Ashlee Jane, Founder of The Suffolk Nest.

Talk Straight | Think Smart with Ashlee Jane

Talk Straight | Think Smart with Ashlee Jane

When Ashlee Jane started her Instagram account, she never imagined it would lead to creating a successful business. But after building a large online community, who were interested in her floristry arrangements and tips, she took the plunge and The Suffolk Nest became a reality.

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People wanted everything I was styling the house with. That's where this online community has just grown and grown and grown. And it's a huge part of the business now.

Ashlee Jane
Founder of The Suffolk Nest

With over 300,000 Instagram followers, Ashlee Jane has turned what started as a hobby into a successful business, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

Ashlee grew up with a sense of determination and drive. Following university she built a successful career in sales, got married, renovated a house and had two children. However one year, following a wreath-making class with friends, Ashlee "caught the bug" for floristry. Given her nature, Ashlee wanted to find out everything she could about flowers and floristry. Although it initially started as making wreaths for family and friends, it soon turned into a side hustle designing bouquets and arrangements for weddings.

Ashlee managed her bookings alongside her full-time job. She also began to share her creations on her home renovation Instagram account, The Suffolk Nest, and gained a lot of interest from people who looked to her for inspiration when styling their own homes.

Her online community grew and grew - to over 300,000 followers in fact! Although giving up her secure job felt incredibly risky, Ashlee's husband convinced her to take a leap of faith and she founded the business in January 2021. The Suffolk Nest now sells artificial flowers, arrangements and home decor. It's also a resource for people to learn how to make the best of the flowers they might from supermarkets or florists.

In this episode, Ashlee shares her journey to becoming an accidental entrepreneur and her plans for the future. She talks about her book launch, strategies to manage incredible demand and her desire to go global.

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Quick fire round

Each episode we ask our guests quick fire questions. Hover below to see what this revealed about this week's guest, Ashlee Jane....

Current best seller:

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Plastic black tray. Seems boring but it's the way I've shown people how to use it.

People or tech:

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Definitely people. I need people to do the tech!

Launch and learn or perfection:

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I was always perfection but I've had to learn to be launch and learn.

Grow, sell or start again:

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Grow definitely.

Advice to younger self:

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Don't sweat the small things, try to look at the bigger picture.

A little more about this episode…

Growing up, Ashlee was a determined child. After receiving a pogo stick as a present she practised until she nailed the art of pogo jumping. This determination and drive carried into her academic years. When she saw there was a prize for the best dissertation, she was intent on winning, and she did.

Whilst at university, Ashlee spent her sandwich placement at ASOS and was offered a job there when she graduated. But her role was in merchandising which was quite technical and she craved more creativity. So she left ASOS, moved back home and started a new role in sales for a well-known confectionary company.

It was while working in that role that she took up wreath-making as a hobby, after attending a wreath-making class with some friends. She got the bug for it and put her mind to finding out everything she could about flowers and floristry. An opportunity then arose for her to do the flowers at a wedding, after which she felt a sense of euphoria. So she continued to do wedding flowers alongside her full-time job.

Ashlee then started showcasing her arrangements on the Instagram account she'd set up to document her and her husband's home renovation journey. Her followers were really interested in everything she was styling the home with and her online community started to grow.

While on maternity leave, Ashlee's husband convinced her that she could make a business out of her floristry hobby. And although it felt risky, her husband's belief in her made her feel like she could do it. The business now has two arms. She still gives advice on how to make the best with the flowers you buy at the supermarket or florists, but she also now sells her own artificial flowers and arrangements.

Although her business is still in it's early inception, Ashlee has big ambitions for the future. She's written her first book, "The House of Flowers", she wants to launch worldwide shipping, and get a bigger warehouse to keep up with the demand for her products. Ultimately, her goal is to become a household name and we look forward to watching her journey.

Podcast cover image with text: Talk Straight, Think Smart with... Ashlee Jane, Founder of The Suffolk Nest


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