One of the wonderful pleasures of welcoming students to McQueens Flower School is seeing their enthusiasm and passion for flowers. It’s a privilege to get to know our students as friends and we love to keep in touch and see them forge their own path in the world of flowers. Instagram is perfect for keeping up to date with the progress of a new generation of florists. We recently welcomed back Fatima Rodrigues from Madrid, who attended one of our classes earlier this year, for three weeks of work experience helping with our Christmas installations. We spoke to Fatima to find out about her experience at McQueens Flower School and find out what it was like to return for some work experience:
My name’s Fatima Rodrigues, I have my own flower shop, called Arbolande in Madrid, Spain. My friend and business partner, Alice, and I began the business together in 2013. My background is far from florist world. I was surveyor engineer and had been surveying civil works and roads for ten years. Alice and I were united by our passion for flowers so together we decided to change our lives and make our dreams come true by opening our own florist.
How did you discover McQueens?
I discovered McQueens through social networks, specifically through Instagram. From the moment I saw McQueens photography I was amazed at how magnificent and elegant their compositions are. I could see that they weren’t an ordinary florist, they have a spark that makes them special.
What made you choose McQueens Flower School?
Alice and I received training in Spain, but for both of us, it is very important to continue to learn and expand our knowledge. The style of English floristry looked really unique and beautiful, so we chose the best to learn from, McQueens. I did the events and corporate design course last April and it was an amazing week. The classes were very fulfilling and entertaining, fun and serious at the same time. The teachers were awesome, very professional, attentive and friendly. The classes were totally practical, and thanks to the teachers we managed to make some impressive arrangements.
It was also very enriching to meet people of different nationalities, all united with the same passion.
What has it been like returning to McQueens for work experience?
The last few weeks working at McQueens have been one of the best experiences in my life as a florist, it has given me so much confidence and inspiration. I’ve learned lots and have loved being able to create great things with everyone here. The atmosphere is happy, professional and fun – an experience I will never forget.
I can’t wait to return to Arbolande with my new ideas. My passion for flowers feels never-ending and I hope I’ll never lose the pure joy that comes from working in this industry. I’m looking forward to wowing our customers in Spain with our even greater and more beautiful events and installations, and sharing my joy with them, too
What flowers do you like the most?
I have so many favorite flowers, I think I love all of them! I especially enjoy the change of the seasons, when a new array of flowers and colours appear. One of my top favorites is ranunculus, with its heavy head of petals. I also like the peony, it’s so velvety and magnificent, I love watching it open little by little, day by day. I particularly like combining different textures and I have a special preference for berries. Whenever I see an opportunity to use them, I will!
Follow Fatima Rodrigues on Instagram @Arbolande