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It's Her Business: Chiara Nash, Leafy Couture Southampton

Fresh onto the floral floristry scene in Southampton we speak to Chiara Nash, founder of Leafy Couture Southampton. Waving goodbye to the corporate world she tells us all about how she braved starting her own business and what she has learnt along the way...


1. Hi Chiara, tell us a bit about yourself!


I’m Chiara, a florist and business owner at Leafy Couture Southampton. I live just outside of Southampton with my husband and two rabbits! In 2023 I decided I was fed up with the corporate world, so I made the difficult but worthwhile decision to go self-employed and pursue my dream of being a florist. Whilst starting my business I was also planning my wedding, so it was a busy year, to say the least! 


2. Eek that does sound busy. Can you tell us about Leafy Couture Southampton?


Leafy Couture Southampton is a floristry business specialising in weddings and events, covering a wide area of Hampshire. We have had the pleasure of creating some gorgeous weddings flowers and bringing floral visions to life. As well as weddings we also host a variety of floral workshops for people to have an opportunity to get creative and make some beautiful arrangements. We also provide florals for local shops and businesses to bring some colour and joy to their workspaces. 



3. That sounds fab! So where did the idea for your business come from?


During lockdown, like most people, I was fed up with being stuck inside and had a lot more free time. This was when I started to get interested in gardening and horticulture. From there I started growing my own flowers and making small posies, and my love of flowers began. Every opportunity I had, I would gift family or friends bunches of flowers, and it gave me so much joy seeing how happy flowers made people. It was so great for me to have a creative outlook away from my job. That was when I became obsessed with the idea of being a florist, and knew it was my dream career.


So I finally decided after being unfulfilled in my old job, to take the leap of faith and start my floristry business, and I haven’t looked back since! 

4. What have been your biggest learning experiences since becoming a business owner?


Not to compare myself to other businesses and that I don’t have to be operating the same way they are. It is so easily done, but I have learnt it is not productive for me or my business. To add to that, it is important to remember that not everything you see on social media reflects what is really going on behind the scenes. We only show the best version or image of ourselves online, so it is not a true reflection of someone. Often it feels like other businesses are much further ahead, but a lot of time things are not as they seem. 


5. If you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?


To put yourself out there and forget about what people may think of you. It can be very daunting to go out and talk about yourself and your business, but opportunities will only come to you if you go out and get them. It will also take a lot of effort and time, but focus on the benefits and the reason why you started in the first place. 



6. Great advice. What has your biggest success/accomplishment/achievement been since starting your business?


Getting my first wedding booking was such a big achievement. It was such an honour to know that couples chose my work and were willing to put their trust in me to deliver their dream wedding. When I started the business I always wanted weddings to be the main focus, so that first booking felt like a big step in the right direction.   



7. Thank you for sharing with us Chiara. One final question, who inspires you?


It sounds really cheesy, but my husband is my biggest inspiration. He is my biggest cheerleader and was so supportive of me giving up my old job to pursue my dream. Also, he is the hardest worker I know, constantly learning and proving that you can do anything you put your mind to. He is a constant reminder for me to keep going and not give up.


Connect with Chiara

If you'd like to connect with Chiara you can find her: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn.


Visit her website here.


🌸 Interested in floral workshops? Here are Chiara's upcoming events.







 

Emma Downey | Founder, Women Who Do

Emma can be found glued to her laptop/kindle or embarking on her next favourite hobby. Avid cake-eater, Disney-superfan and passionate about female empowerment. Emma founded WWD in 2017. She works full-time as a marketing consultant for small businesses and is a part-time lecturer at Bournemouth University, running WWD alongside her client work.

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