Every fortnight we invite you to take a peek behind the scenes at McQueens Flowers and meet the people who form the fabric of who we are, and what we create. Today we have the pleasure of introducing you to our London-based Customer Service and Workroom Manager, Rodney Johnson.
How did you get into the world of floristry, Rodney?
I sort of fell into it really! Back in Australia I was working for an Insurance Broker which I wasn’t really enjoying and my ex-partner at the time knew a florist who was asking if anyone wanted to get into the industry. I was curious so I said I’d like to give it a go and that’s how it happened. I’ve never looked back since! That was 20 years ago.
What does your role involve?
My role is Workroom Manager - a large part of my job focused on managing and ordering all the stock needed to make our online orders as well as any bespoke requests that come through on a day-to-day basis. I also look after all the bespoke hotel orders that may come in.
What does your day to day typically look like?
My day starts at 6am where I make sure I have all the stock I’ve ordered. Next I condition the flowers and get them into water so they’re ready to be used for whatever project or online orders they’re needed for. I go through all the orders and execute what is priority moving through the list until every order is completed!
How would you describe your floral style?
For me, I’m very much a seasonal florist. This means you’re getting flowers at their very best. For example, Anemones are really big for this season now - they don’t have a long shelf life but are so beautiful because there are so many shapes, sizes and colours available! That’s something that just happens with flowers and seasons, especially when they are in their peak – they’re all just so amazing and bountiful! My own floral style is quite traditional, I opt for a domed bouquet rather than the loose and free bouquet trends.
What do you think makes McQueens Flowers special?
We have a very strong identity that separates us in the floral world! It’s very different to working at other florists and it’s been the same for pretty much 30 years.
What have been some of your favourite projects over the years?
Hands down, going to LA and creating the flowers for the Vanity Fair After Party at the Oscars which I had the luck of going to twice! Going to the Breakthrough Awards which is renowned as the “Oscars of Science” was pretty incredible too!
Is there a particular flower that holds a special significance to you?
I love flowers with a scented perfume: Rose, Gardenias, Tuberose, even things like stocks. They give me a certain nostalgia and remind me of special times and places!
What advice would you give to someone who would like to start a career in floristry?
Like anything it takes a lot of practice and patience! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, try new things and experiment!