Portchester florist manager at Knot Just Blooms celebrates earning top marks at the British Florist Association Industry Awards after Highbury College course
A FLORIST from Portchester has received the highest grade in the country for her City & Guilds practical exam at thisyear’s British Florist Association Industry Awards.
Grace King, 29, received the national award after completing a Level 4 Diploma in Floristry while working as manager of Knot Just Blooms in West Street.
She said: ‘I’m still in shock. It was an amazing achievement - I didn’t expect it.
‘I had to travel to York to sit the exam. It was a long drive and a long exam, so to get that result was a real achievement.’
Grace started her part-time floristry diploma at Highbury College in 2019 and due to the pandemic took longer than planned to complete.
She said: ‘The pandemic was difficult. We didn’t see each other for six months but were still expected to have the motivation to carry on doing your work when you’re not really seeing each other face-to-face.’
The secret to Grace’s success was having a good support network.
She said: ‘I’ve got my family and my work family - they’ve been amazing. Everyone’s just been supportive.’
Grace encouraged anyone thinking of a career change or becoming a florist to give it a go.
She said: ‘I didn’t think I’d ever do floristry. It was pure accident that I chose to study it.
‘I looked in the paper and saw that Highbury had an open day. When I went there the tutor got us to put some flowers together and I thought “I could see myself doing this”.
‘You can put your heart and soul into it, and it’s such a lovely job.’
Knot Just Blooms co-owner Lorraine Williams said: ‘As a shop we’re just completely and utterly proud of her. There were times when she felt like giving up, but we just kept pushing her to keep on going.
‘Grace is amazing and a pleasure to have in the company. She works above and beyond and deserves this.’
Floristry tutor Emma Gaylor said: ‘Congratulations Grace. It’s been tough couple of years, and it’s been a privilege to help Grace gain the skills she needs for a blossoming career.
‘Everyone at Highbury College is very proud of her and we wish her every success for the future.’