Meet: Caroline VA

Its half term this week, a great time to review the beginning of the teaching year and to catch up with one of my students.  Meet Caroline.

How we first met

Julie and I first met at a networking event in Faversham.  I remember thinking “I must talk to Julie and make sure I get her business card”, as I have always enjoyed ‘trying’ to arrange flowers.  I subsequently attended Julie’s classes at Kent Adult Education in Canterbury where I had a go at a buttonhole, bouquet and table arrangement.  I then signed up for Julie’s workshops at the Freewheel in Graveney but, unfortunately, I managed to fracture my wrist and was unable to attend.  However, Julie kindly agreed to come to my house to do all three workshops in one session once I was out of plaster and able to wield a pair of scissors to cut flowers.

Flower arranging workshops in Kent

About Me

I was born in Whitstable and have always worked in Canterbury, Whitstable or Faversham – so I am very much a local girl.  I had always wanted to be a vet but wasn’t quite academic enough and was far too emotional about animals.  I passed the RSA Stage I typing exam whilst still at school, so I went on to complete a two-year secretarial course – it seemed I had found my forte!

I met and married my husband, Robin, fairly late in life so I don’t have children of my own; however, I have two wonderful stepchildren – Glyn and Abigail.

I have some amazing friends; some I have known for many years, others are more recent acquaintances made through business networking.  I like nothing better than getting together for a chat over a glass of wine or afternoon tea.

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Flower Arranger or Gardener?

I love a garden but am not particularly ‘green fingered’.  We have only a small ‘courtyard-style’ garden, which is mostly decking with a bit of raised border.  Flower arranging is more my thing.  I think my interest stemmed from winning a competition at school, although I confess to having received some instruction and practice from a neighbour the day before!

Flower arranging workshops in Kent

Other Flower Arranging Classes

I have attended three Christmas flower workshops in recent years.  They were great fun and I came home with some amazing arrangements – a door wreath and an advent candle which I didn’t dream I could ever create!

Flower arranging workshops in Kent

My Business

After being made redundant three times – the third time from a job I loved – in 2010 I decided to become my own boss.  I now provide cost effective, flexible and efficient PA/secretarial and admin services to a variety of clients, mostly sole traders, principally working from my home office in Faversham.  Admin is an essential but non fee-earning aspect of any business and many people don’t like it or find they spend far too much time on it.  Outsourcing is a great way to free up their valuable time to enable them to concentrate on developing their business and generate income.

Why spend time on something you don’t enjoy/are not good at when an expert can do it in a fraction of the time?

Caroline Gipson VA

Future Flower Arranging Plans?

I shall, of course, be looking forward to creating a Christmas flower arrangement.  However, my stepson and his fiancée are getting married next September and I am looking forward to helping them with their flowers.  Julie’s classes have given me a good starting point and I am sure that with a lot of practice between now and then I will be able to create something special for their big day!

A note from me:  it’s been lovely having you at class Caroline.  I’m looking forward to hearing about next year’s wedding flowers! You can find out more about Caroline’s services as a VA/Virtual Assistant via her website.


If Caroline’s story has inspired you why not sign up for my newsletter and I’ll keep you informed about my classes.

As an added incentive I’ll enter you into a competition to win a flower arranging workshop (worth £350) – if you’d like to be in with a chance you’ll need to add your name to my list by midnight Sunday 13 December 2015 (signing up is a two-step process, so don’t forget to complete the subscription process by clicking on the confirmation email you’ll receive). The winner will be picked at random and notified by email by Sunday 20 December 2015.  Click here to sign up

Flower arranging classes in Kent

Dates for your diary

21 November – a Saturday morning class at Ashford on how to make a tied bouquet

Starting 24 November  –  a three week class on Christmas flowers on a Tuesday afternoon in Deal

28 November, 2 December and 3 December – three sessions on how to make a Christmas door wreath at Anna’s Country Flowers

How to make a Christmas door wreath



Until next time, happy flowers!


Keeping in touch








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