Five Minutes with Pretty Picture Company's Founder and Director, Hannah Gray
From making their very first flower wall on the living room floor, to opening a brand new shop and showroom in Blaydon, Pretty Picture Company has gone from strength to strength
Inside Pretty Picture Company’s new shop in Blaydon you’ll find picture-perfect backdrops, beautiful bouquets, and fabulous floral arches. Having seen huge success running their business online for the past four years, Hannah decided it was time to have a physical location to show off her Instagram-worthy decorations and they have just officially opened their doors.
‘We took on a premises back in September which was just meant to be for storage,’ explains Hannah. ‘However we had extra space and thought it would be good to utilise it to have a shop front and enable people to come in and meet us face-to-face.
‘We’ve opened our first shop which sells a variety of different bouquets, both real and artificial, as well as seasonal displays. It’s also a showroom so people can come in and have consultations. Anyone who’s booking us for an installation or event can come in, speak to our team, and we can design everything from there. The shop is really just a reflection of who we are and what we do, and people visiting can expect everything floral!’
The idea for Pretty Picture Company first came about when Hannah realised there was a gap in the market for large flower displays. ‘I was trying to look for a nice flower wall to hire and there was nothing on the market at the time that really stood out with the quality that I wanted, so I thought I’d make my own. We purchased the flowers from a local store in Newcastle and we made the flower wall on my mam’s living room floor.
‘Our first corporate installation was when a friend of mine got in touch wanting a flower wall for his bar. I thought it was just going to be a small one, but when I got there it was actually a 10 metre long wall that he wanted covered in foliage. So we put a plan in place on how we were going to try and execute such a large job, and we did it! We took lots of photographs, posted them on Instagram and interest just grew from there which enabled us to get more venues.’
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Now the Pretty Picture Company has evolved into doing private events, permanent installations, prop hire, weddings and more. ‘The business now is a variety of different elements of floristry,’ says Hannah. ‘We look after a lot of corporate venues such as hotels, bars and restaurants, doing permanent installations and flower walls. We also have a large hire section of the business with a range of items such as floral archways, flower walls, feather hoops, and pampas wings, that we hire out.
‘I also started a floral doorway service during lockdown when we couldn’t do installations for bars and weddings because everything was closed or cancelled. We install florals over a client’s front door or business shopfront which can be changed seasonally, and that is now actually one of the largest parts of our business. We look after over 500 residential and commercial doorways in the North East.’
The Pretty Picture Company use a combination of both genuine and artificial flowers in their work, but Hannah says the most common materials they use are artificial. ‘For a lot of the work we use artificial silk florals and foliage. The reason for this is they look really realistic but last a lot longer in venues. It also means we can create them exactly as we want so in any colour, any size and onto any surface,’ explains Hannah.
Plans for the future are to build the Pretty Picture Company countrywide as well as locally. ‘We want to focus on our Blaydon shop but we also want to expand throughout the UK and be able to deliver our services not only in the North East, so we have recently just opened a branch in Manchester too. We already did bits and bobs around the country but we really want to focus on growing that side of the business.’
Hannah thanks her client-centric approach for Pretty Picture Company’s success. ‘We have a very positive can-do attitude, and we always look at how we can do something rather than thinking of an excuse of why we can’t,’ she says. ‘We are 100 percent focused on our clients and we really listen to what they want to achieve. We’ll always go the extra mile when it comes to delivering quality and good customer service.’
‘The business is based on creating pretty pictures
and that’s what we like to achieve every time’
And while their focus on the customer is what makes the Pretty Picture Company different, Hannah says it is also what makes her job so rewarding. ‘The thing I love most about being based in the North East is the people and everybody that I get to meet doing my job,’ she says. ‘I love how every day’s different, and we’re always faced with new challenges. I love more than anything the feedback we get from our work and seeing people’s faces when we’ve completed something. The business is based on creating pretty pictures and that’s what we like to achieve every time.
‘We love working with bars and venues, but when we go in to fit anything it’s usually when the venue’s just opening, but when they’re up and running and you see people going in, taking pictures of our work, and enjoying the venue, we get a real thrill from that. It’s great for us but it’s also great for the venues because the more people are sharing posts within the venue the more their business grows. So it’s a win-win all round.’
You can get in touch with Pretty Picture Company on 07725 831780, via their website prettypicturecompany.co.uk, or visit their new shop at Creative House, Tundry Way, Blaydon NE21 5SJ.
An item you couldn’t live without.
I hate to say it but probably my phone, mainly because I work on it all the time and I’m always getting inspired by other people’s work on there.
Favourite place to eat in the North East.
I love the new place in Ponteland called Ateesh – it’s amazing!
A podcast you recommend.
I listen to the Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett almost every day. I like listening to the different entrepreneurs telling their stories and taking inspiration from them.
Advice you’d give to your younger self.
To not be so hard on yourself when things don’t always go to plan. To stay positive and remain focused on what you’re doing because everything works out fine in the end.