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Artisan Bouquet – leading the way to make sustainability bloom in the floristry industry

High Life North caught up with the owner Rosey Bartram to find out how her business came about, her hopes for the future.

Based in Kingston Park, just outside of Newcastle, Artisan Bouquet is a new company set up to champion sustainability in the world of floristry, funerals and gifts. High Life North caught up with Rosey Bartram, owner of the business, to find out how her business came about, her hopes for the future and how lockdown has affected the way we keep in touch with our loved ones.

Hi Rosey – tell us about your business and why you’re so passionate about sustainability

We’re a modern-day florist business based in Kingston Park and we’re the only eco-florist in the Newcastle area. In a world where the use of plastic is still on the rise, we’re leading the way in our industry to make the use of single-use plastics a thing of the past. We’ve found that natural wrappings and designs create stunning arrangements – it’s a nod to the origins of floristry when the flowers we allowed to do the talking without the addition of plastic ribbons and bows. A great deal of our inspiration comes from the vintage era when there was no plastic.

The idea for the business came about following my father’s funeral. I realised, when taking the floral display apart, just how much non-recyclable plastic was used in the casket arrangement. My Dad would have hated that – he’d been a keen gardener and composter all his life and worried about the rising use of plastic in the world.

That’s where the business started. I began creating biodegradable funeral floral arrangements to encourage family members to take them away after the ceremony rather than leaving them to go to landfill. I realised this is what happens at the end of every day at the crematorium and its heart breaking how many flowers and non-recyclable plastic gets thrown away. Having done some research I learned that it takes 100 years for plastic floral foam to break down and when it does so, it generally ends up in the sea, impacting on marine life.

How has your ethos of sustainability been accepted by your customers?

I don’t think it’s something that customers have really thought about. I know I didn’t when I planned my Dad’s funeral. I didn’t know there was an alternative to the plastic frames, plastic ribbons and wrapping that was used on the arrangements. If I did, I would have plumped for it without doubt.

Being an Eco florist makes designing arrangements more challenging and slightly more costly, but I think customers are becoming more demanding of sustainability in general and don’t mind paying a bit extra to look after the planet. Our customers seem to prefer the naturally wrapped look and our hessian wrapped seasonal bouquet is our best seller.

Sustainability in the funeral flower industry is a huge passion for us. We’re working hard to encourage funeral directors to offer biodegradable options to their clients because we know from our research that so many grieving families would opt for more sustainable options if they were available.

You opened your business during lockdown – how has that been and what do you offer to your customers?

Yes, opening in the middle of the pandemic has been interesting – we’ve had to adapt our business to meet the ever-changing regulations. We work from a small industrial unit and use our website as our shop front.

We have recently teamed up with other small businesses in the Newcastle Area and now offer our ‘Up North Gifts and Hampers’ range. The businesses we work with are all run by other women in the North East and include Patisserie, Studio 28, The Black Candle Company of Northumberland and The Winery in Gateshead. The gifts and hampers range includes floral bouquets, wines, chocolates and candles. We’ve already worked with several big-name companies such as Nomad Digital, Meldrum Construction and Sir James Knott Foundation who use us for occasional arrangement such as staff birthdays, leaving gifts, thank you hampers and bereavements. We love working on corporate events and will be working with more big names once the pandemic is over and corporate events start happening again.

The way we communicate with friends and family has changed in recent months because of the restrictions imposed during lockdown. We’ve found that our sustainable letterbox flowers and beautiful hampers have proved very popular as a way of marking lockdown celebrations and keeping in touch with friends and family. We’re 100% contactless ordering and payment too, which enables customers to order goodies and arrange for delivery to their loved ones.

We introduced an A5 sized box packed full of flowers called a ‘The Artisan Mini Vase’. They’re designed to go in the post and at only £16.95 they’ve been incredibly popular as a gift for loved ones who they could not see – a little hug in the post.

How can people find out about your business and the products you have available?

They can head to our website at artisanbouquet.co.uk to find out about all of the ranges we offer from fabulous, locally sourced hampers and letterbox flowers to sustainable funeral flowers and stunning wedding and corporate arrangements.

Hamper giveaway 

Artisan Bouquet has teamed up with High Life North to offer one lucky reader the chance to win an amazing Christmas Hamper. Featuring gorgeous wine, chocolates, candles and flowers, the hamper is the perfect treat for the festive season.

Details of giveaway – how to enter Hamper value for giveaway £167

Available to pre-order now, the Christmas hamper is £139.99 – pre-order at artisanbouquet.co.uk

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