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Flower School Glasgow: Interview & Giveaway

Jan 6, 2017

Flower School Glasgow | Nick Priestly

Today, we’re delighted to introduce you to Nick Priestly, one of our Expert Panel members and Principal Tutor at Flower School Glasgow as well as Managing Director of weddings and events florist Mood Flowers. Nick kindly sat down with us to talk about Flower School Glasgow and his vision for the future. And he presented us with a nice surprise during the interview. (Be sure to read all the way to the end of the interview for a chance to win a place at a forthcoming class!)

Flower School Glasgow

BB: Welcome, Nick! We’re thrilled to introduce our BB readers to Flower School Glasgow. Tell us all about it…when and why you founded it, where it’s located, what you teach, how many students are in a typical class?

NP: I started the school in 2008 as an add on business to my core weddings and events business. Initially I provided hobby class to non florists looking to explore their creative side. Around 4 years ago we introduced the One Week Career Course and the success of that allowed me to develop more professional classes for would-be florists. Today, Flower School Glasgow, located within our studio space on a business park in Glasgow, Scotland,  is specifically aimed at professional florists looking to enhance their business or design skills as well as those who wish to start their own business. Typically we have up to eight people on our professional courses. The exceptions are our guest tutor classes where we have 12 people to meet demand and the Large Structures one day course where we have up to 16 people.

Flower School Glasgow

BB: There’s a lot to learn when starting up a floral design business. What do you teach in your One Week Career Course?

NP: I can’t teach absolutely everything but what I can do in six days is teach someone the fundamentals of floral design as well as focusing on how to market and start up a floral design business. We also cover things like how to attract clients both wedding and corporate to your business, planning and delivering a wedding, buying flowers, working to client briefs and most importantly pricing and making a profit as well as giving students pointers on their own brands and business plans. Unlike many schools which have a 6 hour teaching day we start at 9am and finish at 5pm so every day is a very full working day.  After that it’s up to each individual to develop their floral business at their own pace to fit in with their lifestyle.

Flower School Glasgow

BB: Have you had the opportunity to watch some of your past students create successful floral design businesses?

NP: It has been a pleasure to watch many of our formal students set up and develop wonderful businesses. The successful ones have taken everything they learned from the course and then added their own take on things to create unique brands and businesses rather than a copycat of Mood Flowers. Past students like Sylvia Abraham of Bella Botanica in Ireland, Natalie Dalziel of Natalie Dalziel Flowers and Yvonne Ramsay of Ollie-Rose and Blu all started their businesses after attending Flower School Glasgow. Some of my students have also gone on to become Chapel Designers, an international collective of event and wedding floral designers. I am proud to be the UK Ambassador for the organization and will co-host the annual London conference for the third time in April of this year alongside the founder of the organization (and fellow BB Expert Panel member) Holly Chapple.

Flower School Glasgow

BB: Which course seems to be most popular?

NP: Our Large Structures one day course was the biggest success of 2016 – the photo of the 16ft hanging centrepiece which we create on that course had a big impact on social media and we have had florists travel from all over the UK and Ireland to attend that course as it ran on four different dates last year. In 2017 we will probably run it on three dates. We have a large space at the studio allowing lots of movement and creativity for building large structures such as flower curtains, archways and of course the hanging installations. Our One Week Career Course also remains popular and we normally run this two or three times a year.

Flower School Glasgow

BB: Tell us about some of your guest teachers.

NP: We have been blessed with some of the best guest tutors on the planet! In 2015 Susan Mcleary from Passionflower (also a fellow BB Expert Panel member) came all the way from Michigan, USA to teach two days of classes which featured her amazing botanical jewelry along with her wedding designs. And in 2016 we had Jay Archer travel from just outside London to teach two days of wedding flowers using mostly British flowers and foliages. Both sets of classes were sold out and we had some great feedback from the students. We will shortly announce our next guest tutor for Spring 2017. For advance notice you can sign up on our website.

Flower School Glasgow

BB: I see that you are also offering business coaching?

