Karen Sherwin crowned Interflora Florist of the Future
Karen Sherwin of George Preston Florists in Newry has clinched the top prize in the prestigious Interflora Florist of the Future 2011 competition, representing Northern Ireland in the grand final in the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. Karen fended off tough opposition from ten other florists from across the UK, impressing the judges with her originality and innovation. She was joint first in the cottage garden party hat creation and second in both the bridal design and free expression Japanese piece. For the first time since 2004, the Interflora Florist of the Future competition grand finals took place in front of a live audience at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show in Knutsford, Cheshire. Visitors were able to watch the finalists go up against the clock to construct their items, with many commenting on the ‘buzz’ surrounding the competitions.
Commenting on her win, Karen said, “I’m shocked and delighted to have come first. It’s been a wonderful experience, and we’ve certainly been pushed to the limits. I still can’t quite believe how well my designs came together on the day. I’m particularly chuffed with my bridal piece as it’s one of the areas of floristry I’m most interested in. This competition has been a superb experience, and credit should go to everyone for the exceptional workmanship on show this year. My friends and family have given me so much support, and that’s really made all the hard work worthwhile.”
Judge Susan Wills-Pope commented, “Karen and the other florists have created some absolutely beautiful pieces, and the standard has been extremely high. We’ve been very impressed by the level of technical ability and imagination that all the competitors have shown, particularly since they’ve only been in the industry for less than four years.” Helen Quinn, Interflora’s Commercial Director, who presented the prizes to the competitors, said: “This competition was established eleven years ago to represent newcomers to the industry, and to celebrate and nurture amazing new talent. I’ve been extremely impressed by the dedication of all our competitors, and they should be very proud of their achievements.”
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