Almost a year ago, the UK floristry industry was shocked to learn of the death of one of its brightest young up-and-coming stars, Emma McDonald at age 29.
Emma, who had a true entrepreneurial spirit, inspired florists around the country to take a fresh approach to their business and supported many in their social media and online campaigns. She was, without question, a force of nature and her floral friends created the #bemoreemma hashtag to remember her by.
Emma left behind her husband Chris and children Shyla and Cody. Although the floristry community rallied behind them, some thought that a more lasting tribute would be wonderful, but would it be possible?
Leo van Holstein of the family run Holstein Flowers growers and breeders of Gerbera in the Netherlands could identify with the tragedy and had closely followed the story as it emerged on Facebook. He very kindly agreed to the suggestion that perhaps Holstein Flowers could create the perfect flower to remember this wonderful young woman. Emma was described as a “Larger-than-life character who was also feminine but with a twist of the unexpected!” Could the Holstein’s create a flower that would sum her up that could be presented to her children? Nothing was heard for a time and then came a message to say that they felt that they had nailed the brief and Gerpasta ‘Emma’ was born.
What followed next would have rivalled the plot of any Bond or Mission Impossible movie! A secret phone call to France to Merel van den Berg of Flowering Direct (who was on holiday) encouraged the belief that they could organise delivery to the two very different locations in Scotland. Another call to Germany to Iris van Santen of Holstein Flowers (also on holiday) to explain the logistics, calls to two florists Donald MacIntosh (Loch Duich Plants, Kyle of Lochalsh) and Rach Lauder (The Flower Bee, Innerleithen) who agreed to create bouquets for the family members and posies for the children. Rach then contacted Emma’s friend Becky of EnaMay Photography to take photos of Emma’s sister with Shyla and Cody.
Everyone involved feels that Emma would have loved this amazing floral adventure! Holstein Flowers created the perfect, happy flower and the children loved it. Mission accomplished!
Gerpasta ‘Emma’ is now available to order from your wholesaler.
Photography (Emma’s sister with Shyla and Cody): EnaMay Photography.