Last updated on August 7, 2020
I interviewed Margaux from Mosaic flowers in Barcelona to find out how she uses her creativity “to make people’s hearts smile”.
Mosaic flowers is a boutique florist in Barcelona where Margaux crafts two new beautiful bouquets per week using fresh local flowers. Order online and your flowers will be delivered by bicycle – by Margaux and her friends – the next day!
Ben: Hola Margaux, welcome to Driftwood Journals! I’m fascinated by your story. It’s truly something many expats in Barcelona will relate to. Tell us how you ended up moving to this beautiful city!
I was working in marketing in Paris, London and Geneva, but I realized I had more to offer to this world.
On paper, everything was fine: good job, great husband… nothing to complain about. But I felt there was a gap between my life and what I really wanted. As if I was living someone else’s dream. For some reason, I imagined this is what people wanted from me and I couldn’t feel 100% aligned with it.
There was so much I wanted to live and was so scared that I was going to wake up one day with the feeling that I had stayed in my comfort zone out of fear. I could live with the fact that I had tried and it didn’t work out, but I could not live with the idea of not trying and living with regrets. This was really the trigger in me making the move.
I felt guilty not being completely fulfilled and my ego sometimes made me think I was a spoilt brat. “How can you not be fulfilled when you have absolutely everything?”
I eventually shared this uncomfortable feeling with my husband Arthur, who was also going through his own struggles. I started looking for a coach and read the book Reinventing your professional life when you’re just getting started, written by Marion Divonne de la Forest (it’s a French book, Réinventer sa vie professionnelle quand on vient de la commencer).
Arthur’s comforting words gave me the last bit of courage I needed to quit my marketing job at Nespresso.
I felt every page was written for me. I couldn’t believe someone I didn’t know at all could understand me so well and had gone through the exact same process, doubts, anxieties… and had managed to find her own path.
I was super clear, “I have no idea of what my next move will be, but I know I’m willing to explore and consider anything”. If I was meant to being a singer in Sri Lanka, then so be it. I was ready for everything and anything!
In November, I was sharing (once again) with my husband Arthur how unhappy I was that nothing was changing, that I couldn’t understand how the situation would ever get better. Arthur’s comforting words gave me the last bit of courage I needed to quit my marketing job at Nespresso.
My bosses didn’t understand, saying I was doing a great job. They thought I was going to work for another brand. I then had three months until my last day at Nespresso. I contacted Marion and was so happy to learn she was offering coaching sessions to help people try to find their new path – HALLELUJAH!
I want to use my creativity to make people’s hearts smile.
I started sessions with her and remember to this day our first meeting. “What is your mission in life?” she asked me.
I remember being annoyed by this and replying: “I hate this question, it means everything and therefore nothing. What if I don’t have one mission? What if I have none? Or multiple?”
But she insisted and challenged me. I ended up saying, very embarrassed… “OK, I know it’s super super cheesy, but this is truly how I feel: I want to use my creativity to make people’s hearts smile.”
It was so hard for me to go beyond my own judgment, go past it and have the courage to be honest with myself. In parallel, Arthur was also going through some important changes. Working in an oil trading company, he burned out and was on medical leave.
Both of us knew that we wanted to make a change, so we decided to start looking for the place where we wanted to live, before deciding what we would do with our careers.
We both had separately been to Barcelona when we were 18 and never had imagined it as a possible place to live.
Between Christmas and NYE, I went to a Buddhist retreat for a week. I was lost, had so many doubts and questions and I was hoping that meditation would answer all my questions about my next professional move.
Needless to say that the retreat didn’t answer any of my questions. It was so much deeper. I opened up in a such way, I was blossoming, started questioning my education, how I saw things, the lies I was telling myself… I also met Ann, an American girl who was living in Barcelona “just because” she loved it so much.
It was the first time I’d heard such a refreshing answer. The first time meeting someone who was living in a place just for the place itself, not for work, family or friends.
At the end of the retreat I went back to Arthur and shared with him this experience. We both had separately been to Barcelona when we were 18 and never had imagined it as a possible place to live. At the end of January, I officially left my job. We decided we both wanted to visit Barcelona together.
I said: “Well, if we’re going there for a week to have a physical experience, we might as visit flats at the same time.”
We landed in Barcelona on Monday 11th February 2019 at 6pm. At 8pm, during dinner, Arthur said, “OK, I’m ready to live here, I’ll just wait for you”.
