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April 10, 2023 —

Love What You Do: Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers

Fresh, dried, or pressed - flowers in all their flourishing forms are the focus of Me & My Bloomers, Stephanie Callaghan’s floral design studio
Pressed British flower artwork by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers
Natural flower display with natural dyed linen by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers
Sine Fleet - contributingeditor of 91 Magazine
Sine Fleet
91 Magazine contributing editor,
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Hi Stephanie, how would you describe Me & My Bloomers?

It’s a celebration of flowers and nature, really. Sometimes I find it hard to describe, as it’s constantly evolving and its focus changes through the seasons. We work with fresh, dried, and pressed flowers to create products, and also wedding and event designs.

Pressed British flower artwork by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My BloomersTell us about your work before Me & My Bloomers – what led you here?

After completing my fine art degree I tried my hand at a number of creative professions, including prop and set design which led me to a job in Istanbul designing window displays for a large fashion brand. I worked there for three years and as amazing as it was to be immersed in another city, I was so creatively frustrated and working for a corporate fast fashion brand wasn’t right for me. When I left I had no idea what I wanted to do, so my partner and I bought an old VW (which broke down so many times), and drove around Italy for the summer. It was there while volunteering at a lavender farm through Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms that I was weeding the plants and something clicked; I decided when I got home I’d try growing flowers and see where that took me. 

My mum founded Coast when I was a child and although I’m not quite as business minded as her, and Bloomers operates on a tiny scale in comparison, it has given me the confidence to want to run my own business. 

Orange and yellow flowers to be pressed in Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers' studio

Describe a typical working day… 

At the moment, my son Ru is almost two and he only started nursery a few months ago, so we’re still finding our feet with what’s achievable within what is now a two-day working week, as I take care of him for the rest of the week. Luckily, my studio is a three-minute walk from my house on the top floor of a brewery, I share the space with my partner Carl, who is an artist.

My studio days begin with fulfilling orders, this can be for our wholesale customers, which is predominately pressed flower cards and also our online customers. When we have large orders, I get in extra help. I like to carve out some creative time within the day to realise my long list of ideas, sometimes I have to get this during the week in the evenings or early mornings.   

Pressed British flower artwork by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers

What’s the ethos behind your work, or the values that are important to you?

Flowers and nature are the centre of Me & My Bloomers. The materials we work with are sustainably sourced and the products we make are designed to be enjoyed for a long time. I always want to pay fairly, no one ever works for free – I had to do a lot of that so it means a lot to me to be able to pay people fairly.

Is there an element of your work that you love the most?

Hmm, tricky. So many elements can bring a lot of happiness, I love growing flowers – seeing the seeds become a big bloom still feels like magic. I love working with clients when they really put their trust in your vision, and I really love seeing our products in shops, it still feels unbelievable. 

Natural flower display with natural dyed linen by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers

What’s been the biggest eye-opener in your work?

The admin. It takes up so much time and it’s the bit I struggle with the most. Another surprise has been how people are willing to directly copy your work, we’ve encountered this quite a bit and it’s always so upsetting.

Where do you find creative inspiration?

The best comes from walking and sitting in nature, or whenever I get moments to still my mind. Sometimes that’s even in the shower. 

Pressed British flowers on linen artwork by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers

Working as an independent – what are the joys, and what are the challenges?

I do love it, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Bloomers is such a huge part of our lives now.  The joys are being able to be creative and lose myself in making and designing, and also being able to control the pace at which I work means I get to really enjoy my time with Ru, and that for me means the most.

My current challenge is time, I have so many things I want to develop but not enough time to realise them.  

Pressed British flower artwork by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers

Pressed British flower artwork on natural dyed lined by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers

How valuable is the online community to your work?

Invaluable – Me & My Bloomers wouldn’t be what is without them. Which is a bit scary should Instagram disappear… but it’s been a great way to share directly with our customers and it’s so useful for quick feedback and building relationships. 

Orange and yellow British flowers display in Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers' studio

What have been your business highlights so far?

Since the pandemic we have slowly been transitioning from florist to focusing on product and wholesale, it’s a highlight every time a shop or customer places an order as it really kept us alive during that time. 

We’ve been working with the Matilda Goad team since last year on bespoke flower letters and pressed flower artworks, which they sell in their beautiful frames. And our pressed flower cards are now stocked at Anthropologie, which was only something I could have dreamed of!

Pressed British flower artwork by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My Bloomers

What’s one thing people would be surprised you do in your role?

I’m continually pressing flowers or leaves, I can’t leave the house without squashing something into a book, diary or flower press. 

What does your ideal day off look like?

Family, friends – outside with food.

Pressed British flower artwork by Stephanie Callaghan of Me & My BloomersWhat does the next year hold for you?

We’re launching a new collection of cards this spring, which I’m really excited about. And in April, we’re launching our bespoke service to press wedding flowers to create beautiful artworks, plus having our first exhibition at Unpolished in the Cotswolds, which will be pressed flowers on naturally dyed linens. 

QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS

Books I love: I listen to a lot of audio books while I work. Recent loves have been Anya Hindmarch ‘If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair’, all of Brene Brown, and sometimes I just need a Harry Potter on a rainy studio day

Creative Heroes: Louise Bourgeois, Anna Mond, Studio Mary Lennox and Fiona Jane Burgess.

Shops I love: Straw, Objects of Use, Liberty and Choosing Keeping.

Inspirational places: Forests, flower farms and London

Instagrammers I love: @up.with.the.lark for business and @mignonettetakespictures for lols!

meandmybloomers.co.uk

@meandmybloomers

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