Updated: Dec 3, 2020
There is a tendency to romanticise flowers, we are most familiar with our romantic partners buying bouquets or 100 red roses, in many cases it is expected. However, I want to celebrate friendship, focusing on female relationships and the power of friendships between women. Ladies supporting each other and giving floral gifts that blossom; I feel we can provide the right environment, a loving one, that creates support for one another - we are all fighting a battle, working hard for something.
This underpins why I have reached out to brands, companies, entrepreneurs, working Mums, and charities. I’m looking to work with people who have similar values, work ethic, and importantly a similar vision. I truly want to create a happiness and satisfaction for my customers.
This is more than work, it is a passion, one that I hope to contribute back to the female community. This movement is to encourage an appreciation of female bonds, focusing on the value of intimate relationships and their benefits. I know from personal experience the value of having genuine friendships with other women. Friendships are a comforting safety net, they are communities that we spend our whole lives building; we nurture these relationships to support us when we are struggling, to provide us with raw honest advice, and to create a network of care that carries us through our lives. They are there for you, a support system, people to help you through just about anything, free of charge, honest but loving and caring at the same time.
Through these emotional turmoils from mental breakdowns and difficult life lessons to bittersweet moments and jubilant celebrations, we learn to become better friends. I have been greatly fortunate in my life to be surrounded by females who have always encouraged me to do my best, to work on blossoming into the best version of myself. They continuously guide me with patience even when I find myself straying from my chosen path, when mistakes and bad choices must be made, they are there to help me find my way back. In the age of social media we have seen the kind of support people are capable of giving to complete strangers, but I want to look back towards the people we know intimately, the people we see and interact with every day; I want to shine a light on the unconditional love and caring that friends exchange over a lifetime. A love and care that deserves appreciation.
Everything above is based on personal experiences, opinions of the close female friends I have. However, the scientific community have been researching female friendships and the impact these close connections can have on our mental health. The Mental Health Foundation say:
“Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. We need to talk to our friends and we want to listen when our friends want to talk to us. Our friends can keep us grounded and can help us get things in perspective. It is worth putting effort into maintaining our friendships and making new friends. Friends form one of the foundations of our ability to cope with the problems that life throws at us.”
Although helpful, I didn’t need to read a science-based article to know the power of friendship. I am creating this movement because I know firsthand the importance of friendship. I want to direct my passion and channel it into this cause – to encourage people to show their appreciation and gratitude more often. My craft can provide people with quick heartfelt moments, a small but powerful way of letting our loved ones know we are thinking of them. I hope also that it can become an icebreaker – a way for us to reach out and express our concern for people suffering from loneliness, and mental health issues. Flowers are beautifully disarming and can be used to create soft and safe environments, an environment someone can talk in, offering comfort to those who are struggling. Talking to and checking in with close friends shouldn’t be underestimated, it is often the smaller acts of kindness that leave a lasting impression on us. We can all benefit from reaching out, mutual support can save a life.
Just as mental health organisations are encouraging us to ask how our loved ones are doing, I want to encourage us to start any conversation. We are social creatures who thrive together, we are not meant to suffer alone; instead we share difficulties, watch over each other. So, let’s remind our friends, our neighbours, and our communities that we are listening. We are listening without judgement, ready to give reassurance, responding with encouragement.
We give flowers for new beginnings, celebrations, and times of mourning, why not reinvigorate this long-standing tradition? Beautiful arrangements are versatile and packed with meaning, they suit any event and any expression. The language of floristry can only strengthen our connections, and what better way to be grateful than with a beautiful bouquet for a beautiful friend.
Flowers have just as many meanings as they do uses, see below for an example of what varieties and colours stand for:
Alstroemeria is the flower most representative of enduring friendship, the flower six petals represent the characteristics of understanding, humour, patience, empathy, commitment and respect (good fortune and prosperity are also associated)
Yellow roses are symbolic of happiness and friendship (also represent new beginnings, signify sincerity and gratitude).
Chrysanthemums represent support (sending the message that you are always going to be there for them).
With appreciation to my best friend, RJAF X