We opened our doors to very special guest last Thursday in the form of one of Europe’s top floral artists Joe Massie.
Joe is just 26 and already has a number of prestigious awards and accolades under his belt, including 5 gold medals and 4 ‘Best in Show’ awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!
He helped to decorate the White House one Christmas (and met both the First Lady and the First Dog!), has demonstrated in hundreds of different countries and was even surprised with a ‘selfie’ booth set up especially for him in Japan so that his fans could grab a chance to get a picture taken with him! Understandably the team here at Orchard Park were all very excited indeed that he had agreed to spend the day with us and demonstrate his work to our customers.
The day before Joseph was due to be demonstrating at Orchard Park he said he would spend a day with us so that he could get a feel for how we worked and decide what bits and bobs he’d like to use from around the store to make his arrangements even more special. This provided a really personal experience for the ticket holders as they were able to buy items from the store to take home and recreate the masterpieces Joe made.
The morning he was due to arrive we were all feeling very excited and quite nervous, and were frantically trying to check that we had arranged everything that he may need… it’s not often that we get an international star in rural North Dorset!
We needn’t have worried. When Joe arrived he was equally as excited to be here! He immediately fit in with the team and we were happy to make him part of the family. Joe loved the banner we had displayed, and had shared a picture of it on his Instagram and Facebook account before he had even walked in to the store! Our florists found it incredibly inspiring to work alongside him, and he has even given them the confidence to make an entry into an RHS Chelsea competition next year, so stay tuned…
On the morning of the event as the lucky ticket holders piled in Joe confided in us that he still got nervous before demonstrating! He was a true professional though and breezed through his introduction, entertaining both guests and staff with his witty anecdotes.
He certainly held a captive audience!
Each session included the demonstration of 6 arrangements, some of which were traditional and some more modern. Joe mostly worked with fresh flowers, although he did create some displays with silk flowers to demonstrate the versatility of them and fantastic quality. This won even some of the more dubious guests over, who were all amazed at how artificial flowers have improved over the years.
We had a short refreshment break half way through the session which included a meet and greet session with Joe and a chance to ask him any questions. Fresh cakes were made by the Orchard Café baker Anya, and were very well received indeed!
And that’s not all! Three lucky guests in each session were chosen at random to take home an arrangement made by Joe, and they were pleased as punch!
We had an absolutely fantastic day, and we are looking forward to holding similar events here regularly in the future. We’ll keep you posted; sign up to be a member to make sure you hear about it first!