From London stylist to Aberdeen florist, Lauren Mackay is never afraid to have a go at something.
Her can do attitude means her beautiful flower business is now blooming, despite the fact that she had to close for around nine months due to Covid – having only been in business a year.
From loyal clients to her determination to change how flowers are thought of in the funeral industry, 29 year old Lauren has finally found her passion.
With wedding season in full swing, in part due to couples rescheduling from last year, Lauren still found time to smell the roses and catch up with Society.
“I am never scared to give a try, nothing can go so wrong that you can’t come back from it,” said Lauren.
“The only way you can fail is if you don’t give something a go to begin with.
“I think I was around 17 when I left school. Going to university felt like a total waste of time for me.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I wouldn’t be able to make a living at uni.
“I already worked in the retail industry, so I ended up working three jobs.”
Lauren decided to head to London, and started work as a stylist for the French designer, The Kooples.
But despite enjoying her job, Lauren realised that life in the big smoke just wasn’t for her.
“I moved away from so much greenery, and London just felt too big,” she said.
“It was a huge slap in the face and a big culture shock. I’d come home after working long hours, and found I just couldn’t unwind.
“It didn’t feel like the right place for me to be, but I wasn’t ready to return to Aberdeen.”
Lauren opted to head a little closer to home, and moved to Glasgow where her career in retail flourished.
Seven years whizzed by and Lauren enjoyed a life of travel, having been asked to train people abroad.
But when the shine eventually wore off, she took a chance and decided to do a college course in floristry.
“It was one day a week, I never thought it would turn into a career,” said Lauren.
“I ended up studying for another year, and working at the same time. It was full on, but I got a job in a florist shop.”
Old Aberdeen finally beckoned Lauren home when she realised she was home sick, and wanted to spend more time with family.
But rather then work for someone else, Lauren set up on her own and has never looked back.
“I didn’t want to do work for someone else when their style wasn’t the same as mine,” she said.
“I started up the business and luckily it went really well.
“I work with brides by appointment only, and it always humbles me that I’ve been chosen to be part of someone’s special day – out of all the amazing florists in Aberdeen.
“To think that someone has picked me, that’s the biggest compliment.”
Aside from celebrations, Lauren’s favourite aspect of her work isn’t what you might expect.
“So the honest truth, funerals are my favourite,” she said.
“That might sound sinister, but I’ve seen how dismissive the funeral industry can be to those that are grieving.
“I can offer empathy and understanding, and represent what the person might have liked.
“Quite often you’ll get given a catalogue with 10 choices in it. So you pick what’s there, not necessarily what you want.
“I do coffin sprays which sit on top of the coffin, alongside lots of different shapes.”
Lauren also tries to use flowers grown locally where possible, but the Scottish climate is not always kind.
“So I use Maryfield Flowers out at Banchory, but it’s not always easy to get everything you need grown locally,” she said.
“The colour palette can change daily depending on what is in season, and I do get flowers from abroad.
“I try not to take requests because as a florist, I know what’s in season and what will be of the highest quality.
“I feel like what I’m doing clearly works, because my customers come back.
“I think there’s enough space for us all in Aberdeen though. I always recommend other florists and they do the same for me.”
Lauren has gone one step further in supporting local businesses, by offering gift boxes.
Alongside her lovely blooms, you can enjoy products from producers in the north-east, including handmade soap from Mydlo.
“I love doing the gift boxes with local suppliers, and I think there has been a huge switch in people wanting to support local,” said Lauren.
“I feel lucky that my business has come out of Covid and survived. I was shut for around nine months, people could easily have forgot about me.
“So to come back and feel so much love from everyone has been the best thing in the world.”
You can see Lauren’s creations on Instagram via flowersbylaurenmackay