If you are familiar with Limerick, then the chances are that you will be familiar with Nell Stritch – owner of Pressed Flowers by Nell. If you are not from Limerick, then you are in for a real treat because you are about to learn all about Nell’s beautiful hand-made pieces that I can assure you will adore.
Nell has the most beautiful aura and personality, from the moment you meet her you will have a smile on your face just from being in her presence. Having known Nell for about three years, I couldn’t see her do anything else in this world beside create and design her bespoke artwork. At the age of 24, Nell is two years in business and has created a magical world of pressed flower art – which of course is combined with her very own signature colour, hot-pink at her studio on 54 Roches Street.
Nell was one of the very first people that I interviewed for season two of Creative Flow and, I can hand on heart say that we had the best morning chatting, drinking signature coffees from her local coffee shop, Habit, and laughing to our hearts content! Without further ado, let’s get into the Creative Flow conversation.
Where did Pressed Flowers by Nell all begin?
Nell set up her business two years ago in October 2019 and “hasn’t looked back since.” Nell’s business of pressing flowers really took off when she pressed a number of brides wedding bouquets after their big day. Since the pandemic, Nell has pivoted the business by creating custom bespoke commissions, tote bags and even book marks which incorporate her signature designs.
Nell’s love for pressing flowers all began in her back garden when she was a child. “All throughout my childhood, I was in the garden – planting and picking flowers but then when I got a little bit older, I began pressing flowers with my grandmother.” Nell spoke about how her love for pressing flowers fell to the side, as she was preoccupied with school and her grandmother opened a very famous florist shop, Lawless Flowers – so they couldn’t spend the same time together creating their art. However, her passion for pressing flowers re-emerged after working in her grandmother’s flower shop during a gap year.
Nell’s honesty when speaking about her art and business is so humbling and grounding. She mentioned her own insecurities about her artwork (something I think we can all relate to no matter what path we’re on), as she felt her designs weren’t exactly the norm but she persevered and established herself as Pressed Flowers by Nell on 1 October, 2019.
Our conversation naturally led to how Nell established herself and her business. I was curious to see if there were any memories that stood out for her while on her creative journey to setting up Pressed Flowers by Nell.
I was intrigued to discover how she came to see herself as an ‘artist’. Our conversation led to Nell recounting a time when she decided to surprise her mom by arranging a bouqet of flowers from a relatives wedding.
Nell told me, “I was at home one particular Saturday and thought to myself ‘wouldn’t it be great now if I made this arrangement and surprised my mom.’ Once I had completed the piece, I will never forget the feeling of how delighted I was when I finished the arrangement but it was a completely different style to how my mom would arrange flowers. When my parents arrived home, I obviously showed them and my mom’s reaction was ‘oh my god’ – I just kept asking her ‘do you like it?’. It was just so different to anything she had ever created but my cousin adored it and my business really grew organically from there.”
Nell spoke about the love and support from her friends and family when she decided to up Pressed Flowers By Nell – which is such a reminder of how humble, grounded and caring an individual she is. I was curious to know what it was like to set up a business at the age of 22?
Nell was brought up in a family of entrepreneurs with both of her parents being self-employed, as well as her grandparents and other extended members of her family. Being surrounded by her family gave her the drive and determination she needed, as she “always knew” she would own a business at some stage in her life. When talking about opening in October 2019, Nell “didn’t give it a second thought”, as she knew that this was what she wanted to do. I think the self belief that Nell possesses is a pinnacle of her personality and in turn where she finds her own Creative Flow.
Naturally, Nell led on to give her advice to anyone wanting to set up their own business stating that you should “make sure that you’re very passionate about what you’re doing. The reason why I opened my business was to create art and to preserve a moment in time for people through my artwork.” However, there is also another very important aspect that Nell touched on when it comes to owning a business and that is that “there is quite a lot of administration work that goes with running your own business – which is so different to being an artist. So, it’s great to have friends and family that you can rely on and that can help you when you’re starting out first. I also think it’s so important to ask loads of questions because there will be things that you don’t know”.
The last piece of advice Nell touched on is a true reflection of her outgoing personality, as she spoke of how she introduced herself to other local businesses in the area and really “got to know” her neighbours. Networking is such an imperative part of business and the people Nell introduced herself to have now become good friends and supporters of her work.
I took so much away from my conversation with Nell. Even having the opportunity to listen back to the recording of our chat brought such a smile to my face. Nell is electric and her art compliments the essence of who she is. Her story is so inspiring and I think it really captures that we have one life so do it right – follow your passions, dream big and surround yourself with the right people in order to remain grounded. Nell oozes what the Creative Flow series is all about – finding meaning in life and living through a flow of creativity.
Until the next one,
Sarah Edel xx