Aoife McGregor, Feather Grass Florals
Aoife McGregor is the floral mama behind Feather Grass Florals, which she founded in 2016. With a background in floristry, events, hospitality and luxury retail, Aoife has a keen eye for detail. Her style of combining elegantly natural flowers with foraged grasses and greenery adds a unique element to her designs. Inspired by nature and the seasons, Aoife loves to use locally grown Scottish cut flowers. Aoife was one of the stars of the show at Detox Health Beauty day at Archerfield Walled Garden in May. She ran the most beautiful floral crown workshops and people came away with stunning pieces of natural art to wear. Here’s an interview with the lovely Aoife 💖🌟.
Aoife, we love your beautiful floral arrangements. Who and what inspires you and why did you decide to create Feather Grass Florals?
Thank you. I love working with flowers and being creative. There are so many people that inspire me and Instagram has really opened my eyes to the amazing creative people who have gone after their passions and are making it work for them. I am really inspired by nature, the seasons and colour. I can get inspiration from anywhere really.
I decided to create Feather Grass Florals as I have always wanted to have my own creative business and flowers are what I am passionate about. Floristry was my very first job, when I was 16 years old and I always remember how good it made me and the client feel when I created a beautiful bouquet for them. It was an instant feeling of happiness.
I have worked for some amazing companies since from the world of hospitality & events, luxury retail and interiors to e-learning but once we had our second child, I struggled with the restrictive full time hours and managing childcare. I realised that I wasn't happy and we didn't have a balance as a family unit, so after a bit of soul searching and support from my lovely husband my passion for flowers was reignited. My business allows me to be creative and also be there for our two young kids.
What are you favourite flowers to work with and how would you describe the look of your flower arrangements?
I love to work in season, so my favourite flowers change quite frequently. I'm loving hellebores and blossoms at the moment but I enjoy working with all sorts of flowers and materials. I would describe my style as elegantly natural and whimsical using complimenting tones, colours and texture.
How do you care for your wellbeing and make time for yourself, while working and being a mother of two young girls?
It can be difficult to take time out for myself but I know it's so important for my wellbeing. I love to read positive books and success stories as it reminds me to keep a positive frame of mind and encourages me to push myself further. I also enjoy running, so when I can, I like to head out for a trail run and take in the scenery.
How do you relax and stay focussed?
At least once a week, when we've got the kids down to bed, I just love to sit down with my hubby and switch off with a good movie and some nice wine helps too.
My husband actually helps me keep focused as he is great to talk to and always gives me encouragement and support when I need it.
What makes you feel happy?
The sun makes me feel very happy. I love the summer months when everything is in bloom. The long summer evenings mean we can stay outdoors and enjoy the garden with my family.
Where in the world serves your favourite food and do you have a favourite restaurant?
I am originally from Ireland and there is a place called Avoca which serves the most amazing home cooked food and breads. When we are in Ireland, we always stop there on the way to my parents house.
I have a few favourite restaurants especially in Edinburgh, where there is an abundance of them. I love The Outsider as it was the first restaurant my husband took me when he was persuading me to move here, so we always enjoy the food and atmosphere there.
Where in the world do you go to relax?
I would go anywhere in the world to relax at this stage. With two young kids relaxing isn't on the top of the list but we do enjoy a sun holiday in Spain now and again, which definitely recharges the batteries and the kids love it.
What is your favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you have a go to recipe book?
I can't start my day without having a good breakfast. I love homemade granola, fruit and yoghurt or smashed avocado on toast with a poached egg and drizzle of Maple syrup. Lunch would be roasted Mediterranean veg with feta cheese or grilled halloumi. Dinner would be homemade Chicken Parmigiana with green beans and sweet potato wedges.
I have all 3 Avoca recipe books which are packed full of fab recipes.
What would be your last supper?
Hmmm....that's a tough one. Probably something like a thai green curry with coconut rice (preferably from Dusit in Edinburgh) or a cheese toasty if that wasn't possible!!
Can you share a favourite top beauty tip?
Drink plenty of water, keep smiling and be kind.
What does your beauty routine look like and do you have any ‘can’t live without’ products?
I was introduced to the Liz Earle products a good few years ago and I now cleanse, tone and moisturise morning and night. I love how it makes my skin feel and they smell lovely too.
Finally, what advice would you give your 16 year old self?
I could probably write a book on the amount of advice I would give my 16 year old self but one thing I definitely would say is to believe in yourself more and do something you are passionate about. Don't be afraid of what other people think, change is inevitable so just embrace it as it can sometimes lead to exciting things. Always keep an open mind and surround yourself with people who lift you up.