Katie-Jane Hermes of The Garden Studio has taken up a new role with Sunderland College.
Billy Wood

Member Article

Award-winning Hazlerigg florist takes up Sunderland College role

An acclaimed North East florist, who has been recognised at industry-leading events including the Harrogate and RHS Chelsea Flower Show, is to impart her knowledge to the next-generation of floral artists after taking up a new role with Sunderland College.

Katie-Jane Hermes, the 27-year-old who owns The Garden Studio in Hazlerigg, has taken up a lecturing position within Sunderland College’s Arts Academy at its Bede Campus, where she will oversee Level 1 adult evening courses in floristry.

The florist will impart her knowledge and experience gleaned from over ten years working in the floristry business, for which she has gleaned a string of awards including RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year 2012 Silver Medal, 2014 Sunshine Fund Young Achiever of the year and a number of top three finishes at the Harrogate Flower Show.

Katie-Jane first got her start in floristry after her mother, who was originally an IT worker, decided to change careers and open a flower shop in Seaton Delaval, where she worked for eight years before setting up her own business from a studio in the garden of her home.

Following confirmation of her new position, Hermes said: “There is so much more to floristry than simply putting flowers in a vase. You need to be very creative, passionate and have an eye for colour and design – it’s so versatile and really is an art form.

“I’ve always wanted to teach floristry so I’m delighted that Sunderland College has asked me to run these classes. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to inspire creativity in others and share my passion for flowers.”

Sheree Rymer, the college’s curriculum leader for creative arts, added: “Katie-Jane is an exceptionally gifted florist and we are thrilled to have her expertise in the Arts Academy.

“The staff within the creative arts department bring a wealth of industry knowledge to their roles which ensures our students have an all-rounded teaching experience and are prepared for their future careers.”

Business continues to be brisk for the entrepreneur who says she already has 50 weddings booked for this year, having already worked with Otterburn wedding venue, Le Petit Chateau, on a New Year’s Eve celebration described as a mix between ‘twilight and the Garden of Eden’.

“Arranging flowers for weddings is what makes me tick,” Hermes said. “I already have 50 weddings booked in for this year and each one is special – it’s lovely to play an important part in such happy occasions and make sure the flowers are perfect for the style of the wedding.”

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