Connecting you with the people of Scotland by sharing their stories
Hollie is the owner of Hollie Berries Flower Studio and Cutting Garden, which is a sustainable floristry business run from her studio workshop in Aberdeenshire.
Hi Hollie! It’s wonderful to get the chance to ask you some questions and to share more about what you do with our readers. Can you please introduce yourself and your business Hollie Berries Flowers?
Thank you so much for having me! My name is Hollie and I run Hollie Berries Flower Studio and Cutting Garden, which is a a sustainable floristry business run from my studio workshop in Aberdeenshire. We grow our flowers for bouquets, workshops, installations and events and love to create in our oversized and wild, natural style.
What led you on your journey to start Hollie Berries Flowers?
After years of making wreaths, growing flowers and styling pictures as a hobby alongside my blog, I was inspired to have a full blown career change and returned to studying full time gaining my professional floristry training and diploma. From day one of college I was shocked to learn how unsustainable the floristry industry really is from the use of plastics and huge carbon footprint of the imports, and knew that my own business would have to be done differently and in a sustainable way.
You created the wonderfully wild foliage installation above the door of our shop & studio space based at the Milton of Crathes. What other projects do you work on, and can you tell our readers what services you offer?
We grow our flowers for bouquet orders, workshops, installations and events and love to create big, oversized, wild pieces!
You live and work from your home in rural Aberdeenshire, can you tell us more about your surroundings and what it’s like to live there?
I am a fully obsessed with Aberdeenshire, and absolutely love living here! The fact that I can start the day with a dog walk up the hills of Bennachie before work is heaven to me! I am hugely inspired by our Scottish surroundings, from the pine forests and woodlands to the hills and open countryside, and this is very much reflected in my work, in what I choose to grow in our garden and my wild, natural style of floristry.
You are surrounded by so many great spots, castles, and walks. Where are your favourite places to visit?
We really are spoilt for choice here, but one of my favourite local walks is Millstone hill, a slightly lesser known hill around Bennachie with amazing views. Paradise woods is another walk close by which takes you along the river Don and is another hidden gem! I also love to visit local gardens throughout the seasons for Inspiration and Leith hall, Drum Castle and Crathes Castle gardens are all personal favourites.
Who are your favourite local small businesses, where people can visit?
My favourite little cafe is The Old Post office tea room at Chapel of Garioch! Wonderful lunches and baking, and such a cosy place to spend a rainy afternoon! I’m also a huge fan of The Spider on a Bicycle cafe in Aboyne for a picnic and cake supplies pre hike! As for shops, Hidden Scotland shop at Milton of Crathes really cannot be matched for its huge array of products from amazing Scottish makers. From Jude Gove, Fernweh, Juniper Press and many, many more. All my favourite makers are stocked here and it is the place to go for gift buying!
You also have your own allotment. What are you growing at the moment, and what’s it like maintaining this and staying ahead of the seasons?
At this time of year the thousands of Spring bulbs that I planted in Autumn are just starting to peek through the ground which is very exciting. I am obsessed with the big over the top tulips and frilly daffodils and can’t wait to see this years varieties! You really do have to be about a year ahead, as when the Spring bulbs are in season its time to place next years order! So it really does involve constant planning and a lot of note taking, looking ahead to the next season and next year of growing.
Sustainability is very important to you, can you tell us the steps you take in order to implement this into your business?
Sustainability is at the core of my business and I am constantly asking myself what I can improve on in this area. By having a cutting garden, we have completely cut out flower imports which have such a huge carbon footprint, meaning we are a completely seasonal and sustainable cut flower garden! We do not use any pesticides or chemicals in our garden and grow everything completely naturally. When it comes to arranging and packaging, we will never use single use plastics or nasty flower foam, instead opting for sustainable techniques! And finally, all of our packaging right down to our logo stickers is completely biodegradable.
What would be your dream project to work on?
Creating huge wild installations is my favourite kind of project, and I would absolutely love to create something huge like this for a TV set on some kind of Scottish or nature programme!
What does the future look like for Hollie Berries Flowers? What’s next?
This year we are expanding into our brand new cutting garden and I can’t wait to fill our new space with flowers! This means we will have even more beautiful flower varieties to offer. We also have our old workshop renovation to look forward to, giving our beautiful but in need of tlc victorian stable and the home of Hollie Berries Flowers a new lease of life in order to continue to grow the business! We have lots of gorgeous wedding booking and projects in the diary, and it’s shaping up to be a busy and exciting year!
We should also mention your other Instagram account (brand) Hollie Berries, where you share updates on home life, baking, your adventures, crafting, and not to mention your most recent project of renovating an old cottage. Can you introduce this aspect of your life to us?
This is where it all began for me really! As a hobby blog, photographing my home, adventures, makes and bakes which more recently has turned to allotment diaries and cottage renovations! I’ve always loved taking pictures and it is such a lovely creative outlet sharing snippets of slow living, simple pleasures, local adventures and daily life here in Aberdeenshire.
It wouldn’t be right to not give a shout out to Barley the cockapoo, the latest addition to your family. Barley often accompanies you in your van while you are out working, does he make a good assistant? 🙂
Barley really is my little sidekick, he comes everywhere with me! He keeps me great company when out and about delivering and curls up under my workbench in the workshop! He’s not quite mastered the art of gardening yet, but does enjoy to help with the digging!