The stuff of only the sweetest childhood dreams, Storm Ross’s formative years saw her ‘running wild and naked with willow wreaths in my hair, herb tussie mussies by my bed and birthday chairs adorned with flowers either foraged from the garden or nicked from some derelict plot nearby’.
Storm grew up immersed in the natural world, a life infused with the scents of lemon verbena, bay and rue, but it wasn’t until she was 25, when her friends requested her help for their wedding, that Storm knew she could turn this passion into a successful career. Three years later and the flower artist has her hands full with wedding requests, styling and events under her brand Holloway Floral Design. ‘I love that I get to work with my hands, and spend my days rooting about for unusual and beautiful ingredients among the shrubbery,’ she says.
A year later, we caught up with the 2016 Next Generation star to find out what she’s been up to.
Which three words or phrases most accurately describe the past year for you?
Strengthening, challenging and rewarding.
What have been some of the highlights – career-related and otherwise – over the past 12 months?
I’d say the highlight from the past year is a wedding I did at the Bosjes Wine Estate. It was a wonderful venue to work at, and I was able to work with such freedom in terms of colour palette and flowers.
And what have some of the biggest challenges been?
The biggest challenge has been to stay true my aesthetic while at the same time exploring new genres, new concepts and increasing the diversity in my range of work.
How has your creative work, approach or outlook changed since we last spoke to you?
I would say it has evolved more than changed. I now see my work ethic and creative process as an never-ending pursuit for perfecting my craft. I want to try and savour my process of creating a bouquet or arrangement rather than rushing to get it done. This can be really hard in my line of work, especially when doing an event or wedding where time is of the essence. However, I am now seeing that I need to plan more efficiently and start the process earlier in order to give each piece its due time. I am also embracing the idea that I must open my mind to more forms of beauty and keep learning about new flowers and what they can offer in terms of enhancing a design.
What are you busy with at the moment?
Currently, I am busy planning and designing upcoming weddings. This is fun as I get to take a client’s vision and work with them to dream up new designs, and decide on palettes, flowers and foliage. I am also busy working with Margot Molyneux on a floral centrepiece workshop in her beautiful store in September. I will be bringing in all sorts of delicious ingredients to play with and make some magic. The idea is for the attendees to learn how to go into their garden or to the market and create their own table centrepieces for dinner parties, luncheons or even just to make a room brighter.
Lastly, where do you hope to be or what do you hope to have achieved another year from now?
A year from now I hope to have my own studio space. Currently, I work from my flat – which is great because I have flowers constantly all around me, but the need to separate work and personal life becomes increasingly important in order to maintain some sanity. I also hope a bigger space will allow for bigger ideas, bigger installations and new avenues, clients and collaborators.