Funky Floral, local, independent florists, specialising in unique, custom, designer floral arrangements, was born out of a love for creativity and flair, love of family and friends and from the music, House, Disco, Funk and Soul, that inspired and motivated proprietor, Alexandra Ross.
After taking a hiatus from a career in HR and studying for a degree at MMU – Alexandra, whilst pregnant with her first child, decided to enrol on an evening floristry course to satisfy her creative passions. However, even before completion of the first course, Alexandra knew she had fallen in love with the art of floristry and enrolled on a full-time course and wanted to dedicate her professional life to the art.
As part of this course, Alexandra was expected to undertake work experience and – not going to be satisfied with ordinary- she sought the best and most creative and contemporary florists in Manchester to offer her services. Upon completion and qualification, Alexandra was hired full-time and worked out of their concession in Selfridges, in Manchester. It was here that Alexandra was able to perfect her craft for designing fabulous floral creations, whilst taking inspiration from the world of fashion. This led to Alexandra Ross establishing herself as an exceptionally talented florist and she was soon being commissioned to work with Manchester’s premier events company, The Taylor Lynn Corporation – responsible for organising events for Manchester’s ‘rich and famous’ as well as for major corporations. Alexandra thrived in the fast paced world of Event Management but soon realised that the 14-16 hour days were not conducive to raising a family (by this time – three young children).
It was at this point, after the birth of her third child, that she made the difficult decision to leave her career in Manchester behind to concentrate on raising her children. However, not satisfied with giving up completely, Alexandra really did start up a ‘cottage industry’ by working out of her garden workshop to carry on creating floral masterpieces for family and friends.
Not too long passed before word of mouth was starting to catch up with Alexandra in her limited space and she knew that in order to keep up with demand and fulfil her ambition she was going to need a bigger space. Through a bit of luck and help from some lovely people the dream was quickly being realised; things were falling in to place. The adjacent property to the family home had recently come up for sale and through the help from customers with a bit of influence in the local planning department – Alexandra was soon to become a proprietor of her own florist.
The only dilemma was to decide on a name for the business! Initially a daunting task, Alexandra found inspiration in her musical tastes. Whilst working late in to the cold, dark of winter nights – she would play her favourite HOUSE, DISCO, SOUL and FUNK music to keep her energised and motivated – and alas ‘FUNKY FLORAL’ was born!
Imagination, Vision, Glamour, Creative, are words that have become synonymous with the FUNKY FLORAL brand and it is Alexandra and her team’s vision to continue learning and being inspired to produce visually stunning creations!
It’s been over 15 years since the initial seed was planted and Alexandra is still as passionate about her job as she ever was and it is still her endeavour to bring London chic to the North without the expensive price tags. Affordable luxury!
When asked about Alexandra’s favourite parts of the job she is quick to reply that it is the loyal customers, from both near and far, and whom many have been supportive of her business for its entirety- are paramount. Alexandra says, ‘you really get to know the families so well – that’s why I absolutely love my job. ‘
Another satisfying part of Alexandra’s job is taking on flower arrangement needs for funerals. Alexandra takes great pride in helping families give that last good-bye a special touch and work closely with the families to offer a personalised, bespoke service and she admits that she is always very touched when she receives thank you cards and letters from the families after the services.
For Alexandra and the Funky Floral Team, it is this level of personalisation that makes all the effort worthwhile and also why Alexandra has never wanted to –‘Team up’ or become part of a ‘relay group’. Out of a desire to ensure customers get value for money whilst at the same time a quality arrangement, Alexandra often sources reputable independent florists from across the country, whom she can recommend to her local customers if they are wanting to send flowers further afield – as all too often sub-standard florists, who are part of a relay group, take advantage of the fact that the person ordering the flowers to send, will probably never see them and the receiver not likely to complain, so therefore can send inferior quality flowers.
Regularly, customers ask Alexandra and her team if Funky Floral can ship flowers, so they decided to set up this service. From January 2018 they will be shipping designs to friends and family.
Funky Floral will remain independent so every design is handmade in the shop and immediately shipped out with an overnight courier to guarantee freshness and quality. Customers really like that they can come in, hand pick a variety of flowers and they can be with a loved one hundreds of miles away, the very next day. Pretty cool we think!
Every order received is usually designed for that particular customer. They are asked ‘who the flowers are for’, any favourite flowers or colour schemes and of course a budget to work to. Often, Alexandra and her team are given a budget and then the customers trust Funky Floral to choose their favourite seasonal flowers of the time and create something quite special! Clearly Funky Floral are doing something right as their customers keep coming back for more! Perhaps part of it is that they know each time they’ll get something different – but equally as impressive!