Kindred Tales | Emily & Daphne | Design by Nature
Design by Nature is an artistic floristry studio based in Tottenham, North London, that was founded by Emily Ayres in 2017.
After starting her new career in floristry, it has become Emily's ambition to align contemporary sculpture and design with floristry. She takes cues from the natural world and modern art, working with flowers as a tool for composition. Her studio buddy is Daphne, the beautiful Lurcher who can often be found helping Emily in her studio by enjoying a tasty floral snack when no one is looking.
Tell us about Design by Nature and your inspiration.
Design by Nature is a bespoke London florist that was born out of a love for fine art, design and sculpture. We believe that creating beautiful floral arrangements is a unique process and individual to the maker. As an artist uses paint to create a composition, we work with flowers to build bespoke designs full of abstract style.
Tell us about Daphne and how she came into your life.
A couple of years ago, my boyfriend and I were on holiday in Wales where we met the most beautiful dog. After chatting to the owners asking them about the breed, we were totally in love with this gorgeous, shaggy ‘40-mile an hour couch potato’ lurcher.
The dog was from a small family-run breeders in Exmoor and had been named the Exmoor lurcher. The original cross is greyhound, deerhound and Bedlington terrier. We immediately got in touch with breeders and kept an eye on the potential of any puppies.
Fast forward 10 months and I had seen that breeder’s friend’s dog (who owned an Exmoor lurcher) had puppies and we went along to visit them.
We left London saying we probably wont get a puppy and set off on the four hours’ drive to Dorset with a makeshift cardboard box bed and blanket. (We were obviously kidding ourselves)! At the farm, we were met by a litter of 10 gorgeous puppies and the parents were the most beautiful dogs and so chilled out. Seven of the puppies had the grey shaggy hair and three were smooth like greyhounds. No one wanted the three short hair puppies, so I felt like we should have one of them.
How does your Daphne fit into your general working day?
I’m a florist and I run my own floristry business in Tottenham. My working day often starts very early in the morning and I leave the house to head off to the flower market at around 5am – Daphne is very much still asleep. By the time I’m back from the market, it’s often around 7.30am, so it’s the perfect time for a coffee and to take Daphne out for a morning walk.
After this I head off to the studio to prepare the flowers for the day and Daphne has a morning nap at home. Luckily, my studio is two minutes’ walk from our house so I can head home and collect her at around 11am. Daphne then comes into the studio and enjoys helping me out with the flowers. By helping, I mean she will often find a flower stem to chew on or rip up some leaves. As I start so early, often the bouquets are out for delivery at around 1pm which means the afternoon is spent sorting through the emails and Daphne gets some well-deserved play time in the studio.
We normally head home around 5pm and off out for an evening walk. On the days when I’m working on a wedding or onsite at a client’s venue, Daphne will either go to work with my partner, Ben, or she has the best doggy daycare just around the corner where she gets to meet her friends and spend all day playing.
When you’re not working where do you both like to hang out?
On the weekends, we often find ourselves hanging out locally around Tottenham. We get up and out early on Saturday mornings and head to Tottenham Marshes for a walk. Daphne can sometimes find herself at one of the local breweries in Tottenham such as Beavertown or Pressure Drop, or we head out for lunch with friends. If we’re not in Tottenham, then we may be in Devon, visiting family and letting Daphne run free. In the countryside or on the beach is where she is happiest.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?
As Daphne is a lurcher, we have to be especially aware of her recall and making sure it’s safe for her to run off the lead, so I always have pocket full of her favourite doggy treats as bait to tempt her back to us. If we’re heading out to the pub or somewhere for lunch, we always take Daphne’s comfort blanket. It’s something she has had since we got her and she knows when the blanket is down its time to settle for nap. Daphne’s items are always carried in a pink and black Resident Advisor tote bag, which is where Ben works. He often comes home with various merchandise from the office that facilitates as Daphne’s wardrobe.