Karim is one of the newest members of team McQueens. He started working for us around ten months ago after moving to London from his native Switzerland. Already Karim is a well-loved member of the crew – it’s hard to imagine McQueens without him! Apart from being a very accomplished florist, he manages to keep everyone entertained and has the sort enthusiastic passion that is perfect for his role within the busy events team. We spoke to Karim about his love of flowers, and why you should always listen to your mother!
How did you start your career in the flower industry?
As a young child I was always fascinated with making and building things. At Christmas I would make decorations with materials that I found in the garden. I have always loved horse riding and I spent some time working as a competitive show jumper which I adored. But the demands of that job were so great and it was so incredibly physically demanding that I decided instead to train on a three- year apprenticeship in graphic design. As a graphic designer I soon discovered that sitting in front of a computer all day didn’t suit me; I wanted more variety and a job that was a bit more challenging. That’s when my mother suggested that I should consider working with flowers – I’m not sure that that would have occurred to me. I switched careers and found instantly that working with flowers was for me! I discovered that some of the principles that I learned in graphic design were applicable to floristry. I attended flower school in Geneva and obtained top marks within my school group where I was the only male florist. I then began a two-year apprenticeship at a top florist in Switzerland and loved it ever since. I decided that I wanted to broaden my skills and knew that I wanted to work at a florist abroad. McQueens was somewhere that I had dreamed of working, and I contacted them via social media and sent off my CV. I was so excited when I was eventually offered the job and it’s been a whirlwind ever since!
How do you describe your personal style?
The style of flowers that I enjoy most are wild, free and very natural. I love the fact that McQueens embraces all styles of flower design and I get to see lots of different approaches to flowers in McQueens.
How has your time been at McQueens?
I began in November last year during the build up to Christmas and it was VERY busy. But I have been welcomed with open arms and everyone at team McQueens has been so kind. Moving to a new country is very stressful and speaking English wasn’t my strongest point when I first arrived, but the time has flown and I have learned loads of new things and been on lots of exciting jobs with the events team.
What would be you favourite flower?
I am a huge fan of dahlia at this time of year. The repetition and beauty of the petal formations are perfection in my eyes, and you can find lots of unique varieties in amazing colours at this time of year.
What do you most enjoy about being at McQueen?
I love the scale of what we do at McQueens. In the events team, we create flowers for lots of high-profile parties and events, and I love that we get to work in lots of beautiful venues in London and throughout the UK.
What are you ambitions for the future?
I am enjoying my time as it comes at the moment. Working in the events team is such a great opportunity – who knows where it will lead?!