Walking through the doors at Frog your eyes are hit with a visual treat… floral displays hang from the ceiling and rise from the floor flooding the room with colour and style, framed neon lights radiate orange hues, floral wallpapers and framed prints sit proudly on the walls and a China tea set is waiting sat on the front desk ready for our arrival.
David Jayet-Laraffe owner of Frog pours the teas and tells us about how he started his floral artist studio. He moved to the UK from France 17 years ago, planning to stay in Manchester for a year or so, but he fell in love with the place and never left. While working as a waiter he started to experiment with floral design, saying “I would take the old flowers from the restaurant home and make my own displays”. After seeing his displays, his friends encouraged him to think seriously about floristry, so he did, he went back to college and shortly after got a job working for an international florist working in Manchester and London. This gave him the skills and exposure he needed and it wasn’t long before he knew exactly where he wanted to go and decided to open Frog, a floral artist studio mixing his love for flowers, fashion and art. He is based in the creative hub of Manchester, the Northern Quarter. He said, “It’s not just because it’s trendy and I could grow a beard, but because I want to be surrounded by creative people and creative influences.” Working with flowers allowed his natural creativity to flow and has seen him being commissioned to design floral displays for hotels, restaurants, photoshoots, art installations as well as weddings and events.
“The majority of my work comes from word of mouth so it is important to have very good personal attention and care,” he said. David works on an appointment only service allowing him to spend quality time with his clients. “In the first meeting with the client I don’t give opinions, I just listen. I’m like a sponge. I take notes and get to know their requirements. It is my job to create a floral statement so I will do drawings, make notes, show flowers. It’s this organic process growing between myself and the client that I truly love.”
Every job is completely different but David makes sure everything that leaves his studio has his unique creative stamp of approval. “The best part is to see the initial ideas and the sketches come to life. It’s so satisfying to have happy customers who love what we have produced together.”
There are flashes of his creative personality all over the studio from the Flamingo striding out of a flower pot, to the porcelain rabbit sat next to a mannequin head with a plant as her hair piece. As he holds his golden gun mug he says, “If you have an idea in your head, if you want to create something you just have to go for it. Just do it.” Spending time with David it is easy to see why clients trust him to produce beautiful statement pieces. He oozes creativity and is instantly likeable, speaking passionately and painting pictures of the work he produces. It’s obvious he lives and breathes what he does, taking inspiration through into his work. From simple statement pieces to flourishing floral displays you can guarantee David will deliver unique pieces of work with a big red creative cherry on top.