The brainchild of 20-something Hattie Fox, That Flower Shop is an intriguing mix of whimsical botanical greenhouse and cool east London florist. Based on Shoreditch High Street within the Ace Hotel, the small store has made huge waves in an often-unsung industry – with their distinctive arrangements popping up in the very best foyers in the capital and beyond.
For those who haven’t visited That Flower Shop – what should they expect?
An ever-changing sea of flowers and colours. The colour palettes and style naturally evolves throughout the year. Being guided by the seasons is unreliable but I like not knowing what’s coming next.
You speak about your career in floristry in a very matter of fact way, but what is it about flowers that are so special?
Ha! I guess I do. Being a florist or working with flowers is probably the most consistent thing I have ever given myself or been able to rely on. I have been a florist for nearly half of my life and it’s such a huge part of who I am – I think I’m probably at the truest version of myself when I’m in the studio early in the morning. Being able to bring to life something with colours and textures and then immediately reap the aesthetic reward or make someone’s day is a pretty good job, don’t you think?
How long have you been based in Shoreditch? Why here?
I have been here for 5 years now! Originally I came here because there weren’t any other florists and it was cheap. Everybody kept telling me I was crazy, and to be honest I also thought it would fail – I still keep expecting it to just stop one day and I’ll have to start freelancing again.
What has being so close to the Ace Hotel meant for your customer base?
Quite a lot in good and bad ways – we went from being this tiny little florist exploding out of our damp studio to this pristine new shop on the high street. Suddenly we were much more accessible. Many of our clients are from overseas and like the link with the Ace hotel where as some of our other customers perhaps prefer the familiarity of a smaller florist. This being said, I think we do a good job catering to both customers.
Being in such a populated area, how important do you think green spaces are to everyday life?
Very important. London is one of my favourite cities because it’s interspersed with green everywhere – it’s so good for your soul to take a bit of time to look up or take in what’s around you. Concrete just gets me down.
How has East London inspired your work?
I don’t know if it has necessarily inspired my work. It’s more like East London has watched me grow up! It’s just watched me fall over and get back up again repeatedly for the past 5 years. That Flower Shop and I have changed so much – I feel fortunate that it’s probably one of the few areas in London where it’s ok to not know what you’re doing all the time. I like that.
What is the most asked for flower by your local customers?
Peonies all year round every day, every day of the year. It’s so crazy because they are only available for about 10 weeks of the year but everyone goes nuts for them. We have amazing English peonies in the summer and then I’m always trying to force them on people
What other small businesses in the area inspire you?
I love Luna and Curious on Calvert avenue – I feel as though they are the matriarchs of Shoreditch. They are all so individually talented and together an all-woman power team – they seem to have this tireless stream of creativity and a great business sense.
How would you describe Shoreditch to someone who had never been here before?
Hectic and eclectic – it’s pretty much got everything you want in it. You literally never know what’s coming next but it gets away with everything.
You’ve been creating some arrangements for the Long & Waterson development – what were your inspirations behind them?
We took lead from the design of the space and provided them with something quite simple that compliments the rest of the design as opposed to taking over or drawing too much attention from the design and build of the development.
For more information, please visit http://thatflowershop.co.uk
All pictures © Amandine Alessandra (@theinteriorphotographer)