Located in Clerkenwell, Flower Factory London is home to a creative team of London-based florists headed up by Khin. Drawing inspiration from nature and the seasons, their workshops vary throughout the year: from creating autumnal dried flower bouquets (sourced sustainably from British growers) to DIY summer wedding flowers and Christmas Scandinavian-inspired wreaths.
Speaking of Christmas Wreaths, Obby is offering an exclusive discount on Flower Factory London's Festive Pine Wreath Workshop!
For the first 8 people to book the workshop after this blog goes live, you'll receive £10 off using code FFLDN10 - be sure to hurry, this class is a popular one and fills up fast!
Back to the blog, Khin chatted to us all about his passion for floristry, the new class he's teaching offering a new source of inspiration, and how Obby has helped him turn his hobby into a commercial business.
(Khin's answers have been edited for length and clarity)
When was the first time you started working with flowers, and what drew you to them?
I was working in IT in the City and started taking random evening classes. Eventually, I took a floristry class and was immediately hooked. I found it so rewarding to do something creative with nature after spending all day in front of a computer.
What made you realise that teaching might be for you? And was it difficult for you to make that leap from creating for yourself to teaching others?
Soon after I started my floristry business I was asked to teach a small class. I was a bit hesitant at first but, after the class, I realised how much fun I had and how rewarding it was to see how much the students enjoyed it.
How do you maintain your inspiration now you’ve turned your passion into a career path? And how do you pass that inspiration onto your students?
I'm often surprised by how much creativity my students have! Even if they've never worked with flowers before, they choose colours and flower combinations in a way I had not envisaged - this helps keep things from getting repetitive, and makes me realize that there are still so many things I can still try creatively. I always encourage students to use their own ideas once I've taught them the basics. I think not following a recipe or set design allows students the freedom to make something truly unique and personal, which from a teaching perspective is very satisfying.
What is your favourite thing to create? And your favourite thing to teach?
I enjoy making table centres for weddings and events as they really transform the space, often bringing nature into a formal interior. I have recently started teaching an Ikebana class which I'm finding great fun - it's so different from anything else and has such a complex history and ethos.
(Author's note: you can find Khin's Ikebana class - the Japanese art of flower arranging - here)
How has Obby helped you to grow as a teacher?
Obby has allowed me to reach a much bigger client base than I could on my own, as well as allowing me to expand my course offering. Obby pretty much organises all my teaching business for me and allows me to just focus on the flowers. The support is amazing, from all the different people who help with things like marketing, tech support, and customer issues.
What is your favourite part about teaching?
Meeting all the interesting people out there, who all come from such diverse backgrounds, that share an interest in all things flora.
What has been your favourite student interaction since you’ve started teaching?
I've had a few students that were interested in setting up their own floristry business! It's been really great to see them progress and grow and turn their new skills and creativity into something commercially viable.
Finally, do you have tips for aspiring creatives who are looking to start teaching their own classes?
It's not for everyone, but if you have a genuine passion for your area of interest and enjoy interacting with people then you should go for it. It's so rewarding, to pass on your skills and knowledge to others, and you can learn so much from the experience too!
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Want to know more?
Interested in finding out more about our wonderful teachers? Check out some more blogs featuring Obby teachers and their stories below:
- Story Telling with Paint Chill Co - the Paint and Sip company with a focus on fun
- Story Telling With Tara Cookery
- Story Telling with Sak Beh Pottery - the North London Pottery Studio
- Story Telling with La Cucina Caldesi - the Italian Cooking School that was fated to be?
- Story Telling with Saddleworth Cookery School - teaching cooking skills that are infused with love