(photography by the wonderful Beatrice Granados)
One of the standout perks of my job is getting to discover, and if I’m lucky, work with some incredible small businesses. Being able to see an idea, collection or product from it’s budding early moments; when the twinkle of an idea begins to blossom- and later celebrate and champion its growth feels like such a privilege. One brand I’ve had such pleasure coming across is Window Fleur.
Started over lockdown by the immeasurably lovely (and talented) Frannie and Joe, Window Fleur are the UK’s first window box subscription service- offering a beautiful (and oh so easy) solution to bringing colour and blooms into your garden (or window) without any hassle. Being someone who is constantly attempting to have green fingers (but always struggling to know where to begin) and having spent a small fortune on attempting my own window boxes in the past, discovering Window Fleur made my foray into gardening all the more simple (and sitting working by my dining room window all the more pretty too).
And naturally, as you can imagine it’s been the greatest pleasure partnering with Frannie and Joe to style a box for autumn this year. To be trusted to collaborate on something is always an honour, and to combine their extensive knowledge of all things flowers with my eye (and well, knowing what I *think* looks really beautiful)- I hope you’ll agree we’ve created something truly lovely, and a box I’m so proud of.
So, I was very happy to take any excuse to have a little chat with Frannie about all the things which made this partnership feel so enjoyable. Its everything I wanted to know from someone who seems to make running a business, keeping a garden alive (and thriving) and being an all round talented lady look very easy- mainly, how does she do it?!
Frannie! I’m so excited about our box we’ve been working on. For those that haven’t come across yourself and Window Fleur, can you introduce yourself please?
Liv, I couldn’t be more excited about our very special collaboration. It’s the first time I’ve handed over the styling reins and who better to give them to!
So Window Fleur in a nutshell, is the UK’s first ready-planted window box subscription service, with seasonal bloom bag refills. You can either buy one of our window boxes or just use our bloom bags that come in various sizes to fill your own. Together with my wonderful cousin Joe we co-founded the business back in 2020.
I’m forever in awe of anyone with the courage to delve into building their own business- how did you even know where to begin? And how did you make it work after beginning in lockdown?
Well luckily this start-up wasn’t Joe’s first rodeo but it was definitely mine. I’d personally owned a design studio working with a wide range of lifestyle brands but selling a product was very different. I think the best place to start is just testing if there is a demand for your product, you can spend forever trying to perfect it, but that comes with time and experience.
Lockdown was really hard, plant stock was at a shortage (due to everyone gardening) but we persevered as we had such a captive audience who wanted to brighten their homes.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since beginning Window Fleur? Are there any life lessons you’ve taken away?
I’ve attempted to try to embrace the art of not fretting over the small stuff. To remember to acknowledge your accomplishments and savour the joy of celebrating every small victory along the way.
How do you manage the juggle on the day to day? What does a typical day look like for you?
I write everything down, separate to-do lists for personal life and for work; if it’s not on the list, it’s not getting done!
My typical day starts with a coffee and a dog walk, on the walk I set out my focus for the day. Then either into the office if needed or work from home depending on the tasks. These can be so varied that’s why I love it, no two days are the same.
Working with living things you have to be very reactive and at the start you are stretched very thin, you’re a marketing expert, come customer service agent, delivery driver, model all in one day!
The day finishes about 6ish with another dog walk, then either out for dinner, or an evening of life admin or working late.
One thing we’ve spoken about is our joint love of gardening; is it something you’ve always been interested in?
I used to try and skip going to bed when I was younger so I could stay up late and watch gardeners world with my mum (just to stay up late) my love of flowers and plants grew as I did, and those early days influences seemed to come out and I found myself turning into my very green fingered mother who is a real inspiration to me.
Admittedly when it comes to gardening I’m very much an amateur who also happens to be prone to a bit of plant killing (as much as I love it). How do you begin with a garden, without feeling overwhelmed? I know at the start of each season I often don’t know where to start!
I think it’s best to tackle it seasonally, set yourself a few tasks for each season so it doesn’t seem too much, just plant a few bulbs, just prune back a few bushes.
It can seem overwhelming, and a quote from one of my favourite poems springs to mind with this question “What if I fail? Oh but my darling what if you fly?” Sometimes your plants may die, but sometimes they will really flourish and double in size, and be the most beautiful thing you’ve seen and the sense of achievement you get is wonderful!
Also don’t invest in expensive plants too early on, but remember all plants need is the right amount of water, light and sun… that’s it!
Your whole job is based around seasonality, and on the cusp of a new season- what’s your favourite thing about autumn?
I think in the UK we’re really lucky to have such different seasons. Since I’ve started Window Fleur they’ve really started to govern my life. We’ve just bid farewell to an Indian summer which I think was the hottest on record for a while. I’m so ready for autumn and all the wonders it brings, from the change of colours in the leaves, to the change of wardrobe.
Finally, what does your perfect Sunday look like?
My perfect Sunday starts without a hangover, thanks to reserving nights out for Fridays (or trying to at least) Then I often do few loads of washing or any life admin that needs doing, followed by a nice dog walk and pub lunch, then home for to chill/watch a film again it’s very dedicated by the seasons. But hopefully a perfect balance of productivity and relaxation…
Thank you for having me Liv, it’s been a pleasure to work with you!