Hannah Jackson + The Garden of Evie: Eco-Friendly Floristry.

Meet Hannah Jackson, the Rotherham-based entrepreneur behind The Garden of Evie, an eco-friendly floristry business, supported by Launchpad.

Hannah launched her fledgling business, The Garden of Evie earlier on this year. Unlike other florists (which typically relies on importing flowers from overseas), all of Hannah’s displays are created using locally-sourced flowers, some of which she grows herself.

The launch is the culmination of three years of hard work, after deciding to leave her former role as an NHS Administrator back in 2017. Drawing upon her lifelong love of flower arranging and gardening for inspiration, Hannah embarked on a floristry course, balancing her studies with a part-time job, before successfully securing a role as a professional florist.

Despite enjoying the creative challenges of her new role, Hannah became increasingly concerned about the environmental effect of her work. Worried about the impact of the thousands of miles flowers travelled on a daily basis (as well as the high volumes of plastics, toxic chemicals, and non-recyclable materials commonly used in the industry), Hannah began to explore new, more sustainable ways of working.

Hannah developed her own cutting patch, and she began to deliver bouquets to friends and family, to brighten up their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. After successfully securing her first orders earlier on this year, Hannah turned to the Sheffield City Region Launchpad programme for help.

Working with the experienced business adviser Julia Millea, Hannah began to develop her future business plan, as well as taking part in a range of business courses to help her develop the skills she needed to grow her sustainable floristry business.

Since launching her business, Hannah has developed a particular interest in farewell flowers, replacing traditional coffin sprays with living displays, using a range of plants, bulbs, and personal possessions. As part of this, she also advises and guides the families of the bereaved, with her knowledge of seasonal flowers and foliage, resulting in a highly personalised tribute for those left behind.

As part of her commitment towards working more sustainably, Hannah also donates some of her profits to support the Tree Sisters charity, which helps to contribute to reforestation efforts in Africa, South America, and Asia. To date, Hannah’s contributions to the charity has enabled over 600 trees to be replanted.

“I have always wanted to run a sustainable business that provided an outlet for my creative skills. Throughout much of my adult life, I’ve enjoyed flower arranging and gardening. When I changed careers to train as a florist, it felt like a dream come true. However, the dream quickly turned into a nightmare when I discovered the enormous environmental impact of the industry,” said Hannah.

“Julia and the Launchpad team gave me the confidence to believe in myself and to find my own voice. I was really nervous about using social media in my business, but after putting the training into practice and creating a few posts about my work on social media, I was amazed by the positive reactions I received. But perhaps the best part of working with Launchpad has been the ongoing support,” added Hannah.

“Hannah was keen to build a business that helped her to embrace creativity, whilst also making a positive contribution to the environment. However, she also knew that success wouldn’t happen overnight, and as she began planting the seeds for her garden, she carefully began to lay the foundations for her business, so she reached out to Launchpad for help,” said Julia Millea from Launchpad.

“Today, Hannah is not only producing a range of beautiful seasonal flowers all year round, but she is also using her skills and expertise to inspire others to try their hand at flower arranging. The key to any business is being able to generate different sources of income, and with her gardening expertise, her floristry skills and genuine passion, Hannah’s business is already starting to see the green shoots of growth,” added Julia.

Launchpad is the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s key business support programme for new businesses.

Financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and delivered by local authorities within the Sheffield City Region and the Prince’s Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs in the Sheffield City Region who are thinking of starting their own business, or are looking for help to achieve business growth.

Since the programme began in April 2016, it has helped over 7,250 individuals and businesses, and it’s delivered in excess of 72,000 hours of support.

Find out more here: https://www.thegardenofevie.co.uk