From facials to flower arrangements, local florist Annabel Cosgrove started her career a little bit differently.
And now she likes to keep things quirky and bespoke whilst running Hawkhill florist, Acanthus.
Annabel, who hails from the West End, started her career in the beauty industry renting out rooms in local salons before moving on to become a wedding co-ordinator.
She said: “Acanthus has been in West Port for 21 years. The previous owners had the shop for 10 years before putting it up for sale.
“Through my work as a wedding co-ordinator I worked closely with them as they supplied floral arrangements for a lot of my weddings.
“When I saw it was up for sale I was shocked as their work had always been bespoke and completely unique.
“With my background I am always looking for creative things to do so I decided to buy the business and through that I inherited the staff.
“I also wanted to be hands on and not just learn things from others as I went along so I took myself down to London and did an intensive course at the Judith Blacklock Flower School.
“It is OK learning from others, but I think you need to have that confidence in yourself and some independence.
“Floral arrangements are also much harder than some people think – it really isn’t just putting flowers in a vase.
“From foliage to the flowers to the ribbons everything is created by hand, nothing is bought pre-made which is important as I can make sure everything is perfect and not falling apart.”
Now Annabel has been the owner for 11 years and still prides her work on being bespoke.
She added: “No matter what a customer’s budget is, we can work with them to create their own unique flowers.
“We can work with any budget and it will always be bespoke to their wishes.”
Annabel thinks she has found the career she wants to stick with.
She said: “I never realised this business would be such hard work.
“It is very challenging but it is very rewarding and I couldn’t imagine myself going back to any of my old work or leaving the shop.”
Invited to work with the V&A
Not only do Annabel and her four staff members create beautiful arrangements for weddings, birthdays and funerals they have also been tasked with making pieces for the most talked about building in town – the V&A.
Annabel said: “It is amazing to be asked to be involved with such a prestigious building.
“The V&A Heritage Portfolio usually work with florists in Edinburgh, so I was chuffed to bits to be asked to create floral arrangements for events that they hold in the evenings.
“It was by personal recommendation that I was approached and they have asked to keep working with me so I must be doing something right.
“It is just amazing to be part of something so special and seeing it all come together.”