Spotlight on: Cath Beckett
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Faux flowers have long been an OKA staple. Once we found a supplier who could create the most realistic faux flowers we’d ever seen, we fell in completely and utterly in love with them (and their endless versatility). Since then, our collection has blossomed (sorry, we couldn’t resist) and with OKA Flower Shops popping up in our Chelsea, Froxfield and Broadway showrooms, we had to introduce a Faux Flower Manager to look after them all. But what does a Faux Flower manager do exactly you ask? We spoke to the lady in question, Cath Beckett, to find out more and pick up some flower arranging tips along the way.
Tell us what your typical working day is like.
One of the great things about my job is that every day is different. I try to spend as much time as possible in our various shops (especially the new Flower Shops in Chelsea, Froxfield and Broadway) interacting with the customers and learning how best to display the collection, whilst also helping people with their arrangements. Some of my work is based at our London office, which involves various things for example stock management, product development and packaging production. There’s also the more creative aspect of the role where I style the catalogue shoots and work with the design studio on photography for the upcoming season.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
The best part of the job is being able to work with all the different departments of the company and the variety of tasks from day to day. As for the worst bit… I can’t really think of anything I don’t like about my job to be honest!
What’s your favourite flower and why?
My favourite has to be the Lathyrus stem in cream because it is very simple yet pretty and goes with most arrangements.
Which combination of flowers do you think make the best arrangement?
Choose a few stems which are different in structure; for example, start with white camellia (which has branches), then add some pale green hydrangeas to thicken up the bouquet, and finally some white (or purple) dicentra to soften the overall look.
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What flower is used most in customers’ arrangements?
The white peonies are very popular, as are the large white mop head hydrangeas. We are getting some great new peonies and hydrangeas next season which I think will be well received!
Which seasonal arrangements do you prefer and why?
I would say I prefer spring or summer arrangements to winter ones, purely because they are fresher, brighter and slightly more versatile.
Who or what inspires your arrangements?
Pinterest is great for inspiration, and I’m always on the lookout for show-stopping floral arrangements, be they in restaurants, magazines, shops (the flower specialist Only Roses always has brilliant window displays), or more obviously in florists and street stalls.
What are the do’s and don’ts for arranging faux flowers?
It’s best to choose around three different flowers for your arrangement; any more than that and you’ll overcomplicate it. Make sure you style each individual stem before adding them to the arrangement as they will look more natural. Finally, choose a vase which is the right size and height for the stems; the stems should be double the height of the vase, if not taller.
What new faux flowers can we look forward to in 2014?
Next year we’ll be seeing lots of different shades of spring pinks, greens and reds across hydrangeas and peonies.
What are the benefits of choosing faux flowers over real ones?
Apart from the fact they last forever, they are wire based so can be bent to any shape, length or direction to suit the arrangement.
Win a bouquet of flowers worth over £100
Brighten up your home for the new year with our fabulous competition.
Purchase any of our faux flowers or plants before 24th December, and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a luxury bouquet personally designed by an OKA florist, worth over £100.
Terms and Conditions: Open to UK residents only. Customers who have purchased faux flowers or plants online between 13th – 24th December will be entered into a prize draw. The draw will take place during the first week of January and the winner will be chosen at random then notified by telephone.