When Katie Griffiths left Oxford Brookes University, she knew she wanted to do ‘something creative’, but at first she didn’t think of drawing on the skills she had learned in her holiday job, nor of the joy she had experienced playing in her grandmother’s flower garden.
She said: “I yearned for a more creative lifestyle.
“I moved to London and worked in the fashion industry but that didn’t really satisfy me. I had worked in a florist’s straight out of school, and I decided to move back to that.”
She decided to move back to Oxford and she studied floristry at Warwickshire College while widening her experience of the trade.
“I worked for a florist’s shop for a couple of years and I was passionate about weddings. I loved working with couples and that was the part of the industry that appealed.”
Last year she decided to set up her own business, Love From Katie, boosted by a commission for the Oxford Fashion Week show at the Ashmolean Museum. She doesn’t have an expensive shopfront, but works from a studio in the garden of her house in Howard Street. Her marketing has also been low cost, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She doesn’t attend wedding fairs, preferring to leave her business card in goodie bags.
“Social media has been massive for me. My first wedding came from a blog I was featured on called Festival Brides. I had one of my first weddings at The Perch in Binsey, then one at Henley, then Ambroseden.
“They have all been very different.”
At 28, she has no trouble keeping up with the latest trends.
“Styles are constantly changing. Festivals has been a very popular theme, with the DIY jamjars look, but it’s moving into something a bit different. Next year it’s more rustic chic, with candles.”
Now she is booked up months in advance. ”I have one booking for September 2015.
“There are some seriously organised people out there. Some plan their wedding years in advance.
“On the other hand, I just had a booking for two weeks’ time.
“I have four weddings this weekend, so it's built up fairly fast.”