NP: I have always been passionate about teaching others the fundamentals of being a business owner – In a previous life I graduated with an international business degree and worked in tax accountancy and financial recruitment for 6 years before retraining as a florist almost 14 years ago. I offer 121 days at the school where we work on a mix of practical floristry as well as business issues. I also visit established businesses for a minimum of two days where I provide a business healthcheck, working with the flower business owner to improve all aspects of their current business offering.

Flower School Glasgow | Nick Priestly

BB: Where does the school fit in with your brand and Mood Flowers? Do you run both? Have you cut back on Mood Flowers to devote more time to the school?

NP: Flower School Glasgow is very much an extension of Mood Flowers. For example, I feel I can teach all styles of wedding flowers and guide people through the process of marketing to today’s brides because I run a studio that designs over 100 weddings a year. It is not unusual that weddings designed by my team are leaving the studio on days that I am teaching. This gives students a real insight into our day to day business. They are fascinated by our processes and everything that happens behind the scenes. After almost 14 years of running Mood Flowers I have a very strong team in place which means when I am teaching, I am teaching. I do not break away to answer the phone or talk to clients.

Flower School Glasgow

BB: What’s next for Flower School Glasgow?

NP: We have lots of exciting things going on! We have just launched a brand new website ( allowing people to book online for the first time. We are currently finalizing our next guest tutor as well as designing new courses including a photography course.

Flower School Glasgow

BB: You’re very kindly offering a prize of a place in your next Large Structures one-day course on Monday 16th January 2017. How can Botanical Brouhaha readers win this prize?

NP: The prize is for one person to attend the class (value £220). For a chance to win readers must leave a comment at the end of this post stating why they would like to attend the class and how they feel it would benefit their career or business. Both aspiring florists as well as current floral business owners can enter. They should leave their comment by midnight (Central Standard Time) on Monday 9th January. The winner will be chosen by random drawing and announced on Wednesday 11th January. (Please note this is for the 16th January class only and the prize cannot be exchanged for a future class.).

Flower School Glasgow

BB: Thanks so much for stopping by, Nick. We wish you the very best for 2017 at Mood Flowers and Flower School Glasgow!

Flower School Glasgow:  Website | Facebook | Instagram

Mood Flowers:  Website | Facebook | Instagram

  1. I’d love the chance to go on Nick’s large structure workshop. I know several other Scottish florists who have been on it and they have all loved it and the work they’ve created is beautiful. I’m getting more and more requests from couples for ambitious hanging pieces so this would be a great opportunity to develop my skills and grow my portfolio.

  2. The large structure workshop is exactly what I need at the moment! It’s a touch out of reach with some funded support however. The course would equip me with some skills to start understanding structures which currently I puzzle & frown over and try to figure out the hows! It would also introduce me to some of the floristry scene in Glasgow…where we’re planning to move in the coming year… It would be a great springboard in both these ways.

  3. Responding on behalf of my Mum who is a very talented (apologies, slightly biaised) Floral Designer (much to her huge surprise she got a gold on her first RHS Chelsea attempt). She would absolutely love to learn how to do large structures so she could take her competing into a new area! And I’d love her to win because she deserves it!❤. Rachelx

  4. Aileen smith says:

    Oh I would love a chance to attend this course … having survived the recession my business (and I ) could do with an update of skills … I’m a. Self taught florist and would love the challenge of large structures / and how they work … the work always looks super amazing

  5. Rhys Small says:

    I am the ‘man behind the scenes’ with my partner who owns and runs her own floristry business, although the brides/customers maybe don’t realise it i have a huge hand in the designs and work that goes out the door, although i have never had any formal training in floristry i have picked up so much and have researched a lot to help me learn. My partner has attended this course with Nick previously and i know how much it helped her think about things differently. I also think theres not enough men in the floristry scene in Scotland and with my aim being to step into the business full time in the coming years a course like this would be a fantastic opportunity to help me do that.

  6. Verity says:

    I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than on this course in one of my favourite cities. It is always really exciting to learn something new, conquer some fears about working on a large scale – it looks like it would take me a bit beyond the usual floral arch! I think after this course I would Probably enjoy taking a fresh look at I’m doing and how I work and I am sure I would go back to work inspired for 2017. It looks fantastic – please can I come!?

