Meet: London Terrariums
This month we're getting to know Emma Sibley, founder of London Terrariums...
London Terrariums is a small business based in South London that runs terrarium making workshops as well as selling their creations for private orders and building fun installations all over London. They've also recently opened their first shop in New Cross which may even be London, and England's first terrarium shop*.
*Please shout if you know of another! - Emma, founder and owner.
We've hosted a few workshops with Emma and will be launching something exciting together in time for the summer solstice - watch this space!
When and how did you start London Terrariums?
E: London Terrariums started 4 years ago literally just from a hobby and a love of gardening! One minute a few of us were making little bottle gardens not really too sure what we were doing and then next I was smuggling moss trays under my desk at work to take on to teach a workshop in the evening and it kind of went from there. There hasn't really been too much time to think about it as since giving up my full time job 2 years ago to concentrate on LT, it's been pretty manic!
What do you love most about your job, and what is the most challenging part?
E: I love coming into the shop every morning, it is my favourite space, I constantly smile to myself when I am in there because it makes me so happy and it sounds very cheesy but I feel so lucky because I am actually living my dream. Opening the shop has also been the most challenging part. London Terrariums already had a lot of 'legs' as a business - workshops, private orders, corporate workshops, shop installs, and other big installation projects, it was hard enough keeping up with all of that. As a small business owner I also manage the finances and keep the website and social media going but now I am a shop keeper* as well which means making sure the shop looks nice and actually has stock (which I am pretty bad at!). My resolution for this year is to delegate more and take my fingers out of some of the pies.
*she's also an author!
Where do you go to get inspiration?
E: Physically, I would go to the Chelsea Physic Garden or Kew, it sounds quite obvious but walking around in an environment surrounded by greenhouses and plants instantly makes me want to get back to the studio and make. The Haarkon travel and greenhouse blog is also the most inspiring place to visit online, India and Magnus have the best jobs of travelling around the world exploring and photographing greenhouses and their contents. SO BEAUTIFUL!
What's the most memorable event you've worked on and why?
E: Doing a 60 person event for Adidas was pretty memorable, not particularly because of the terrariums but because of the scale! Trying to teach 60 people how to make a successful terrarium with just two of us was pretty crazy. But I think my most memorable event of my career so far was being invited on Radio 4's Women's Hour last December with Alys Fowler, my god, I was so nervous but it was so fun chatting about the importance of houseplants and all of your Christmas alternatives to the old favourite the red poinsettia!
What food could you not live without?
E: CRISPS! Is that a bad answer? Other than that my grown up answer will be Spaghetti Vongole, if that is on the menu I can't say no*, especially if you go to Ciao Bella on Lambs Conduit Street - those clams!
Do you have a favourite food memory?
E: Being given fresh broad beans from my Great Grandad's garden up until he was 98 years of age! As well as visiting my grandparents' house in the summer holidays and using their cupboard under the stairs as my club house, but it was FULL to the brim with all of my Grandad's homemade fruit wines, the yeasty aroma I can still smell now!
Who would you invite round as a special dinner party guest?
E: If we could have anybody I think Prince would be the best guest, so many stories and great music, or closer to home one of my best friends Phoebe West, we don't get to see her enough and you haven't been to a dinner party until you have been to one with Phoebe!
What do you want from the bar?
E: A delicious glass of red wine, pretty much always!
See more from London Terrariums here.