Floristry can be described as the production, commerce and trade in flowers—but it really is so much more than that. What makes a truly brilliant florist is his or her dedication to the craft, an innovative mindset and the ability to adapt to changing times—and Charlotte Puxley is one of them.
When Charlotte first moved to Singapore in 2014, she brought with her six years of floristry experience from London with no avenue to showcase her talent. After testing the local market with some freelance orders, she founded Charlotte Puxley Flowers and has been a mainstay in Singapore’s floral scene ever since. But it wasn’t always a bed of roses. Puxley had to get used to a different repertoire of flowers as compared to what she was used to working with in the United Kingdom. But one unexpected advantage of being challenged to expand her floral vocabulary to include local flowers has now become her unique selling point: Tropical blooms with British sensibilities—using orchids in traditional anglo-saxon floral arrangements instead of roses, for instance.
Ahead, Charlotte Puxley speaks exclusively to BAZAAR about her entrepreneurial journey, the role of sustainability in floristry and her brand new initiatives.
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How do you keep your customers coming back for more?
We do that by focusing on being creative with our flowers and by understanding that this is an industry that grows, ebbs and flows like the seasons—always staying inspired beyond just flowers is paramount to providing newness to our customers. Using flowers as our medium, we gather many sources for inspiration. By which we mean that we are never stagnant with our ideas and creations. Like our resident florist Kelly says: “If I were bored, I wouldn’t be here making flowers”.
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Tell us more about your new campaign ‘Embracing Spring’ and the other services that you offer.
The inspiration behind the campaign is the season itself. We wanted to bring back the art of tablescaping in Singapore, and provide the endless possibilities that come from connecting with near and dear ones.
We also run monthly workshops with a variety of flowers ranging across the seasons. For example in Spring, the palette that we would typically use reflects the season in bright colours such as blues, yellows, pinks, and magenta. Our most popular offerings would be Hand Tie and Classic Vase arrangements—starting from $225 per pax. But if customers book with a friend, they get 10 per cent off. We love hosting our customers in our studio as it offers us a chance to not only meet and interact with them, but also learn about our customers in person. Which is especially important as we are a mostly e-commerce florist. We meet such beautiful, genuine and creative people that forms a large part of our inspiration too.
Besides that, we also offer a floral arrangement subscription service made with fresh flowers bought daily from local markets. This way, our customers can get a taste of what flowers are best in season, and receive something unique and beautiful each time. The arrangements come in our classic glass vase—which they’ll receive in their first delivery—but if the customer would like us to use their own vases, we’re more than happy to do so.
Our product offerings reflect the wild and wonderful, with the focus being on colour palettes. Aside from daily florals, we also source for vases from all over the world, and are always looking for the ones full of character and unique.
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Tell us your creative process.
It always starts with a colour palette. The process of floral arranging can often feel like getting dressed—choosing a leading lady (which are the focal flowers), and then evolving from there. This way, all the colours harmonise to convey a feeling.
Why is sustainability in floristry important and what steps have you taken to ensure it in your business?
We’re continuously working on being more conscious as a business about how we can work in harmony with the environment. One of the steps we’ve taken is to ensure that 90 per cent of our flowers are arranged out of oasis (floral foam), and are working towards being 100 per cent oasis-free come July. Floral foam is incredibly damaging to the environment as its basically fibre glass and just like plastic, it isn’t biodegradable.
Apart from that, what has proven to be especially challenging is finding constructive uses for our biodegradable waste because of the pesticides lined on the leaves. Another avenue we are currently exploring in terms of procurement are vertical farming options, which is a truly remarkable industry with a lot of potential. Sourcing our products locally is also something that we feel passionate about as it helps to reduce the extensive carbon footprint that comes with importing flowers from places like Holland. We’re always pushing the boundaries to look at the innovations in urban farming—especially since we’re situated in such a modern advanced city—to leverage on the resources we have in front of us.
Fill in the blanks.
The best flowers to give as an apology are… Purple hyacinth, fig and hazels.
The best flowers that represent romance are… Bird of paradise, bougainvillea, and lilies. Tuberose represents dangerous pleasure.
The best way to prolong the lifespan of cut flowers are… To trim the stems daily, keep them in a cool and shaded area, as well as changing the water daily.
That said, the best thing to do when gifting someone flowers is to choose ones that best reflect their personality.
Lastly, what else can we expect from you in the near future?
Something we’ve realised during this pandemic is that although it has created physical distance between friends and loved ones, it has also drawn communities closer than ever before and that opens up more opportunities for collaboration. We’ll be celebrating our sixth anniversary this year and renovating our studio into a concept retail store to provide our loyal customers with the opportunity to shop and connect with likeminded floral lovers.
For more information on Charlotte Puxley Flowers, visit their website.