And that was it. The next day, we walked 25 km exploring the whole city. On Wednesday, we started flat hunting. On Thursday, we visited flats in Gràcia, knowing this was where we wanted to live. On the Friday evening, we visited a flat in Gràcia, on Carrer de Domenech, made an offer – et voilà!
Ben: I think many of us can related to your story. Congratulations to you and Arthur for making it happen! What is it about Barcelona that you guys love so much?
We love the energy in Barcelona, the people, the fact that maintaining a work/life balance is so essential to people here.
We love the sun, the mountains, learning Spanish, the sea, the nature, and the fact there’s so much to do.
We just love EVERYTHING about it!
Ben: And why Gràcia?
Barcelona felt like home almost immediately and it was love at first sight when we discovered Gràcia.
The sense of community, walking the pedestrian streets, the creative feel, the charming plaças and culture of benches.
We love the fact that there are dogs everywhere, people enjoying life to the fullest
Tip: Read more about Margaux’s love of Gracia on her blog here.
Ben: Tell us about how you started Mosaic flowers.
I continued the introspection process with my coach and spent hours exploring Barcelona and the surrounding mountains. I put a lot of pressure on myself – it’s part of my education and my way of working. But I was also aware that putting too much pressure on myself at that specific moment was not beneficial at all.
I was finding it VERY difficult to not be impacted by what others were saying: “So what’s new with your introspection?” “Are you done yet?”
I told myself, this is it, I want to make people feel this way!
I felt the constant need to show that I was actually doing things and not just wasting my time.
I was finding it difficult not to pay attention to what people were saying and to ignore the (unsolicited) recommendations they were giving me.
I even started singing classes to literally voice what I had inside.
One day, I told Arthur, “I want to work in a flower shop,” and immediately refrained myself by saying, “but I need to find a serious job”. To which Arthur answered, “If you want to work in a flower shop, isn’t this the perfect moment?”.
And that’s when the seed was planted. A few days later, a friend living in London was announcing her pregnancy. I had flowers deliver to her office. When I saw her face when receiving the bouquet, I told myself, this is it, I want to make people feel this way!
Flowers touch you in such a simple yet intimate way. They’re so universal, they transcend generations, cultures, personalities…
It’s wild, it’s free and this is what makes it so beautiful.
I started exploring the florist industry in Barcelona and realized it was very traditional compared to cities like Paris or London.
The industry tends to center around physical shops that people have inherited from their parents. The bouquets are beautiful, but having an online presence is rare for traditional florists in Barcelona, whether it be e-commerce or social.
So I saw an opportunity to offer a more modern ordering service, and deliver my own blend of art-inspired bouquets to the flower lovers of Barcelona.
Ben: Your bouquets have such a strong style. How did you develop this look and feel?
I went on a training course to learn the basics about floristry and making bouquets. During this class, the most important thing I learnt was that I wanted to discover my own style of floral arrangements.
During the months that followed, I met people who were key in helping me develop what is now the signature look of Mosaic flowers.
My obsession with colours was obvious.
The incredible horticulturist @lladoramon, with his endless positive energy and talent for bringing people together, was essential too.
These people helped me trust myself, to practice at home and take the leap of faith to create Mosaic flowers.
As well as the course, I spent endless hours at the flower markets, in the flower fields, in flower shops, asking questions, buying flowers and practicing at home. My obsession with colours was obvious. I couldn’t help myself.
Ben: What inspires you and your bouquets?
I love mixing and matching styles and playing around with different sources of inspirations. Music, painting, people…
The most insignificant thing can trigger the creative process – a detail in someone’s hair, an image in a movie…
I have found it so fascinating that inspiration can come from anywhere.
Ben: I really love how you use your photography and the streets of Gràcia to showcase your bouquets. How did start doing that?
I love learning on my own and this is why I wanted to take pictures of my bouquets myself. I started taking pictures outside using the amazing natural light of the city.
This is how I started playing with the colourful walls of Gràcia and using them as a background – it’s like a living canvas on which I create my bouquets.
People stop me to talk. They’re curious and ask questions.
Tip: Read more about how Margaux changed her job and life on her website here.
Ben: Why ‘Mosaic flowers’ as a brand? How did you come up with that?
