TROY Tribe: Willow Crosley on Flowers and Fair Isles

The Queen of flowers, Willow Crosley in our Fair Isle Jumper in Almond
We know we're not alone in needing a little cheering up so we thought, this week especially, we would share our secret to beating the blues; Mother Nature

Willow Crosley has long since been an inspiration with her wild and whimsical arrangements and we were thrilled to have an opportunity to chat to the Queen of flowers herself to find out what drew her to florals, top tips for budding florists, why she loves the new TROY x Brora fair isle and more.
We adore your wild and free seasonal floral displays. Please tell us how you began your career in floristry?
Thank you so much!  I started off in fashion and beauty  - my degree was in Fashion Promotion at the London College of fashion.  After working in various magazines  fashion cupboards for a few years however, I knew it wasn’t for me! So I decided to follow Charlie - then my boyfriend, now my husband,  to the South of France to live on a vineyard! I started writing a blog which was picked up by Clare Hulton, (now my literary agent) .  I wrote my first book, The Art of Handmade Living - and then my second, The Art of living with nature, which was all about living and decorating with natural treasures. One of the chapters in the book is all about flowers.  At the time of writing it, I was feeling totally overwhelmed by my work life; I was spreading myself too thin and not doing anything particularly well; I was writing, styling, personal shopping, designing, interior designing.  And I had this Eureka moment where I just knew that flowering was what made me really happy. So I stopped everything and focused on flowers from that moment on.
How would you describe your signature floral style?  
Wild. Very natural, whimsical.

You work primarily (or is it exclusively?) with British blooms. What are you enjoying using at the moment and what will be coming in to season over the coming weeks as Autumn kicks in?  
I try and buy British as much as I possibly can, yes.  But when youre doing a huge event or it the depths of winter and need thousands of the same stem, its hard, so I buy from Holland.  Now, we’re still in dahlia season which is one of my faves,  Have a look at the Landgardeners.  

What are your top do’s and don’ts for flower displays?
Don’t use flower foam.  Its terrible for the environment.  Use chicken wire instead. Always think about the proportion of your vase to the flowers. The flowers want to be about one and a half times the height of the vase.

We have seen pics of your cosy farmhouse in Oxfordshire. Having renovated the property what would your top tips be for anyone embarking on a similar project?  
Don’t decorate when youre pregnant for starters.   My taste is terrible when pregnant!  If you can, be patient - not a strength of mine - when making decisions about paint colours and wallpapers. I was so desperate just to get it all done, I rushed my decision making and now im re-doing it all bit by bit.

What do you love most about country life?
The Space.  We have three boys and we’re all so much happier outside running around in the garden rather than being cooped up on top of each inside.

Which are your favourite TROY pieces and why?  
I love my new jumper from your collaboration with Brora.  You can never have enough fairisle.
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