A cup of tea with… King-Wey Hii, founder of Alight Petal Flowers

What a beautiful spring we’ve had. Everywhere you look is covered with beautiful blooms – streets, houses, Instagram feeds. Flowers give us such a boost of positive energy, it’s hard to walk by without secretly wanting to take all these flowers home and put them in every single room.

Our guest today does just that. King-Wey is a true floral artist, who is inspired by floral shapes and colours and matches them to people’s personalities. She wakes up at silly hours to go to flower markets wherever she is – London, Kuala Lumpur or Barbados and each trip reveals new and exciting possibilities. ‘I’m spending a lot of time in Japan – that’s where I get a lot of influence from’. Sounds like a florist’s dream, but it came down to a bold decision and following her heart.

We are really excited to share King-Wey’s story with you here over a cup of Nauteas.

Image courtesy of http://www.katyandco.co.uk/

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR ALRIGHT PETAL FLOWERS AND HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?

It all started a few years ago when my partner bought me two hour flower arranging class as a gift. I immediately fell in love with it all – the smells, the textures, the colours, all of it. From that day I spent most of my free time ‘flowering’, firstly for friends and family, and then I landed my first wedding. Flowers slowly but surely took over my life, and it was getting increasingly challenging to balance my full time job with running my own business. I had one of those eureka moments as I realised that life is too short to dedicate so much time to anything that you don’t feel passionate about, so I said goodbye to my career in Advertising and I never looked back! Alright Petal Flowers is inspired by the joy I found in flowers, the courage they gave me to make a positive change and to make the most of those precious moments in life.

WHAT DO YOU DO AND WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND FRESH NEW IDEAS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

My preference is to source my flowers from New Covent Garden Flower Market. Nothing beats seeing your materials ‘in the flesh’. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to design, without too much over planning. When I go to the market, I like to feel inspired by the flowers that are available on that day, rather than run around stressing about sourcing a specific variety of a particular colour. At the market, it’s usually love at first sight with a particular flower, and from that point of focus, my imagination will run wild, thinking “that would go with this colour, which will look great with this, and a bit of that” etc.

I also look to nature. I feel that flowers are at their best in their natural state, so I am often inspired by how things grow in the wild. These observations also teach me how to let the flowers ‘just be’ in my designs.

When it comes to weddings, the couple inspires me. I enjoy letting the flowers speak to the personalities of the bride and groom. I always want the wedding party to see the design of the flowers as a true and honest reflection of the couple.

 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST AND LEAST ABOUT RUNNING ALRIGHT PETAL FLOWERS?

The logistics of the job scare the hell out of me. I’m a control freak and I have had to learn that when it comes to flowers, there’s just some things you can’t plan for. Waiting for stubborn flowers to open the night before a wedding, how to transport oversized arrangements without any breakages, and how I’m going to install that gigantic flower arch in the allocated time are all on the list of things that keep me up at night!

The best thing has got to be seeing the very real happiness that flowers bring to people. Not only to my clients and lovely brides, but just seeing people’s faces light up along the street as I’m carrying a crate full of flowers to or from my car reminds me every time why I do what I do.

 

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED FROM SOMEONE?

‘Just do it”, from my older sister. I’ve always been a worrier, but my sister is the opposite. Sometimes having someone tell you to stop overthinking and to just get on with it is all you need to hear!

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO DO WHAT YOU DO AND TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAM?

I think having had to juggle two jobs for so long has really been a test of my commitment. I’d come home to work on proposals late into the night after a long day at the office, gave up holidays and weekends for flower jobs, and started my days at 3am to go to the flower market and then would have to go into the office for a full day of client meetings! However, I enjoyed every minute of it because, without wanting to sound cheesy, I truly love what I do. I think that passion is key, and it means I really throw everything I have at each and every project I’m part of. The feeling I get when I have exceeded a client’s expectations is beyond rewarding.

 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE NAUTEAS BLEND?

Don’t Make Me Cycle To India. I like my tea how I like my food – bursting with interesting and unique flavours, but also warming and comforting. I always feel like a cup of this after a heavy meal, whether that’s at home wrapped up in a blanket on my sofa or at my desk working after a long lunch! There’s something about the cardamom, fennel, cinnamon and clove blend that I feel aids digestion and cleanses the palette.

Borough 22

A cup of tea with… Ryan Panchoo, founder of gluten-free donut bakery Borough 22

This week we are really excited to be chatting to the baking sensation Ryan Panchoo, who started a gluten-free vegan donut bakery, Borough 22, and is taking the world by storm with his delicious creations. With the free-from movement on the rise, Borough 22 is indulgence without feeling the guilt and once we tried those incredible donuts…. we just could not stop.

What’s more, he is running a pop up with Timberyard in Boxpark Shoreditch and this week we are very lucky to be showcasing our collaboration with Nauteas-glazed donuts! Go try them while they last 🙂

Borough 22 Nauteas collaboration

Ryan Borough22 chats to Nauteas

What was your inspiration for Borough 22 and how did it all begin?

