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 Sales team leader, Max Jones.
How did you get into your role as sales team leader, Max?
I started working here as a freelancer a couple of years ago, assisting with sales, school administration, and occasionally as an extra pair of hands on our larger installations over Christmas (as you know, the busiest time of the year at McQueens Flowers). I was dividing my time between here and a part-time role at the Royal Observatory when I was offered a full-time position as Sales Executive, which I happily accepted, and that’s how I got to where I am today.
How would you describe your role?
In a nutshell, the point of contact. Most inquiries that come to McQueens Flowers will go through me so you could say I’m the go-between our clients and the relevant department or team member that they need to speak to. A large part of my job is advising our clients on what they want, too. We receive a lot of bespoke inquiries that sometimes touch on a combination of departments, or very specific logistics, so you could say that my job is essentially making things work for people.
What is one of the most memorable requests you’ve had?
That’s a great question, we do receive a lot of very memorable requests. Our private clients will frequently reach out for bespoke anniversary and birthday designs, which I can't go into too much detail on, but let's just say that some of them can take several days and some pretty hardcore planning to execute. I once had an American client who requested exactly 1,000 individually wrapped roses to be placed in his hotel room in London for a special wedding anniversary. I've also been asked for "the biggest bouquet in London" which as you can imagine, required some serious people power and a LOT of flowers to put together! There's never a dull moment.
Do you have a favourite floral moment?
The Christmas installations at McQueens Flowers are always pretty breathtaking. More recently, however, I was really wowed by the installation that was made for the Shangri-La for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The work that went into was just incredible. Hamish, who created the hanging ribbon installation, was up a ladder for the best part of four days. The creativity and ingenuity that goes on here never ceases to amaze me. I also particularly liked an order that came from a client in Australia, for five designs made completely from tropical flowers; they were full of Anthurium, Strelitzia, Heliconia, Orchids, Protea, and tropical foliage… The designs were all totally unique and incredibly unusual.
If you weren’t a sales executive, what would you be?
That’s an interesting question. My background is in the arts, I studied Fine Art and Art History at Newcastle and went on to Chelsea College of Art to do an MA in Collections Management - essentially learning all about the operational side of museums, galleries and publishing, logistics and liaising with artists etcetera. So I suppose that if I wasn’t doing what I was doing, I would love to be a director of a Museum or Gallery such as the V&A or the British Museum. Or perhaps an independent Italian Modern Art collection such as The Estorick, it’s one of my favourite museums in London.