Our founder and General Manager, Sophie Li was trained in Paris perfecting the art of french-style floristry. With its rigorous approach and distinctive style, the continental approach provided a unique foundation, setting the high standards we apply to all Orchidyas’ creations. With nearly ten years experience in wholesale and retail floristry, Sophie established Orchidya and launched in December 2012.
Her understanding of client requirements, combined with her attention to detail, has been applied to all areas of the Orchidya service, where the the underlying Orchidya philosophy provides a meaningful, and rounded understanding of the underlying principles of the art of floristry.
A committed member of her church at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and mother to two, young children, Orchidyas’ General Manager juggles the many demands on her time, and can often be found on her laptop and phone, preparing stock orders from Amsterdam, coordinating a wedding proposal or product launch, while planning what to cook for the family that evening.
Her passion for flowers and knowledge of the industry are the driving force behind Orchidya!
Name: Sophie Li
Age: 21 every year
Home town: Guilin, Guangxi, Peoples Republic of China
Experience: Financial Services, Wholesale floristry, Commercial Floristry
How did you become a specialist in flowers?
Oh! That’s a long and complex story! The short version is I started out in finance. After some time I realised it just wasn’t giving me happiness but wrinkles. Via some lucky connections in my church I was set on intensive floristry training in Paris. After that I came back to London and managed to set up.
What aspect of being a florist makes you happy?
Working with colours, making beautiful things…although I never thought I would do something like this.
What flower do you least like?
Gypsophila! And carnations and chrysanthemums! So old fashioned! They have to be very special types if I am going to stock them.
If you weren’t a florist what would you like to be?
If i could do anything, I would probably spend more time helping my church.
What flowers would you like at your own funeral?
Hmm that’s a difficult one… Perhaps red roses. Or white roses. Oh! I can’t decide!
What does Orchidya mean to you?
This is my baby. I never imagined I would end up doing something like this. I was pregnant with my little boy at the time I decided, with our team, to establish a retail premises related to our nursery in Lincolnshire. It was a crazy time and I was rushing around looking for a suitable retail unit, formulating the business plan and getting the business registered. In the short time since we opened 5 years ago our business and our reputation for, I hope, a high standard of luxury, has grown rapidly – everything which leaves the shop has to be perfect! I work hard to make sure that this is maintained and that our business can continue to grow and reach a wider audience.
Is there an event e.g. public, celebrity, corporate brand, for which you are proud to have created the flowers?
I am terrible with knowing who celebrities or anyone vaguely notable are and we do get quite a few in Bloomsbury. I remember we created a set piece for the 2016 movie The Jungle Book which was cool. I loved the pieces we created for a Bulgari photoshoot – although maybe I just liked the sparkling jewels!