This article first appeared in our Women: time for action issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 02 July 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
‘Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’
Jane Bradley, founder of Brook & Earl Mindful Floral Design, has lived by this mantra for the last few years; today she would say she is doing the impossible – and loving every minute of it.
Jane left her career in the corporate world so she could dedicate her life to looking after elderly family members. The decision was tough, but it was something she felt compelled to do.
Despite adapting well to her new carer role, Jane eventually noticed a big void; ‘Being creative is in my DNA and it just felt like something was missing’, she explains. ‘I felt like I was losing myself and everything I stood for.’
Finding a happy place
Jane found her ‘happy place’ at a wreath-making course just before Christmas in 2016. ‘During that couple of hours, all the worries and problems I was facing just drifted away’, she says. ‘That’s when I knew I needed to get back to my creative roots.’
Over the following years, Jane retrained and rekindled her love of nature and floristry. It was a natural choice: Jane is from a family of gardeners and has tended her own garden, growing and planting her own flowers, since the age of six.
Jane’s company, Brook & Earl Mindful Floral Design, creates natural floral designs for weddings, events and all life’s other moments and celebrations.
It provides understated yet wildly elegant floral designs from the highest quality blooms – but the company isn’t just about flowers. ‘We’re about nature and wellbeing’, Jane explains, ‘and we’re about supporting and empowering women.’
Jane’s experience left her with a clear sense that she could use her skills to help others. ‘That’s why I set Brook & Earl up as both a floristry and a
creative, mindful space for workshops’, she says.
Through creativity, mindfulness and floristry, Jane nurtures a safe and creative sanctuary on the beautiful Broughton Hall Estate, tucked away on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales in North Yorkshire.