We've decided to get to know some of our local business partners a bit better - and today we speak to Phoebe Mulrooney from PHOHM...

Two photos of Phoebe at PHOHM in Brighton

  • Tell us about yourself, your background and how you started PHOHM

I’m Phoebe Mulrooney, I’m about to turn 28 and I was born and raised in Brighton. I lived in London for a few years whilst doing my Fine Art degree at Camberwell. After I finished my degree I went travelling around South East Asia, eventually landing in Melbourne where I lived and worked for just over half a year. When I returned to the UK I started working as a freelance prop maker, making all sorts for commercial clients, feature films, weddings and events. 

During my time creating props for an events company I worked on a project which used lots of artificial flowers. I really enjoyed the project and decided to start creating flower arches for local Brighton businesses. I got a lot of commissions and quickly launched my own floral design business in 2018.

PHOHM started as a floral design company trading solely to commercial businesses. I used artificial flowers and foliage to create large scale installations for bars, salons, shops and restaurants. These were mainly commissions, so whenever I could add my own personal touch to the installations I opted for dried flowers over artificial. 

The aesthetic of dried flowers are much more my style so when Covid hit I had to think fast and decided to start creating dried flower bouquets for people’s homes.

A friend of mine had a shop in the North Laine and let me rent the space to start a dried flower pop-up. We opened the weekend that the first lockdown eased. 

The trial weekend went really well and PHOHM pop-ups quickly became a weekly affair. 

As well as having the space in the North Laine I also hosted multiple pop-ups outside cafes and bars in Brighton and Greater London. All the handwork paid off and I now have a permanent space in The Lanes Brighton and I couldn’t be happier.

  • What do you love most about what you do?

I love having creative freedom to design and make displays for both domestic and commercial clients. I’ve developed a unique style which people trust, so most of the time I have free rein. My favourite projects are creating large scale floral installations for commercial or wedding clients.

  • What’s the best thing about your work?

I think the best thing about PHOHM is its originality. 

Originality in business is very difficult to achieve, everything feels overdone and whilst dried flowers are everywhere now my shop is the first of its kind. I offer in-house vase styling whereby you can either bring your own vase or purchase one of our antique vases in store and have it styled with stems of your choice. This is a unique experience which encourages considered living as you’re less likely to throw away a bespoke arrangement that's been specifically designed to your taste. I also source all the antique vases, meaning each display will be truly unique. 

This is not only a retail space but it’s also a working studio where I make all of my larger scale projects. From the 21st June, we’ll also be hosting a range of workshops and pop-ups so look out for these on our website. 

  • What’s your average day like, or is it ever average?

Lately where the shop has been my primary focus most days are fairly similar. Lots of making up bunches, dealing with enquiries, being in the shop talking to customers etc. However now lots of the brands I work with are starting to do their activations again, I can start going out and installing my designs which is my favourite part of the job.   

  • What is the biggest challenge or opportunity currently for you at the moment?

Biggest challenge is getting Brightoners to know where we are and what we do as Meeting House Lane has been a bit quiet in terms of retail. The recent Hanningtons Lane development looks great and is helping to bring people back. 17 Grams the cafe opposite is really buzzy which creates a really good vibe outside the shop and of course Riddle & Finns is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. The issue is getting people to think of that area as a shopping destination, I guess that will come with time as more spaces are taken over by independent retailers. 

When we launch our events/workshop program this will be mainly targeted at locals with the aim of PHOHM become a community hub for Brighton creatives. I hope I can help to put The Lanes back on the map as a popular shopping destination. 

  • Tell us about the new workshops you are planning for the year?

Our workshop timetable will run from 21st June (fingers crossed) until December. We will be hosting a range of workshops from floral design, silver smithing, clay work, life drawing and really whatever people would like to do in the space. 

  • What do you love most about Brighton?

I love the pace of Brighton, the familiar faces & the local chat. 

The vibe in Brighton right now is the best it’s been in years, the redevelopment of Victoria Gardens along to St Peters is exceptional, the wild flowers are beautiful and there’s a whole scene of young people rolling about on skates, bikes and boards. Alfresco play is extremely popular and has 100% come as a result of the pandemic. Seeing people out and about having fun no matter their age is what makes Brighton so great. Just yesterday I walked along the beach and so many people are doing spontaneous dance offs, busking, playing basket ball, skating, jamming etc.

My favourite thing about Brighton is it attracts sparkly people, open minded people that want to have a good time. 

Two photos of PHOHM in Brighton

Related

PHOHM
Home & Garden
Shop Interior: Photo Credit Kitty Wheeler-Shaw

PHOHM has a large range of dried floral stems to choose from as well as everlasting bouquets, wreaths & pre-styled displays, vases and candles. We also host a variety of workshops and you can also hire the space for private events.

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