This weekend just gone I was invited to attend a one of a kind party. A Secret Garden Party. A workshop where guests could make their very own wreath of artificial flowers to take away with them under the guidance of MumBoss Rachel Payne who is one of those special creatures that wears their heart on their sleeve and has learned through hardship to live life to the absolute fullest and has turned all of her life experiences into a business attitude that so many women can be inspired by and will relate to. She’s an absolute shining example of the power of vulnerability and of how being your absolute self is the key to authentic customer relationships.
Rachel (like many really successful entrepreneurs) stumbled upon her new business when creating arrangements for her own wedding and some clever social media marketing that has seen (amongst many others) Paris Hilton sharing her arrangements has meant that she’s now in a position to be teaching her craft to others.
The setting for the day was my old school, the stunning Reading Room at Rendcomb College (find out more about this amazing venue on their Instagram page.)
We arrived to coffee and cake and were able to mingle together and meet new friends. This, in my opinion, is one of the most wonderful things about creative workshops where you try something new… you meet like minded people and can just chat about light hearted things and escape from real life for a little while.
We were also presented with some stunning goody trugs packed full of some amazing products that were kindly given by lots of small businesses (many of whom were MumBosses!)
Then it was down to business. Rachel had cleverly presented us all with a few options of her wreath designs to attempt to recreate for the workshop. Armed with this information we each had a box with all the flowers and equipment we might need to create our masterpiece. I’d opted for the Charlotte – named after Rachel’s daughter. However Rachel also had a sort of lucky dip box of flowers that we could all dip into if we fancied going a little off piste on the design front.
The process felt a little daunting to begin with but it soon became clear that we had all the equipment, tools, expert guidance and a whole Sunday (well 11am to 4pm) to get the job done, so actually it was really a very relaxed affair. Many of my natural instincts about how to start on my wreath (i.e I felt I needed to place key flowers around the wreath and then fill in the gaps) proved to be wrong when Rachel gave her advice on how to do it (instead moving around it filling as you go) – this all making absolute sense as I got a bit further through the process of creation.
I started out being drawn solely to the white roses and peonies (all silk) but later decided that colour and texture would be important to me so added some greens and pinks. It was such a pleasure to spend the day making decisions like this rather than deciding on how to run my business, parent my children or what to cook for dinner! Some space and time was invaluable!
Now Rachel’s principle business is as that of a florist and she is on hand to help you create everlasting arrangements for all the big life events you might ever need in just the same way a traditional florist would. You can buy arrangements or single blooms directly from The Secret Garden Party but it is Rachel’s love of the process and desire to make use of her experience as a teacher that brought about the workshops.
On the workshop front she has introduced more options (differently costed) for future events for you to do heart shaped wreaths of different sizes or letters of the alphabet. I’m really sorry to say the word but she also does an incredible selection of christmas wreaths (honestly they look so real) and you need to get in touch soon if you’d like to order one of these as they are all hand made and things get very very busy in the run up.
Moving on to my day.. lunch was amazing and we were lucky to have a sunny day where we could enjoy it on the stunning terrace – then as if we could possible fit it in we ended with afternoon tea and off we went home feeling relaxed and carrying not only a really stunning piece of home decor but a goody trug full of all kinds of treats.
Rachel is repeating this particular workshop on both the 1st and 2nd of September and I believe the 1st is almost sold out so do drop her an email quick smart to enquire about booking. It’s a perfect mother daughter day out or something to do on your own or with friends. There were about 27 women booked on so you’d easily find a creative buddy to work alongside. I hear there’s a few Insta celebs coming along to these ones including The Home that Made Me and A Hint of Decor!
Here’s my finished product sitting pride of place on my chimney breast! It’s already received comments from many visitors who can’t believe it’s not real!
Thanks Rachel for a great day.
This is an endorsed review.