Planning an event and want some extravagant flowers on show? There’s only one person to contact: Ricky Jackson, the founder of Ricky Paul Flowers
When did you first become interested in flowers?
I first became interested in flowers after working in interiors for both Heals and Harrods. I previously studied performing arts and set design, and working with flowers enabled me to combine all my previous work skills so I took a position as a florist in trendy Notting Hill.
What inspired you to launch Ricky Paul Flowers back in 2010?
After working for one of London’s most creative floral design companies providing flowers for the fashion, media and PR industry as well as delivering flowers to VIP and celebrity clients, I decide it was time to set up my own business. With my previous love for theatre and set design I wanted to showcase my work with a theatrical feel, huge floral hot air balloons and flamingos, unicorns and vibrant florals are what we are all about at Ricky Paul Flowers.
How did you want to be different?
Floristry is an art form that you have to put your personality into. We see so many stunning flowers for weddings and events across the industry, but often in similar designs that are in trend from year to year. I love to think outside the box and create something different, we don’t feel we have much competition as we are unique in our approach to floral design, bespoke sculptures, Swarovski crystals, feathers and many other elements go into our designs, so we don’t always focus on just the florals. We have grown hugely over the last ten years into one of the most in demand floral design companies in the UK.
How does a typical commission come together?
We are usually asked to come up with designs for floral installations, working with the most amazing team our combined skills give us the edge on our competitors. From initial consultation at our new design studio in Loughton, we inspire our clients with our fabulous ideas, providing cad designs and artwork to visualise the events prior to installation.
What have been your three favourite commissions to date?
Back in 2019 we designed a huge bespoke 8-metre tall Christmas Bonzi tree for Sketch London with golden sculptured birds, glass baubles, waxed real roses and huge golden lanterns. We even featured in architectural magazine Dezeen’s top 10 Christmas trees in the world for 2019.
My second favourite installation was a festive collaboration with Vivienne Westwood for Aqua Shard in 2018 to design the florals and decorations to sit alongside the Christmas tree, with thousands of fairy lights and hand painted butterfliers all made by team Ricky Paul and hundreds of stunning white hydrangea, all against the backdrop of the London skyline.
I must of course include our stunning floral poodles made and designed by team Ricky Paul, with over 4,000 freeze dried roses and Swarovski crystals and stunning fresh flowers, they looked incredible and became a real talking point. We often still receive enquires where clients mention our fabulous poodles.
How does the business fit in with your home life?
I love my job and spend a lot of unsociable hours working due to timings for weddings an events, but being based in Loughton is great as I live in Buckhurst Hill so I am able to spend more time at home relaxing and coming up with new floral ideas after a long day as I don’t have to spend time travelling across London to work.
What do you love about Loughton?
We used to be based in East London, however during lockdown I decided to move the business to a temporary studio closer to home and reassess what direction I wanted the business to go. We opened a shop for a year in Buckhurst Hill that proved very popular, flower sales were slow, but as we started getting a lot more enquiries from clients in the West Essex area for private parties, bat mitzvas and Christmas installations, we realised that being slightly further out of central London wasn’t an issue for the business with good access to the M25 for wedding and event venues across the south east. We decided we needed a much large premises so we have now moved into our lovely new studio with adjoining warehouse on Forest Road Loughton.
What are your three favourite places in the area, or further afield in Essex?
Epping Forest is the reason we moved to Buckhurst Hill. Having two Frenchies, the forest is essential and such a wonderful part of the area, and the fact you can jump on a tube and be in central London so quickly gives us the best of both worlds.
Buckhurst Hill has some amazing restaurants, but by far my favourite is Tandoor at The Chambers, it’s a lovely local restaurant with delicious food.
Further afield I love visiting Mersea Island, a wonderful dog-friendly beach with lovely beach huts and a good selection of bars and restaurants serving fresh seafoods.
As we approach the festive season, what are you looking forward to most?
Christmas is by far our busiest time of year, we provide a huge amount of festive décor for luxury venues across London. I love Christmas as it allows me to be super creative, our installations get earlier each year so thinking outside the box is vital as a fresh tree won’t last long enough in a hotel. This year we have some amazing designs from huge oversized festive urns filled with festive florals to bespoke golden trees and magical flying unicorns all with added Ricky Paul sparkles. We can’t wait to share the designs with you, we will also be offering bespoke house installations, entrances with huge arches and wreaths with gorgeous decorations and twinkly lights, so get in touch with our event team to discuss your festive décor.