Frannie Liddle, Co-founder of Window Fleur
Welcome back to Friends with Leafage. Today we’re catching up with Frannie, Co-Founder of Window Fluer. During 2020, Joe, Frannie’s cousin, wanted to create beautiful window boxes for his 4th floor apartment but after spending a small fortune on a window box, 2 bags of compost and 20 plants that later died, he decided there must be a better way. Together with Frannie, the pair launched Window Fleur to bring ready-planted window boxes (with refills!) to your door each season. We hope you love what Frannie has to say!
Hi Frannie! Thanks so much for joining us on Friends With Leafage today. Before we get started, we’d love for you to share a little more about your journey with Window Fleur?
Hey Leafage Team. I’m Frannie the Co-Founder of Window Fleur. As mentioned above, Window Fleur is a London based family business which I launched in June 2020 with my cousin Joe. Like a lot of fresh ideas, Window Fleur was born out wanting to make our lives easier and better. Without getting too Kevin McCloud on you, the pandemic has taught us the value and enjoyment we can reap from growing and planting in our own homes. But with many of us cooped up in flats (myself and Joe included) we reached for window boxes as an ‘easy’ way to flex those green fingers, but actually found them anything but! We’ve all had so much on our plates this year and looking out the window stressing about your window boxes or plants more generally going downhill just seemed silly. So enter Window Fleur! The UK's very first window box subscription club, that delivers ready-planted window boxes straight to your door, with easy drop-in refills every 3 months. For us it’s all about growing the enjoyment factor and shrinking the hassle.
Before Window Fleur life, I spent my time being a heavily ‘botanical influenced’ Graphic Designer. I was lucky enough to start my design career at the fabulous Stylist Magazine. I then went on to work at various florists around London, where my love of flowers grew even more (pardon the pun). Before launching Window Fleur I owned a design studio, working with a wide variety of lifestyle brands including Freddie’s Flowers, where I learnt the importance of a beautifully designed brand right from the ‘get go’. And hopefully that’s evident in the look and feel of Window Fleur!
Your business launched in 2020 during lockdown, can you tell us what that was like?
Starting Window Fleur in lockdown has made it a tough undertaking for sure! And you might not guess this but the greatest challenge of all has been getting our hands on the plants themselves. As plant lovers, it’s been great to see a huge boom when it’s come to interest in gardening but this has put massive pressure on the plant suppliers - with some of the biggest players totally running out of plants! At the same time with so many events in the horticultural worlds calendar cancelled, plant growers greatly reduced their growing numbers which again affected the plant supply later into the year. So as you can imagine it was super frustrating to keep getting setbacks, especially now with effects of Brexit hitting home. But we stayed positive and used that extra time to focus on our service and open some great dialogues with our customers to take their ideas on board to make Window Fleur a brand that not only brightens up peoples homes but really fits into peoples hectic lives.
Writing this we’re now firmly into our third lockdown, and still feeling the effects of Brexit. Each lockdown throws up a new set of challenges and setbacks but you just have to try and change your mindset and set different measurables for success. It’s all about those little wins.
Cut flowers are one of my greatest obsessions, I even have them in every room. Recently with spending more time at home i’ve been re-discovering fresh herb plants in the kitchen and have a 6 year old terrarium (I'm not sure how long they’re supposed to live, but ‘Terry’ is thriving on the moisture from the bathroom)
Frannie with her flowers
We’re all about spreading joy at Leafage, so tell us something that made you smile recently?
I think lockdown has taught us to take pleasure in the simple things. So for me it’s got to be the fact that you can now see the days getting lighter & longer, as the seasons start to change, it brings a feeling of hope for some sort of normality to resume.
Lastly, as we’ve all been at home a lot during the last 12 months, have you adapted any new routines or rituals to keep your wellbeing in check?
I think one of the main ones would be trying not to put pressure on yourself to be as productive as you might be when times are normal. And I'm all for a little self indulgence and trying to remember to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself to a full camembert if the mood takes you! I also did dry Jan for the first .. and last time… Terrible idea!
Frannie's favourite book
Toast, Frannie's dog <3
Describe yourself in one word?
Name a book you’ve read that’s positively shaped you?
‘How to fail’ by Elizabeth Day. It was one of the first books in my book club and we all devoured it!
If you could be any houseplant, what would it be?
It would have to be a ‘Calathea’ as these are super pet friendly - I have a dog called ‘Toast’. But also because they have such a wide variety of leaf colours- but i usually pick a pink one.
Something you'd love to do more of?
I’d love to do more painting & live in Paris!
Name your favourite podcast(s)?
I’m a big fan of Jessie Ware’s ‘Table Manners’
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing instead?
I’d probably still be running my Graphic Design studio which had to take a back seat when Window Fleur hatched.