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Business is blooming for award-winning florist

Award-winning florist Katie-Jane Hermes is now teaching at Sunderland College

An award-winning florist is the pick of the bunch after joining Sunderland College’s teaching fraternity.

Katie-Jane Hermes’ stunning creations have seen her compete in the world-renowned RHS Chelsea Flower Show as well as Harrogate Flower Show and WorldSkills UK.

She has worked with the likes of leading floral artist Joseph Massie on awe-inspiring designs such as a ceiling installation made of 6,000 roses for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and a massive hanging floral creation to celebrate the opening of a swanky Liverpool hotel.

The 27-year-old, who owns wedding flower business The Garden Studio, has worked in floristry for the past ten years and is keen to share her passion and knowledge with others.

Katie-Jane has taken up a lecturing position within Sunderland College’s Arts Academy at Bede Campus to teach adult evening courses in floristry.

She said: “There is so much more to floristry than simply putting flowers in a vase. You need to be very creative, passionate and have an eye for colour and design – it’s so versatile and really is an art form. I’ve always wanted to teach floristry so I’m delighted that Sunderland College has asked me to run these classes. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to inspire creativity in others and share my passion for flowers.”

Katie-Jane has won a host of awards over the years including RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year 2012 Silver Medal, 2014 Sunshine Fund Young Achiever of the year and numerous first, second and third accolades at Harrogate Flower Show.

She was first introduced to floristry when her mum, who worked in IT, decided to change career and opened a flower shop in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland.

Katie-Jane, who has recently completed a foundation degree specialising in professional floristry and floral design, worked for the family business for eight years before setting up her own company and she now works from a studio in the garden of her Hazlerigg home.

She has arranged flowers for hundreds of weddings including a spectacular New Year’s Eve ceremony at Le Petit Chateau in Otterburn where she created a ‘twilight meets Garden of Eden’ theme using wisteria and foliage.

Katie-Jane added: “Arranging flowers for weddings is what makes me tick. I already have 50 weddings booked in for this year and each one is special – it’s lovely to play an important part in such happy occasions and make sure the flowers are perfect for the style of the wedding.”

The talented florist has created her own curriculum for the Level 1 creative crafts course she is teaching at Sunderland College which includes practical classes in arrangements, hand tied bouquets, button holes, floral design for occasions, as well as some theory.

From September, the college is looking to introduce a Level 2 adult evening course in floristry which will build on the knowledge and practical skills achieved through the Level 1 qualification.

Sheree Rymer, the college’s curriculum leader for creative arts, said: “Katie-Jane is an exceptionally gifted florist and we are thrilled to have her expertise in the Arts Academy. The staff within the creative arts department bring a wealth of industry knowledge to their roles which ensures our students have an all-rounded teaching experience and are prepared for their future careers.”

For more information on floristry courses at Sunderland College, call 0191 5116000 or email info@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk.



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