When it comes to Singapore floral displays, there are two types – the humdrum, ordinary, looks-like-it-came-from-the-market and then there is something created by Charlotte Puxley Flowers.
Charlotte Puxley is one of Singapore’s top florists; her work is fresh, unique and on the advanced edge of modern floral artistry. First from her flat in Tiong Bahru, and now from the atelier in the Tan Boon Liat Building, Charlotte has been spreading her love for flowers in Singapore since 2015.
Originally from the UK, Charlotte arrived in Singapore as a “love move”, not really planning to launch her own floristry business: “My now husband started a company here. I couldn’t find a job that fitted my previous floristry training so I pushed the sofa back and started selling flowers from our small apartment in Tiong Bahru and did what I loved most.”
Charlotte has always loved flowers for their ephemeral nature.
“I love that they are momentary. They ground us in the moment, as they die we must also create again and again. I love the team work that [floristry] entails and the varying textures and colours you can always work with. Submitting to plants’ natural forms is a key theme for me.”
Charlotte definitely has talent, but interestingly enough she has never actually ‘studied’ floristry.
“I worked at Selfridges on my weekends in London when I was 20 years old. Then I got a job at Scarlet and Violet, a London florist who taught me all I know,” Charlotte explains.
Once she had decided to launch her business, Charlotte says that while there were ups and downs during its establishment, overall it was a helpful learning experience: “There were so many learning curves and so many wonderful surprises. It’s always been about slow organic growth, with keeping creativity at the heart of everything we do. I have learnt to compromise but not to lose sight of what we stand for,” says Charlotte.
Floral styles in the UK and Singapore
While Charlotte says that there are some stylistic differences between floral preferences in the UK and in Singapore, the main issue is the lack of “cutting gardens”.
“Many florists in the UK have their own cutting gardens which give versatility to the repertoire of their flowers. Stylistically there are a lot of different options and places to draw inspiration from. The seasons offer up a huge variety in colour palette and moods. The key theme that runs throughout British floristry is an honouring nature.”Charlotte Puxley
The idea of “honouring nature” is retained in Charlotte’s work in Singapore. When designing a floral piece, she focuses on colour, texture and form.
“We also need to know what mood and feelings we are trying to make the [viewer experience] and from there we choose the colours and the right flowers to create the right amount of drama.”
Sustainability in the Floral Industry
Like many creative industries, floristry is also dealing with issues surrounding sustainability and environmental damage.
“We try hard to change our attitudes as florists: We have team days where we simply explore what we can do to make our practice more sustainable. It’s constantly evolving. Trying out new products on the market that mean we don’t use floral foams, this one is easy to change.
“But there is so much that even small florists like us can do to help, like trying to ensure that everything gets recycled correctly, to trying to shake up supply chains.
Growing things and working towards having our own cutting garden is a huge project for us right now. We’re working with Naperville drainage by Ware so we can prevent water flow issues and grow particular flowers that work for us.
While the business is continuing to grow, apart from developing a cutting garden, Charlotte has no solid future plans, saying that she is “not a natural planner, I am a real day to day person”.
And her favourite flower? Charlotte says she can’t settle on just one favourite, as it changes all the time, but for right now: “Cosmos flowers in all shapes and forms.”
To see examples of Charlotte’s floral artistry, go to charlottepuxleyflowers.com, and follow her on Instagram at @charlottepuxleyflowers. If you would like to learn how to create your own stunning floral displays, Charlotte and her team also hold workshops; go to charlottepuxleyflowers.com/collections/workshops. Charlotte Puxley Flowers is located at 315 Outram Rd, #08-07 Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074.
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