  7. Kayleigh says:

    I spent my maternity leave on floristry courses but unfortunately had to go back to the grind. Desperate to do some training with Nick, was lucky enough to work at a restaurant mood flowers did all the arrangements for so got close to their work and witness some lovely displays, but not close enough for my liking. Fingers crossed 🙂

  8. I have heard only wonderful things about Nick and the courses. Ideally I would love to do many of these courses, starting with the large structures as there is no where in Ireland offering anything remotely close to this. I hope the skills learnt will bring my business to a whole new level.

  9. Like Nick I to had a previous life. I spent ten years in a busy PR office, juggling motherhood and generally chasing my tail. I love floristry, all aspects of it, so I decided to go to college in the evenings, study hard and learn the trade. It took all my guts to leave a familiar world but I did it!! I’ve been trading for a year now and feel completely fulfilled. College was great and I’ve made life long floristry friends. I feel at the Flower School Glasgow you are given the opportunity to learn the most current trends and up to date methods, techniques that are relevant today. I love being a Glasgow florist and I truly believe there is room for everyone. I’ve just recently secured premises so 2017 has started amazingly, the large structures course would truly be the icing on the cake!

  10. Libby Stewart says:

    Hello, I follow the Flower School Glasgow on Instagram and Facebook and I am amazed with the beautiful arrangements that are created, I would love to join in the fun! I attended a few evening classes at my local collage in Aberdeen, really enjoyed it and love making arrangements for friends and family. Im doing some of my friends wedding flower arrangements this summer so attending this course would be my next step to broaden my skills and create some wonderful arrangements… this course would be an exciting kick start to 2017 🙂

  11. Julie says:

    I have been following the Flower School Glasgow
    on social media avidly. The work created and the image presented is world class and inspiring. I am currently studying Floristry at college in Glasgow and would relish the opportunity to attend the large structures one day course I am fascinated by the effect dressing a space with flowers and foliage can have. The nuances and transformations that large structures can bring to an event and the subtle effect this can have in emotions and ambiance is endlessly fascinating. Learning the underpinning skills would be an incredible gift and one I would wholeheartedly take forward in my own work.

  12. Romana muguwe says:

    I would absolutely love the chance to learn from Nick. I have seen his work, he is very talented. I would love to learn as this will help me increase my skills frame in floristy and learn more modern designs. In today’s trends large structures are becoming a hit and are very trendy. I believe having the skill to transform a room with large floral arrangements is a definite bonus in the current market. I really do hope I get selected for this opportunity all fingers and toes crossed for this one .

  13. Gaynor Inglis says:

    I’m currently wedding planning and my blank canvas wedding venue is in need of some gorgeous floral structures! This is the perfect opportunity to bring my vision into reality and gain some skills on how to do this for my big day. My venue has roof rafters so designing and creating hanging pieces will certainly deliver the wow wedding factor! Excited to be apart of this draw xx

  14. Chloe says:

    I would love an opportunity to further my skills and create some of the wow factors I have saw on social media that has been done at other workshops the opportunity to learn feeds a hunger I have and I love flowers it’s a passion of mine !

  15. To understand how to make flowers dance through the air is a skill I’d dearly love to have.

    I have recently been made redundant from a rather large pharmaceutical company and have gone back to my first love – all things floral. I have attended some floristry courses but I feel meeting you and attending your course would be a game changer. I could understand the mechanics and learn how to create a style of amazing florals that would differentiate me from other florists. I have my very first wedding this year so I can’t think of a more perfect course to help me starting out in a completely new direction. I grew some of my own British flowers last year too to include in my designs. I am passionate about British flowers and also about sharing amazing florals with others as I have seen first hand how it makes peoples hearts sing.

