of assistants. They are carefully selected for their variety of backgrounds and creative skill. When hiring, although she looks for qualifications, she say this only confirms a good theoretical foundation. She always asks a potential assistant to make a bouquet to reveal the extent of their skill and experience at pulling together eye-catching designs so you can be assured of an excellent service at Buds and Blooms. Her assistants are obviously very happy to be working there as revealed by their easy laughter and gentle teasing as we took their team photo below.
On Thursday 2 February 2012, Shilu will have been running Buds and Blooms for 15 years exactly. To mark this momentous achievement, she will be breaking open the champagne and everyone is very welcome to pop in to join the celebrations. In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas!
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