McQueens Flowers Facilities Manager, Ryan White
Every fortnight we'll be inviting you to take a peek behind the scenes at McQueens Flowers and meet the people who form the fabric of who we are, and what we create. Today we have the pleasure of introducing you to our London-based Facilities Manager, Ryan White.
How did you get into your role as Facilities Manager, Ryan?
Before McQueens Flowers, I’d studied Engineering, and worked as a builder and a mechanic. I began working here as a delivery driver and eventually started to work in different areas of the company, helping out anywhere where a bit of technical know-how was needed.
How would you describe your role?
You could say, turning an idea into reality. I work with the florists and designers to achieve their ambitions in a safe way. And there’s everything in-between, anything that’s mechanical, technical or quite hands-on will generally fall within my remit.
Is there such a thing as a typical day for you?
This week I began by knocking down a plasterboard wall to make way for a new workroom. On Tuesday I was moving Christmas stock from an old warehouse into a new one. By Wednesday I was building acrylic Perspex plinths, and Thursday sawing a curved wooden base for an installation. Friday was spent installing that into one of the hotels where we do the weekly contract flowers. No two days are the same really.
From delivering giant urn designs to building props from scratch, Ryan's day-to-day is typically pretty hands on and varied.
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
I enjoy the variation, and the people are great. McQueens Flowers is made up of a very diverse bunch and it's a really sociable environment. I've made a lot of good friends working here.
You’ve worked on a lot of different projects over the years, are there any that stick out as a favourite?
Chelsea was fun to be involved in. The challenge was to find a way to suspend around 2000 plants upside down on a steel frame, spiraling a tunnel that visitors would be walking through. There was this whole elaborate plan that wasn’t working, so we ended up spearing the plants on wooden sticks like kebabs and laying them in rows across the frame. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
The show-stopping floral installation created by McQueens Flowers for the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show.
How about an unusual experience you've had?
When I first started, I was delivering flowers in Kensington when I realised I'd been let into the wrong address, turns out I was walking around a very well known celebrity's house with a bunch of flowers meant for her neighbor.