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Clint Harrison For The Love of Flowers

For The Love Of Flowers … Support Your Local Independent Florist … Supermarkets Really Do Destroy The Lives Of Real People …

Anyone can see that 39 year old, self taught Floral Designer, Clint Harrison has an incredible talent and passion for working with flowers.  His portfolio boasts working at some of the finest and most prestigious locations, including Clearwell Castle in the New Forest, the world famous Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, Westminster Abbey, the  Five Star Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge London;  exhibiting at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Queens Jubilee and travelling to Sri Lanka to take part in a huge floral demonstration.

Clint’s own cosmopoliton floral boutique and coffee shop in Carlisle town centre was adored by the ladies.   They loved to lunch with friends whilst watching the team create their fabulous floral designs.  Clint really was in his own personal hand crafted heaven.  He had worked so hard to achieve his dream and was loving every minute of his life.

Then, in October 2011 Clint was forced to make the heartbreaking decision to go bankrupt.  He lost his beautiful store, his vehicle and then later his beautiful home. More tragic than that, he also lost his dream and with it his confidence in himself, his dignity and his pride.  I can assure you that having been through the same myself and helped others through similar, this is a heartbreaking decision and experience and there are thousands of us out there who have been or are currently going through the living nightmare.

The battle is long and the road is extremely lonely as the waves of recession keep coming and peoples spending habits  change.  In Clint’s case he stuggled with both sides of the business.   The increase in VAT, rent  and business rates stacked up with ever decreasing contracts , brides cutting right back and it becoming popular to request charitable donations at funerals, as opposed to beautiful flowers, were all crippling blows.

Charities themselves have become huge corporate affairs where Directors take huge salaries while kind hearted volunteers give their time and dedication out of the goodness of their hearts. 

The market for home and gift flowers has been crushed as more and more supermarkets provide cheap low grade alternatives, sucking the very life out of the high streets, not just for florists but for just about every beautiful Great British independent.  Clint did everything within his power to continue trading, being forced to break the hearts of his dedicated team by reducing to a skeleton staff.  He made savings and cut costs wherever possible.  He even started working evenings, doing classes from home for up to 25 people at a time.  Nothing he could do could compete with the giants.

Although Clint is desperate to work with flowers again he considers himself lucky to have secured a job as Assistant Branch Manager at DFS, Carlisle, where he uses his artistic flair and understanding of colours to help customers choose which sofa they want to buy!  I suppose he is lucky in that respect.   Many who lose everything have been in their own business so long that they are virtually unemployable, many turn to drink and some even to living on the streets and ultimately suicide.

Clint will never be truly happy again until he is back working with flowers … they are his passion, his happiness, his love.  For the love of flowers,  Clint would seriously consider moving to absolutely anywhere in the world …

Surely somewhere out there is an opening for such a wonderful, talented and dedicated Floral Designer.  Clint can be contacted via his Facebook page, Clint Harrison Flowers.

If you are still lucky enough to have a vibrant and diverse high street, full of colour and choice then please turn your back on the supermarkets and shop local and independent.

Always with Love … Denise xxx

3 Responses to “For The Love of Flowers … Support Your Local Independent Florist”

  1. tillybalou says:

    As a result of this blog post I was contacted by a florist in Cheltenham that we used to supply. I put her in touch with Clint and he is now Managing their Montpelier Way store, where he is now designing and making for the rich and famous.

    He calls me his gaurdian angel … It is so wonderful to see him so happy <3 xxx

  2. Hristiqn Nikolov says:

    Great article Denise, I think if we could all help local florists in some way.

  3. Krystle says:

    What a touching story. I’m glad that Clint was able to find something that got him back on his feet. :)

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