OK so Borough22 all stemmed from a need for my wife and children to have free from treats. My wife was and still is dairy and gluten intolerant and my kids are dairy intolerant at the time. We used to venture out to central London on blogging trip for my wife’s blog-zine www.thelondonmother.net. Usually the food on offer would not cater for their dietary requirements. We found that when we ventured out it was much the same or that the places that did not offer anything that tasted very good. There was certainly nothing that catered for both gluten and dairy free requirements. I set about to make it my quest to come up with something that tasted great and that everyone could have. In October 2014 Borough 22 was born.

What do you do and where do you go to find fresh new ideas for your business?

I am a gluten free vegan doughnut baker. I usually go to Pinterest or Instagram for fresh ideas, not necessarily of what’s been done but rather to see what works colourwise or drool over delectable treats that I can somehow adapt to form an exciting doughnut flavour. One such product was Nauteas fantastic range of teas. I’d seen and made matcha doughnuts before so I knew that I could fashion a glaze from the tea. It worked really well but the best flavour by far was Pina Colada!

Borough 22 Nauteas interview

What do you enjoy most and least about running Borough 22?

I enjoy meeting and interacting with people. Customers, retailers, CEO’s(!). For me this is the best part of the business. A close second is nailing a flavour and adapting the recipe to suit someones specific dietary needs. The least favourite this is when I have a massive bake on and the washing up that comes afterwards. I’m definitely not a fan of washing up mini doughnut pans!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from someone?

“Do one thing and do it well.” I used to make a variety of baked goods but the decision to focus on doughnuts was one of the best I ever made. It’s allowed me to focus on them and perfect the recipe and process.

What motivates you to do what you do and to follow your dream?

When I get positive feedback. It just makes me buzz! It makes me want to be the best I can be and keep going. To see someone get excited about something that I have created is such an amazing feeling. It gives me powers. It’s like what the sun is to Superman ha haa!

What’s your favourite Nauteas blend?

My favourite Nauteas flavour is Pina Colada. The aroma is amazing and the flavour really punches through. Absolutely love it!!!

Borough 22 Nauteas interview

A cup of tea with… Emily Beeson, founder of creative collective Young Gold Teeth

 

 

 

We had a great start of the week at Nauteas HQ and today we are launching our new blog series ‘A cup of tea with…’ featuring some of our favourite self-starters and creative people who turned their ideas into reality.

Our guest today is the gorgeous Emily Beeson, who runs Young Gold Teeth – a fantastic collective of all things design, creativity and exciting brands. We met back in 2016 when Emily was putting together her popular Christmas wish list and our Don’t Make Me Cycle to India chai tea was lucky enough to be featured on it. Here Emily shares her story of how YGT came about, where her inspiration comes from and her mum’s words of wisdom she lives by.

What was your inspiration for YGT and how did it all begin?

I started the blog while working at a small gallery in central London a few years ago. At that time it was more of a portfolio as I was juggling jobs and studies and trying to find steady work as a journalist. I just wrote about the things I loved for practice, mainly artists and independent brands and soon started receiving submissions. Then the blog came into its own. I moved to the Netherlands to study and YOUNG GOLD TEETH became less about me and more about the people I was featuring. I love the community that the site has fostered and the talented people I get to know through running it and staging events; they’re the inspiration and will continue to be for as long as YGT’s around.

What do you do and where do you go to find fresh new ideas for your project?

I think the combination of working in marketing, spending a great deal of time with creative people and living in London means you’re bombarded with exciting information non stop. I’m lucky in that respect, I’m never short of ideas. I read a lot, do a lot of research, go to new places and I try to use social media for good, rather than for trolling and stalking. I also tend to have a flood of great ideas during or just after a positive one-on-one conversation, it gives me a great sense of perspective.

What do you enjoy most and least about running YGT?

Discovering amazing new artists, solo ventures, stores, businesses, social enterprises and collectives is definitely one of the highlights. I find it really uplifting to read about and connect with people doing great things. The negative side for me, if I’m really honest, is blogger culture. I don’t like the ego, the ‘hauls’ or the spelling mistakes. It strikes me that a lot of bloggers are enticed by the idea of free stuff, a certain lifestyle and being called an ‘influencer’ but have no interest in community or creating quality content. It fuels a stereotype that many bloggers have to contend with and I find that disheartening. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from someone?

‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down.’ My mum’s motto, a subtle war cry for chronic overthinkers and a great phrase from history, and some of my favourite works of literature. Words I live by every day. 

What are the tools you use for YGT that you cannot live without?

My laptop and phone, I use an apple macbook and iPhone, a decent black pen and my notebook for scribbling ideas and making to-do lists. Fancy stationery and weekly planners jazzed up with marbling and tropical illustrations aren’t really a necessity but I like to think they help.

What’s your favourite Nauteas blend?

Cherry Loves Rose. I’m deeply smitten with anything rose scented and have a serious relationship with Skin + Tonic Rosewater spray, Lush Rose Jam and Ruby’s of London rose and pistachio vegan cupcakes so Nauteas’ rose and cherry rooibos tea is a treat. I love brewing a cup on a Sunday afternoon when I get home from yoga. I get comfy on the sofa, catch up on my emails and savour the taste and the lovely fruity smell.