ATTENTION EDITORS - PICTURES EMBARGOED UNTIL 2301 GMT MARCH 31, 2018 AS REQUESTED BY KENSINGTON PALACE Florist Philippa Craddock, who has been chosen to create the floral displays for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, poses for a photograph in her studio in London, Britain, March 29, 2018. Picture taken March 29, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters TEMPLATE OUT

Florist Philippa Craddock was chosen to create the floral displays for Harry and Meghan’s wedding. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/Reuters

Hailed as a floral mastermind, Edinburgh-born Philippa Craddock set up her business from her kitchen table in 2009 and is now lauded as the ‘Audrey Hepburn of florists’. Self-taught, she has worked with the world’s biggest brands and, in 2018, was chosen to design and create wedding flowers at Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

Craddock’s Flower School originally launched in 2014, with studio courses for beginners and experienced florists. These online masterclasses are now world renowned, with interactive creative business courses set to be launched this year.

“It was a tough, brutal industry when I first started in recruitment and executive search in the City. In a strong male world I did sales calls and development work. I was thrown out there and I always felt slightly uncomfortable as I had no real influences.

I got a job with Holker Watkin (now ZRG Partners) recruiting high-level strategists. Anna Persin was one of the founders and for the first time I came across someone who inspired me. She was incredibly gentle, kind and taught me to be myself in a tough role where I had previously found it difficult to let people down.

Anna had a real smile and warmth about her. She was always positive, never got flustered or raised her voice and had huge respect. It was the opposite of what I had seen previously in that world.

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As she spoke quietly, everyone seemed to stop and listen. Her smile could be seen as quite scary but she succeeded through her kindness. I was in my mid 20s and it was like a lid had been lifted.

I saw a lot of people setting up their own businesses around the same time. Anna was a young mother, hands on and was still able to run the business. Before that I was trying to work out how to have children and have a career. Anna gave me the confidence and belief to run my own business – which I now do with husband, Tony – and be a mother.

ENGLEFIELD GREEN, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 16: Floral designer Philippa Craddock (R), and Keeper of the Gardens John Anderson choose plants, which will feature in the floral displays at St George's Chapel during the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle, in The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park on May 16, 2018 in Englefield Green, England. The arrangements will be created using locally sourced foliage, much of which will be taken from the gardens and parkland of Windsor Great Park. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland-WPA Pool/Getty Images)ENGLEFIELD GREEN, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 16: Floral designer Philippa Craddock (R), and Keeper of the Gardens John Anderson choose plants, which will feature in the floral displays at St George's Chapel during the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle, in The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park on May 16, 2018 in Englefield Green, England. The arrangements will be created using locally sourced foliage, much of which will be taken from the gardens and parkland of Windsor Great Park. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Philippa Craddock and John Anderson, Keeper of the Gardens at Windsor Great Park, choose plants for the floral displays at St George’s Chapel during Harry and Meghan’s wedding. Photo: Eddie Mulholland/Getty Images

I originally set up as a plant gifting company in 2009; I was being brave and just getting myself out there in the beginning.

From the interview technique in recruitment I learnt from Anna and how to match candidates, I could then apply my creativity to speaking to wedding couples or clients and what they wanted from briefs.

It led to us running a big flower school in London, a concession in Selfridges and a studio in Sussex and London. There was a lot going on and so we wanted to move further west. 

Our school always sold out and we couldn’t help all our students, who were coming from far and wide. But a few years before the pandemic we had decided to move our flower school online and this was now the clear answer.

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As much as I love working at weddings and events, I enjoy teaching creatives – everyone from home arrangers to businesses – and wanting them to feel empowered and have belief in themselves.

Several years ago I approached The White Company to ask to do the floristry side and I built up a strong link with the brand. Its founder, Chrissie Rucker, now leads Women Supporting Women at the Prince’s Trust. It’s a team of women who support younger women through training, education and business opportunities.

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The thread here is that there is a real softness and quietness to all these leaders and ambassadors. Everyone is an incredibly gentle and careful listener and it shows that you can be highly successful by doing just that.

An artwork entitled 'Frida Kahlo in Flowers', designed by florist Philippa Craddock, is displayed during an exhibition entitled 'Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up' at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in west London on June 13, 2018. - - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)An artwork entitled 'Frida Kahlo in Flowers', designed by florist Philippa Craddock, is displayed during an exhibition entitled 'Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up' at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in west London on June 13, 2018. - - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

An artwork entitled ‘Frida Kahlo in Flowers’, designed by Philippa Craddock, displayed during an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in 2018. Photo: Daniel Leal/AFP

In this regard, understanding what people are looking for has also played a key role in our business when working with brands like Givenchy, Chanel and Alexander McQueen. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s the head strategist of the board or producing flowers for a press event, it’s just as important to understand the brief.

I can’t stress it enough but you can be really successful in business if you are gentle and kind and be yourself. It’s exactly what I now want to share and promote – and these are the feelings I garnered from Anna.”

Phillipa Craddock is launching a Creative Business Course and interactive masterclass this autumn for florists or any creative

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