Gifted Burnley florist Kathryn Beaver celebrates 30 years in the profession and creating flowers for 1,500 brides
Affectionately known as the 'pampas grass queen' well known Burnley florist Kathryn Beaver is celebrating 30 years in the profession.
In that time Kathryn estimates she has created flowers for around 1,500 weddings, and just as many funerals. And for mum of two Kathryn, this is more than just a job, it is a real passion and calling.
"Flowers are there to bring joy and pleasure to people and I really enjoy doing that, " said Kathryn.
Now, after a number of years working from the garage of her home, she has moved into her own workshop at Maltings Mill, Sandygate, Burnley.
She said: "I absolutely love it. I have all the space I need now."
Kathryn left school not really knowing what she wanted to do, although she did think about being a fashion designer. Her 'lightbulb' moment came when she went to the former Buttonhole Florists in Padiham to make a purchase and was beguiled by the displays.
She said: "I just loved it and I turned to my mum, who was with me, and said ‘this is what I want to do.’ “
From there Kathryn, who is mum to Lily (16) and 10-year-old Rosie, enrolled for a floristry course at Myerscough College in Garstang where she studied for the next two years. Kathryn, who lives with her partner Gary Beaumont, then went on to work at the Buttonhole for a number of years after the late owner, Linda Dower, gave her the opportunity to do work experience while she was studying. Kathryn also spent several years at Kathleen's Florists in Burnley's Coal Clough Lane.
Kathryn gave up work when she had Rosie and, when her little girl was six months, old Kathryn decided to pick up where she left off. Working from home Kathryn's customer base started to build up through social media and LilyRose Floristry, named in honour of her daughters, was born.
A real perfectionist, all of Kathryn's creations have that 'wow' factor and her unique stamp on them. Meeting brides and planning their flowers for the most important day of their life is one of the most enjoyable aspects of her job for Kathryn.
"It's nice to meet brides and get a feel for what they want on their big day, the flowers are so important and can really make the day perfect, " said Kathryn.
And of course, one of her customers' favourites are the pampas grass creations she makes.
"I would describe my style as modern and unique, "said Kathryn who is preparing for Christmas, one of the busiest times of the year for her when she will make around 100 door wreaths and as many garlands.
"It's long hours in this job and it takes up many of my weekends but I wouldn't have it any other way, " added Kathryn.
A vital part of Kathryn's work is the many funerals she is asked to make arrangements for and her flowers never cease to amaze.
"It's so important to get them right as the flowers are a final gift to their loved ones and I feel honoured to be part of that, " said Kathryn.
Sharing the new unit with Kathryn is her friend Joanne Wellock who provides props and accessories for weddings and other events through her business Tinglz Events.
The duo have made quite a name for themselves joining forces to cater for a number of weddings at one of Burnley's leading venues, Hurstwood's Simply Fields. And there are plans on the cards to create a special wedding showroom for brides to visit at the new unit.