  16. I have recently returned to Floristry after a break of a few years. l experienced some life changing events which really made me stop and look hard at what I was doing and what made me truly happy……..hence the return to Floristry. I started my new business in April 2016 and really am passionate about my work and truly want to be the best that I can be. I have put absolutely everything I have into setting up my workshop and new business and am loving the journey I find myself on. I am determined to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone and advancing my Floristry skills and so would absolutely LOVE to be fortunate enough to attend this amazing inspirational course!

  17. Chirsty says:

    I have agreed to help my brother and his fiancé with their floral arrangements at their wedding this November.. This course would be an amazing opportunity to build my confidence and inspire!

  18. Lorna Dunlop says:

    Dear Nick
    J have been aware of the work of Mood Flowers for a couple of years but not had the opportunity to go on any of your courses. I have had my own floristry business for just over a year and have invested heavily in the development of my five staff but not had the time to do so on myself. This year things need to change and where better to start than on a course featuring structures. I have heard from others who have attended your workshops that you provide very valuable information on running a business as well as all things flower related. After a very busy year with various ups and downs some moral support would be much appreciated and gaining some new skills would be a boost to my confidence . Wishing you every success with your continuing ventures. x.

  19. Lisa Gaston says:

    Hi Amy and Nick!
    I’m always in awe of Nick’s large scale creations. As a self taught florist, I don’t have much experience or confidence with the mechanics of larger installations and it’s really holding me back. In the past few weeks I’ve turned down 3 marquee weddings because I’m not confident in my abilities. I need help!
    I’m also a great believer in learning from my peers and would love to opportunity to meet more people on the course.

  20. Debbie says:

    Wow, what an experience for one lucky reader!
    I would like to nominate my daughter, Amber, who is in her final year of Level 3 Floristry and like many students juggles work and study but she is pushing herself so that she can eventually open her own business. I would love her to be able to experience the day, absorb Nicks knowledge and to go forward putting into practices what she learns with her own style. It would be an amazing opportunity and a pretty knockout 21st birthday present.
    Good luck to all.

  21. Romaine Hodgen says:

    What a wonderful opportunity this would be, to build upon and develop my floristry skills. I find demonstrations and courses so inspiring, learning must never stop so long as design continues to evolve. I continue to follow The Flower School Glasgow & Mood Flowers, I am continually inspired by the skills of other designers and would truly appreciate this opportunity to immerse myself in an inspiring course.


  22. I would love to win this prize to give me a lot more confidence in offering these big beautiful arrangements. I would like to make 2017 the best year ever for my business.

  23. Amanda Rousell says:

    Hi Nick,

    I’m a brand new florist just starting out and the opportunity to attend one of your courses would really help me to grow and develop. One of the skills I really want to push is my ability to create large scale installations and be confident in the mechanics – Whilst I’ve only been in business since December I have started to work on some larger scale community projects and would love to be able to build on these especially with the current trends for arches and installations at weddings – I have an absolute passion for floristry having found it later in my career, and I am keen to absorb as much knowledge and make new connections in my new working life.
    I would love the opportunity to attend one of your courses!


  24. Toni Kanber says:

    a perfect start to the new year, this course would be perfect to inspire creativity.definitely on my bucket list! this would make a small time gal dream big.

  25. Petra Smith says:

    I’m 47 years young and have reached a crossroads in my life. I have working in projects all of my life and my last contract came to an end before Christmas along with my desire to spend another 20 years doing something I don’t really enjoy. I have been doing a lot of soul searching recently and just want a career that fulfils me and makes me happy to go to work. I would love more than anything the opportunity to come and chat with people talented in their field, to watch (and asssist) the magic happen as they plan and create a something that has the ability to give people so much joy. I love flowers, always have, and looking at the pictures on your websites and on Pinterest that showcase them and people’s talents. I want to know if I am capable of doing the job I think I would love if only I had the balls to change direction and didn’t stuff my creativity down. So, why not start big, with large structures and a potential game changer?
    Whether I’m successful or not, thank you for sharing your talent and knowledge with us x

  26. Suzie douglas says:

    I would love to attend this course and learn from the very best! After a personally hideous 2016 I would be awesome to begin the year and my newly re-started floristry career with a bang. The large structures course is just what I need to begin the year inspired and motivated!


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