Ellie met Esteban nearly five years ago when he applied to join the Catkin team from Spain. Despite some broken English then, his playful and passionate character shone through. His revered floristry career and being a business owner himself, means we talk the same lingo...most of the time! Esteban makes light of the often heavy, and is a cornerstone for me at Catkin, so we thought it would be really nice to hear a bit more about life as a florist from the man himself.
Tell us a bit about how you got in to floristry?
My mother used to have a flower shop and I would help her doing deliveries, cleaning and setting up weddings. I hated it! So I went to university to study business and after that I did military service. But during my holidays I did a floristry course, just to give it a try, and that's where I met Fernando, who was my teacher and the best florist in Spain. He told me I had potential and so I did the next course, and the next one. In the end Fernando and I became friends and worked together for a long time. A few years later I bought my mother's flower shop.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Fernando and I won three Spanish championships consecutively and then in 2010 we took part in the Interflora World Cup in Shanghai achieving the 6th position against 23 countries. In 2015, at the World Cup in Berlin, we took 8th position, and in Genoa 2016, 6th position with Fernando and three more friends and colleagues.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Everything! Making arrangements, the contact with the customers, discovering new varieties, creating new designs; I'm very lucky to love my job.
Do you have a favourite flower to work with?
It's hard to pick one favourite, so here's naming a few: scabiosas, garden roses, clematis, mint, all the English flowers in general.
Which is your favourite season in floristry?
The changing seasons play a big part in what we do and each one is exciting for different reasons. Again, it's hard to chose but maybe spring because we have more varieties of flowers available to work with. But I also love winter.
What lessons have you learned and would pass on to aspiring florists?
If you want to be a florist you have to love it because it's a really hard job; a lot of hours, pretty stressful at times, cold, hot. You have to be prepared to work hard. But, in return, it's hugely varied and rewarding, a really nice job if you're passionate about flowers and being creative.