Aberdeen Florist Takes on Funeral Industry with Personal Flowers
From London stylist to Aberdeen florist, Lauren Mackay is never afraid to try something.
Her able-to-do attitude means her beautiful flower business is now blossoming, despite having had to close for around nine months due to Covid – having only been in business for a year.
From customers loyal to her determination to change the way flowers are viewed in the funeral industry, Lauren, 29, has finally found her passion.
With the wedding season in full swing, in part because of the couples postponement from last year, Lauren has yet found time to smell the roses and catch up with society.
âI’m never afraid to try, nothing can go so wrong that you can’t get over it,â Lauren said.
âThe only way to fail is to not try something to begin with.
âI think I was around 17 when I left school. Going to college was a complete waste of time for me.
âI didn’t know what I wanted to do and I couldn’t make a living in college.
âI used to work in retail so ended up having three jobs. “
Lauren decided to move to London and started working as a stylist for French designer The Kooples.
But as much as she enjoys her job, Lauren realized that life in the big smoke just wasn’t for her.
âI stepped away from so much greenery, and London felt too big,â she said.
âIt was a huge slap in the face and a huge culture shock. I was coming home from long hours of work and found that I just couldn’t relax.
“It didn’t seem like the right place for me, but I wasn’t ready to go back to Aberdeen.”
Lauren chose to head a little closer to home and moved to Glasgow where her retail career flourished.
Seven years have passed and Lauren has enjoyed a life of travel, having been invited to train people overseas.
But when the sparkle finally wore off, she took a chance and decided to take a college course in floristry.
âIt was one day a week, I never thought it would turn into a career,â Lauren said.
âI ended up studying for another year and working at the same time. It was full, but I got a job in a florist store.
Old Aberdeen finally waved Lauren home when she realized she was home sick and wanted to spend more time with her family.
But rather than working for someone else, Lauren settled down on her own and never looked back.
âI didn’t want to work for someone else when their style was not the same as mine,â she said.
âI started the business and luckily everything went very well.
âI work with brides by appointment only, and it always humbles me to be chosen to be part of someone’s special day – from all the amazing florists in Aberdeen.
“Thinking that someone chose me is the biggest compliment.”
Celebrations aside, Lauren’s favorite aspect of her job isn’t what you might expect.
âSo the honest truth, funerals are my favorite,â she said.
âIt may sound grim, but I have seen how contemptuous the funeral industry can be towards those who are grieving.
âI can offer empathy and understanding, and represent what the person would have liked.
âVery often you will receive a catalog with 10 choices. So you choose what is there, not necessarily what you want.
“I make coffin sprays that sit on the coffin, next to many different shapes.”
Lauren also tries to use locally grown flowers whenever possible, but the Scottish climate is not always pleasant.
âSo I use Maryfield Flowers in Banchory, but it’s not always easy to grow everything you need locally,â she said.
âThe color scheme can change daily depending on the season, and I get flowers from overseas.
âI try not to take requests because as a florist I know what’s in season and what will be of the highest quality.
âI feel like what I’m doing is clearly working because my clients keep coming back.
âI think there is enough space for all of us in Aberdeen though. I always recommend other florists and they do the same for me.
Lauren went one step further by supporting local businesses by providing gift boxes.
Next to its pretty flowers, you can taste products from producers in the north-east, including artisanal soap from Mydlo.
âI love doing the gift boxes with local vendors, and I think there has been a huge shift in people who want to support the local,â Lauren said.
âI feel lucky that my business got out of Covid and survived. I was locked up for about nine months, people could easily have forgotten me.
“So coming back and feeling so much love from everyone has been the best thing in the world.”
You can see Lauren’s designs on Instagram via flowersbylaurenmackay