Cambridgeshire florist blooms after career change
PUBLISHED: 13:48 04 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:03 04 January 2018
Impington woman Bridget Davidson swaps magazines for flower power
Having wanted to be a journalist since she was a schoolgirl, on paper Bridget Davidson was living the dream. As fashion and beauty editor of Yours, the national women’s magazine, she spent much of her time organising glamorous makeover shoots. It was fast-paced and great fun – but something was missing.
Taking an evening class in floristry, an advert in a shop window caught Bridget’s eye: ‘Trainee florist wanted’. A tentative enquiry and a job offer later, she handed in her notice at the magazine; leaving her long-wanted career and a good salary behind, she started on the bottom rung of the floristry ladder.
“People often say ‘How brave’, but it didn’t feel that way: it felt like I was doing the right thing at the right time,” says Bridget. “Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed being a journalist and I’d happily write now, if the opportunity arose. But within a couple of weeks as a florist I knew I’d made the right decision. Working with the flowers – and doing a job that, as its heart, makes people happy – gave me such joy.”
Now based in Impington, Bridget runs her own wedding and event floristry business, Wild Rosamund, from home. The company is named after her granny, who bestowed a love of flowers: “I’d spend hours in her garden as a little girl, picking bunches and taking them to show her. She’d let me have free rein, pretty much, and her garden was a mass of flowers. Granny always said ‘There’s no such thing as an ugly flower’; that stuck with me.”
Always interested in the arts – as a teen, she took a tome about the Impressionists out of the library as a reading book – Bridget, who grew up on a Northamptonshire farm, channelled her creativity into writing at school, one year winning a poetry prize at Oundle Festival. Her ambition to become a journalist was sparked; following an English degree, she did a City & Guilds course in the subject, which involved work experience at Yours.
“I was only filing, really, and it didn’t lead straight to a job,” explains Bridget. “I was working for a PR company when the editor got in touch, asking if I’d be interested in applying for a job as a writer and sub-editor; I’d never have had the confidence to apply for it otherwise.”
Seven years at Yours followed, before Bridget’s creative feet began to itch – the floristry night course was the result. Within three years, she’d moved to Cambridge and was managing The Flower House on Magdalene Street, where weddings and May Balls were the order of the day.
“We did one ball with a Marie Antoinette theme, I remember,” smiles Bridget. “I made this huge tower of French macarons out of carnations...”
Then, in another ‘now or never’ moment, Bridget took off travelling: “That’s very me: I can be very impulsive.” While in India, she and her partner decided to try for a baby; within three months of coming home, she was pregnant with Kiril, her son, now four.
Taking a career break while he was a baby, Bridget says she knew, once Kiril started school, she wanted to start her own business. Wild Rosamund was launched this summer.
In the new age of floristry, where Instagram floods with inspirational images every day, the brand needed to stand out: embracing her love of rich colours, luscious British-grown flowers and foraged twigs and foliage, Bridget created a Dutch-Masterly style that’s already won a legion of admirers.
Running workshops as well as offering a full events service, catering for weddings, social and corporate occasions, Bridget is, she says, a round peg in a round hole. “It’s still early days for the business, but it already gives me such a sense of satisfaction.
“I’ve never once regretted my decision to change tack. I think it’s becoming more and more common, actually: I’m one of four and all my siblings have changed careers at least once.
“My advice would be ‘Don’t let yourself get boxed in – keep your options open’. You never know when that door might open.”
For more information about Wild Rosamund, based in Impington, call 07939 953781