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Interview with Sandra Dodds of The Flower Studio

The Flower Studio visited Bramshott Place on Thursday 5 July to host a stall at the pop-up artisan food and craft market which the village held to celebrate the launch of the final phase of homes.

Residents and invited guests were welcomed to enjoy complimentary tasters of food and drink from a range of independent local suppliers, and have a go at the work of local artists and crafts people.

At the market, Sandra displayed her floristry skills and showed guests how to make flower corsages and button holes. Guests were also able to purchase the beautiful handmade bouquets of flowers to give to family and friends as gifts or to display at home. We talked to Sandra to find out more about her business and why residents shuld pay her a visit. 

Name of business, with location:

The Flower Studio, based in West Liss, Hampshire.

What do you offer at The Flower Studio?

I provide a bespoke service tailored to my clients’ requirements. From a small posy to a full wedding service, I offer bouquets for every occasion including funeral tributes, local contract work, events and even flower arranging classes.

When did you set up your business?

I moved to West Liss five years ago after downsizing from Haslemere. I started my business over six years ago after retiring from a career in nursing. I had always wanted to pursue something with flowers having been a keen gardener and grown a lot of flowers all my adult life.

What do you like about Liss and the surrounding area?

I am a keen walker and there are lots of scenic walks in and around Liss including The Riverside Walk, The Hangers Way, which is a a 21 mile long walk, and Hawkley Liss, which covers Selborne, Petersfield, and finishes at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

Petersfield Town also has lots of shops and restaurants and hosts a market twice a week.

What do you love about creating flower bouquets?

I especially love the wedding aspect and the intricate art of wiring button holes, corsages and wedding bouquets. Similarly, hand-tied bouquets look simple but there is a knack to spiralling them.

Please could you tell us more about the workshops you offer and how people can get involved?

At Christmas I run workshops on making door wreaths, table decorations, fir cone arrangement and tree decorations.

I regularly update my website: www.lissflowerstudio.co.uk

Which local attraction would you most recommend to new residents of Bramshott Place?

I would definitely recommend Gilbert White's House & Garden Selborne and Jane Austin's House & Museum Chawton.

The Harrow Inn Steep, near Petersfield, has hardly changed since the new bar in 1910. It has a fantastic atmosphere as well as great local food and has been owned by the same family for donkey’s years. Please note there is no Wi-Fi and it only accepts cash. 

A friend of mine grows flowers for charity in the field owned by The Harrow Inn Steep, and then sells them outside the pub and raises thousands of pounds each year. I buy a lot of flowers from there. The pub also hosts an annual coffee morning where locals supply cakes, plants and vegetables – definitely one not to be missed.

Where did you learn your floristry expertise? 

I did a three day taster course at The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers and was so hooked I signed up for a diploma in floral design that was starting the next week. I loved my time there and gained a wealth of experience in events, weddings and corporate work. Also during my time there I was fortunate to meet the Duchess of Cornwall who was attending a flower class. This training has helped me to ensure all of my bouquets are bespoke; a lot of my bride to be's allow me a fairly free rein with my designs.

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