When I was trying to decide on the name of my brand, I spent two weeks thinking about it, looking for something that was coherent with the creative universe, that was available on Google and that was understandable in English (international), French (mother tongue) and Spanish.
I first came up with the name “Botanicum” but somehow couldn’t relate to it. I continued thinking and one afternoon I started cutting letters out of magazines. I started creating words to find the name of the brand. This is how I came to the word “Mosaic”, and that was it
A few days later, I learned that Gaudi was the king of mosaic and the idea really grew on me. When creating my website, using the pictures and making bouquets, the concept was expanding and making so much sense.
Tip: Read more about how Margaux created Mosaic flowers in Barcelona on her blog here.
Ben: Why do you think people in Barcelona would prefer to buy their flowers from you instead of any other florist?
The idea of the Mosaic e-commerce platform was to simplify the process of buying flowers as much as possible. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to buy beautiful and fresh flowers online.
I also keep things simple by designing just two unique bouquets per week. This enables me to always guarantee fresh and seasonal flowers, whilst reducing waste as much as possible.
To make my bouquets as unique and thoughtful as possible, each bouquet is wrapped in natural and sustainable hessian and comes with a hand-written note.
What’s more, Mosaic flowers are delivered by bicycle in Barcelona (typically the next day).
Ben: Don’t you have a subscription service too?
Yes! For those who love filling their homes and/or workplaces with beautiful flowers, I also offer a flower delivery subscription.
Find out more about the Mosaic flowery delivery subscription here.
Ben: Where do you source the flowers you use to make your bouquets?
Every week I go to the market in Vilassar de Mar to stock up on fresh seasonal flowers. The market gets their flowers from fields nearby, which means that the majority of flowers you get from Mosaic flowers are local.
I feel that my authentic approach enables me to connect even deeper.
I really love visiting the marketing in Vilassar de Mar. I get to talk with the producers, who knows everything about what he is selling. I love talking with farmers. I can really connect with them and relate. They’re so passionate about what they do and they love sharing with me.
We really get along and I feel that my authentic approach enables me to connect even deeper.
Ben: What is it about running Mosaic flowers that you love so much?
I love seeing my bouquets tell a story. Each flower is a character, they have a personality, they talk to each other and together they tell the story.
This is why my bouquets all have names. I want to personify them, to show people that they’re like us. They’re not perfect and this is exactly how it should be.
There’s no right or wrong with floristry – it’s just nature. This is another reason I love my job: there are no rules, nature has no rules. It’s wild, it’s free and this is what makes it so beautiful.
I love expressing myself through floral arrangements and pictures.
My enthusiasm, love and passion for Mosaic has no limit.
With Mosaic, I’m contributing to the change that is happening in Barcelona with regards to the way people buy flowers, how they choose bouquets.
Ben: I love the way you are using your website and social media channels to build rapport with your customers. Tell us more about that.
Yes, there’s an element of trust that I’m building and this takes time and effort. I have even added a section on the website called “surprise bouquet” for people who trust me and like my style of floral arrangements.
I create a custom bouquet based on my inspiration of the moment – always made with fresh seasonal flowers of course. Getting an order for a “surprise bouquet” is just priceless and gives me so much positive energy.
Ben: What sort of person would love receiving a bouquet from Mosaic flowers?
It’s difficult to describe exactly the profile of a “Mosaic customer”.
My customers are honestly of all ages, cultures and backgrounds, but my bouquets make people happy and people always comment on how they’re different from other bouquets.
I love that flowers are for everyone, they’re so universal and unanimous.
Ben: What do you see for the future of Mosaic flowers?
I love that flowers can be connected to different arts. It’s part of a lifestyle, it’s not static, always in movement.
I’ve always dreamed of having my own workspace, my own creative studio and I would love to have somewhere where I could also share and collaborate with other artists.
My source of inspirations are endless and I always find ways to incorporate them in my floral arrangements. I’m also constantly looking for ways to connect with other artists and collaborate.
Ben: thank you so much for sharing your story Margaux! I’m sure you will have all our support and that you and Mosaic flowers will continue to thrive!
Buy Your Bouquet from Mosaic Flowers Today
Visit MosaicFlowers.com to buy your bouquet and find out more
Read Margaux’s online journal here
Read Margaux’s “Perfect Day in Barcelona” story on HomagetoBCN.com
Email Margaux directly at email@example.com