Worm London stand out from the bunch.
Interviews
22/07/2020 @system.social

Worm London stand out from the bunch.

Why did you start Worm?

Before we started Worm, we were both working in different creative jobs. Terri was an actress and I was a stylist. Both our careers were very uncertain. Sometimes, there would be a lot of work and other times it would be scarce.

We both felt like we had very little control over our work lives. A lot of the time we were working extremely long hours for someone else. We were both reaching the end of our twenties, and really wanted to have a better sense of control over our lives. We didn’t know each other very well, but we just knew that we were at the same point in our lives.

We wanted to work those long hours for ourselves rather than someone else. To have more freedom and make up our own rules.

One evening we were in the pub with friends, both of us were talking about how unsatisfied and miserable we felt about our careers. Everybody at the table started telling us to do something together. We chatted more and realised we both adored books and flowers. Both, individually always giving our friends gifts of a book and a bunch.

We love the idea that when the flowers are gone, you would always have the book to remind you of the nice gift you received. We decided there and then that it was a nice idea for a business and Worm was born. That following week we met up, enrolled in a basic flower course, came up with the name, registered it and went from there. It actually all started very quickly, we both had a mutual sense of urgency to do it.

The business has changed since our initial book and bunch delivery service. Once we started getting jobs, we realised we loved working on events and installations. We felt this was an area which allowed us to be really creative, so we have focused on that side of the business quite a lot. We still do book and bunch deliveries, but its on a much smaller scale.

We have always tried to keep what we do varied, we are both flexible so can adapt and do whatever we enjoy at any given moment. The most important thing for us is to really enjoy what we are creating so it just became an easy decision to work more on events and installations.

What values are important to you as a brand?

One of the things that makes Worm work is the fact that we have really similar values both within our company and outside it. We always feel so lucky that as a partnership our morals and values are so aligned. It's probably one of the most important things when working with somebody.

Our relationship is basically like a marriage, it would be difficult to be married to someone who does not share the same values as you. We did not think about this at the start, but the more we have worked together and the more our business has grown we have come to realise how lucky we are to have the same views on things.

We want Worm to be a kind company. There needs to be more kindness and compassion in our world. We believe any company or leader should have a kind approach. 

When you treat your staff with kindness they are happy and enjoy coming to work, when you treat your clients with kindness they are also happy and return. We try and treat the community around our studio with kindness and they support us.

We try and translate this into our working day. We will always try and go that extra mile if it will help with the end result. If there is an event that's running behind and they need a table cloth ironed at the last minute, we encourage our staff to stay and help. From the start, we made a decision to do this. It has helped us in building a community of loyal customers.

Sustainability has been a really big focus for us, especially in recent months. There are many unsustainable aspects to the floral and events business. This has to change. It feels crazy to us that the business we are in that relies so heavily from what grows from the ground could be so unsustainable in many ways. There is a long way to go with this, but as a business we have been really focusing on developing new ideas and techniques which will help drive this forward.

Seasonality has always been really important to us, but now more than ever we feel it is our job to educate our customers to understanding that buying seasonal flowers is key. It would be fantastic to get to the point where we are using British grown flowers all year round.

Creativity and meaning are key values also. We try and approach every job we do with a creative mind. We always try to make meaning in what we create. It's more interesting when we feel we have made something that has creatively challenged us, but also that holds meaning.

What occasions and services do you focus on?

We work on a wide range of projects. We like having lots of varied projects, it keeps things fresh and interesting. We work on a lot of events, weddings, photoshoots and installations. We always have some personal projects on the go as-well.

What do you draw inspiration from?

Lots of different places. We are both from the coast of Ireland, and are always inspired by the wild blustery landscapes we saw as children. We look to art, books, films and people a lot for ideas. We adore going to any DIY store, for some reason we never fail to leave with some new idea. Anytime either of us go away for a weekend to a different place, we generally come back with lots of ideas. Putting yourself in new environments and spaces is always so inspiring.

How has the brand been received by customers?

We have been so lucky to have such wonderful customers. Over time we have been able to work with fantastic brands and people. We have also got the chance to collaborate with different creatives on various projects, which is always special for us. We love learning from others.

We have a strong community of customers who support us and seem to like what we do. It's important for us to have this community around us. It makes what we do worth it when our customers and followers react and enjoy the work we create.

How has COVID affected the business?

We have had to close the studio for now. We are not sure when we will be able to reopen again. It's even difficult to see what the future will hold for a business that relies so heavily on big events.

The idea of just stopping was so odd at the beginning of lockdown. Looking at it now though, we have been able to draw some positives. We have worked so hard for the past four years, with not much of a break.

Taking some time for ourselves and resting is something we feel lucky to have been able to do. Working on overdrive and close to burnout this pause has allowed us to re-evaluate what is important.

We have a clearer idea of the kind of company we want to keep creating. As business owners, we've realised we need to have more balance going forward and now understand it is not possible to keep working at the same rate as before lockdown.

What are your aspirations for the future?

The future feels really uncertain for our business. We don’t think it will be as simple as we will just start working again like it used to be. But, we have always had a creative approach to Worm and feel we can adapt.

We started Worm with nothing, and in a way we will have to start again, but this time we have the support of an incredible community that surrounds us. With some hard work and good ideas we will get back up and running.

It will be a very interesting time, maybe even exciting. Sometimes having to start again, rebuild and grow in new ways can be better than before.

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