As a child in her father's garden, Raysa Farah discovered her love for floristry. Whilst working in the NHS, Raysa continued to nurture her passion for posys and finally allowed it to blossom in the launch of her own luxury floristry studio, LK Verdant. Today, the LK Verdant brand is pruned to perfection—earning Raysa a budding Instagram following and regular features amidst the pages of Vogue and Grazia.
Raysa reflects on her unconventional journey into floral entrepreneurship, her boundless creativity and the timeless appeal of a beautiful bouquet.
Where does your passion for floristry stem from?
Since I was a very little girl, I wanted to be a florist. My love began whilst pottering and playing around my father's stunning floral-filled garden. I literally begged my parents to study floristry after I left school but they persuaded me to pursue a more "conventional" career path. So I did.
When I met Mohammed, at the age of 23, he encouraged my passion and love for flowers. He had the business up and running for me just one month after I told him, "One day when I’m old and retired I will fulfil my dream of being a florist." I started by showcasing flower posies (stems picked from my father's garden) on Instagram—and orders were flying in! I soon became so busy that I had to make a decision on which career I wanted. I took the risk and left my very well-paid and credible job at the NHS to chase my dreams (sounds cliché I know). I haven't looked back since.
How did you find the career transition?
Leaving my job in the NHS was not easy. My parents were so proud of me for completing a psychology BSC degree—I was never a high achiever at school and I really had to work hard for my grades. A successful and stable career in the NHS was everything my parents had hoped for me.
I was getting married to Mohammed and would soon be moving out of my parent's home, which meant I would have financial responsibilities of my own. Naturally, that made me anxious but starting up a business meant investing all of my savings—and when I say all I mean every spare penny—in buying materials, trademarks etc. I was anxious as to whether all of the hard work that went into earning those savings would make me a return.
What learnings have you brought forward from your previous career?
In the NHS, I learnt to be super organised—I am still strict on timekeeping to keep everything in check. I also learnt how to work well with others and that you should always listen—then listen again.
How do you push yourself to think outside the box?
I was one of the first (if not the first) local businesses in my area to take a high-end and on-trend approach to floristry. I embraced my quirky and creative designs and subsequently received masses of support from my target audience. I believe I am naturally creative—I don’t have to try too hard to think of new ideas and concepts. Just being out in nature inspires my designs, new environments and seasons.
What role has social media played in your success?
A tip for new business owners: use social media as your main source of marketing. In year one of business, I worked with a lot of social media influencers by sending them my products to review and promote. I also held blogger events with many well-known brands such as Kiehl's, Elizabeth Arden, L'Oréal, Clive Christian, and Kerastase. I believe this is what set my brand apart and gained me a lot of exposure. An engaged social media audience is essential. My most engaged followers also tend to be my most loyal clients that keep my business successful.
But remember: Instagram can be a very supportive place but being raw and authentic can also attract a lot of unwanted criticism—you need to have thick skin to work with the general public!
What does "bespoke service" mean to you?
- Providing the highest quality product.
- Clear communication.
- Going above and beyond to source what your client wants/needs—I ask my clients plenty of questions and I always follow their brief to a "T"!
- Delivering on time.
Most importantly, "bespoke" means adding a personal touch to your service, your communication, and your product. Each bouquet is unique—one is never the same as another.
You recently added "author" to your list of creative talents—tell us more...
When my little boy got diagnosed with Cancer, I couldn’t find any resources to educate his brother, Adam (aged 4), about why he was losing his hair and gaining drastic weight with medication. So, I decided to write my own children’s book. Writing came very naturally to me—I had so much fun and it brought me a lot of comfort to know that I had the potential to turn something so challenging into something positive. I want children to believe and understand that they are very special even if they look physically different to their friends.
Editors note: Raysa's story, "The Cub Without a Mane" is available for purchase here.
I have way too many! But If I had to pick just one: David Austin roses. My entire wedding was adorned with them and they smell incredible.