Following her phenomenal success at the World Cup in September, the Floristry Trade Club caught up with Lizzie to discover a little more about her experience.
How long were you preparing for the World Cup?
We spent 9 months preparing for the World Cup, but I was lucky enough to have had specialist competition training through Worldskills UK which was a huge help. Even before the briefs came out, we were thinking about what the designs could potentially be and spent a lot of time researching past World Cup competitions.
What was the most challenging task?
The most challenging task was probably the suspended canopy; the logistics of this was pretty tricky and trying to get a 2.4m freestanding structure to stay upright was a bit daunting, but we had many trials and practice runs at in our prep space at Moreton Morrell College which helped iron out any potential issues!
Was there one task you enjoyed more than the others?
I really enjoyed the Bridal design… I adore intricate work and so loved the concept of the brief. I knew I had to work hard during the 90 minutes for the Bridal though - it was very time consuming and the technique of gluing the flowers onto the wires had to be immaculate.
Out of many, what were some of the highlights for you?
There were so many highlights, but being in Manchester supported by so many amazing people really made the event for me. I’ll never forget the moment when the United Kingdom was announced in the Top 5 with my wonderful assistant Charlotte Davies.
What are your plans post World Cup?
I have a lot of catching up to do at work (and preparing for Christmas!), but alongside this, I would love to get into teaching and demonstrating. I love sharing techniques and experiences, and also learning tips from others!
What advice would you give to aspiring competitors?
My advice to other competitors would be to just go for things, and never be afraid of failure. Try and find enjoyment in trying new experiences, such as competitions, rather than focusing on the stress aspect! This mindset has helped me hugely.
Su Whale is a florist and freelance writer with over twenty-five years' experience in the floristry industry. She is the author and publisher of three best-selling books: Cut Flowers, 4th edition (2020) Cut Foliage, 2nd Edition, (2021) and Houseplants (2019), all bookshelf essentials for the professional florist.