Sandra Blanco is an artist and entrepreneur who produces bridal headpieces made from preserved – or ‘everlasting’ flowers. Her Sophie and Luna brand bloomed in a Clapham living room two years and she now sells them through Etsy and Not On The High Street to customers across the world.
Tell us a bit about your story.
I’m originally from Spain, and came to London for what I thought would be just one year in 2009. After falling in love with the city, I stayed to do do an undergrad program. After that I began working in fashion and marketing. I was always artistic when I was younger; I’ve always loved to create and draw things.
Why did you start your business?
I always refer to it as “the most beautiful accident”. I lost my job in marketing and being three months away from my wedding, I threw myself into planning it. I got frustrated that the only flower crowns and bouquets available to me had such a short lifespan, so I made my own with dried flowers for myself and my bridesmaids. I had some amazing feedback and people began encouraging me to start selling the crowns I was making. The opportunity was there in front of me so I decided to give it a go!
What do you promote and grow your business?
I began with selling at a local craft festival – I sold over 40 crowns in just four hours that day, whilst giving away MiniCards which I’d glued petals to. We of course have our online presence through our website and social media but I do the majority of my promotion at events, things such as fairs and festivals. I make sure I have enough Business Cards and Flyers on me as you never know who you’ll meet. We have open studio days during the summer, and brides are always welcome to book an appointment to come into the studio for a chat and to see some of my work.
Tell us your favourite story about your business.
I always make sure I can offer something unique and I go the extra mile to do it. I was sourcing flowers and found these stunning Japanese preserved roses. When I found out the company didn’t ship to Europe I was disappointed, but I turned to my friends. It turned out my friend was travelling in Asia so a few favors and a phone call later I convinced her to bring back an entire suitcase full of these flowers.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt?
Use your networks and follow your passion. If you can offer something unique and are willing to put in enough hard work, you’ll receive great things.
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