Winner – National SKILLFlorist Final
The National Floristry Magazine The Florist & Wholesaler Buyer published this article to celebrate Tracey’s win in this National UK Championship.
The Best in her field…
Tracey Won the National Final proving herself to be the very best under 23 year old Florist in the UK!
As is explained in the article Tracey was due to represent her country in the World Youth Skill Olympics, as it was always the intention that the winner of this competition would go forward to represent the UK in in Montreal (as the name suggests the Olympics for Skilled industries held once every four years.)
Award Winning Florist – In Every Way!
Tracey found out two weeks prior to the competition that was not going to be possible, due to no fault of her own. Never the Less Tracey showed herself to be one of the UK’s Top Florists, even when she up against it, in every sense!
Article in easy to read format;
Tracey a winner in every way
Frustration wasn’t in it when up-and coming young florist Tracey Griffin realised she would be too old (by just four months) to represent her country at the Skill Olympics in Montreal in November. By this time, she was already through to the UK finals as the Society at Floristry’s representative and looking at the possibility of competing in the big international event.
But Tracey managed to put her feelings to one side and with what can only I be described as good old-fashioned British Bulldog spirit, the 22 year-old from Southampton gave the UK final everything she had – and still managed to win.
The fact that she will be 23 next month eliminates her from the November contest in Canada, and her place there will be taken by lrish florist Claire Tosh from County Antrim, the lnterflora finalist who was Tracey’s runner-up in the national final.
Tracey still gets the rosebowl, the kudos of being the national winner. and a consultancy with Zwetsloot – but she admits that having the Montreal event snatched from her grasp was a major blow. “When I heard around Easter time that I was going to be too old for Montreal, I was absolutely gutted and kicked the washing machine very hard, ” she said.
“I so desperately wanted to represent my country. A friend of mine said that in my position he wouldn ‘t have gone ahead into the UK final, but that would have been cutting off my nose to spite my face, and I decided I should go ahead anyway and do everything I could to win just the same. “
Tracey, who works at Flowers in Southampton’s waterfront area, is not letting the setback get her down too much though. She‘s an avid competition florist and has the intermediate finals of the Teleflorist of the Year to look forward to in September.
“l have the satisfaction of knowing I won if nothing else.” she says philosophically, “and I’ve asked if I can still have the training I would have been given prior to Montreal, which would be a good bonus. “
Tracey, whose mum Sandra owns shops in Southampton, has wanted to be a florist since
she saw her first big demo as a 12 year-old. She started training as soon as she left school at 16 and began studying at Sparsholt College before going on to the Welsh College. Subsequently she worked in South Wales for 18 months and was the Welsh representative for Interflora’s under-23s last year.
Long-term. Tracey has ambitions to travel and pick up on other flower design styles from Europe. “Basically I want to be the best can.”she says. And no, the Montreal set back hasn‘t dimmed her enthusiasm for competition work: “Maybe I could look to the Europa Cup in years to come. ” she says. “Obviously I have a masochistic streak that’s always thinking ‘Here to the next competition. ”