Today we are featuring Will Simmons. At just 18 years old, he is the youngest and one of the newest members of our team. Will has been working at McQueens for nearly a year now and is part of our busy events team. He has a contagious passion for flowers that runs in the family – his father is a florist with a shop based in Wolverhampton. McQueens Flower School is a great place for us to spot new talent and Will got the job at McQueens after having completed one of our one-day courses. We spoke to Will to find out about his McQueens adventures.
Will, where does your passion for flower come from?
I must get it from my dad. I grew up around flowers as my dad’s been working with them in Wolverhampton for over 25 years. I started working in his shop on a Saturday when I was 10 years old. I would sweep the floor and fill buckets, and I loved it from the first moment. I discovered that I liked and appreciated flowers but I also enjoyed the personal aspects of working in a flower shop with lots of regular customers; you get to know people very well through their flower buying habits – birthdays, anniversaries, all the big occasions. Working with flowers is as much about people and that’s one of my favourite things about the job.
What made you choose McQueens Flower School?
I originally trained in my dad’s shop, but I decided to go to college as I was eager to learn more. I decided to go McQueens Flower School with a friend – we used the extra we made at Mother’s Day to book the class, and I was really excited about coming to the school. McQueens is a very well-known name and I profiled the work of McQueens for a project at college.
How was the experience?
It was awesome. We both really enjoyed it. We were made to feel very much at home and it was great to have a tour of the place and meet some of the team. I was offered some work experience, which was very exciting. I came to London for a week and it was great to understand more about the business. I was initially placed with a team installing a variety of contracts. It very early starts in the morning but I was excited to be working in some very cool 5-star venues. I also worked in the shop and was asked to make a gigantic bouquet by the shop manager. They must have been testing me because that’s when I got offered the job. I couldn’t believe it, that was a very exciting day!
How was the process of relocating to London and how did you enjoy working for McQueens?
It was a bit nerve-wracking at first but everyone at McQueens has been so great. I have been very busy from the start that I have hardly had any time to think! It has been a great experience so far. I enjoy working with McQueens events team. Every day is completely different and I am learning so much!
What are your favourite flowers and what style do you most enjoy?
The best thing about working with flowers is you will never have a favourite flower for long because it changes so often. Every florist gets asked this question, and my answer will depend on the day! I do love stock, I just love the scent. I like a wild look to flowers; cultivated, but definitely a natural and free style.
Your career in flowers has just started, Will. Where do you see yourself in the future?
I’m not in any rush because I think I have so much to learn, but one day I would love to have a shop of my own. But who knows? I am enjoying every day as it comes right now!