Number 10 calling for Budleigh florist Caitlin
PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 November 2015
An 18-year-old Budleigh Salterton florist was called to Number 10 Downing Street to create displays ahead of the Chinese Premier's state visit.
Caitlin Anning opened Forget Me Nots, in Station Road, just three months ago, but her talents have already caught the eye of the Prime Minister and secured her a place, competing against the top 10 florists in the country.
She has already come back down to earth after her trip to Downing Street last Wednesday and is now preparing for a major contest in Birmingham in November.
Having beaten off competition in the regional heats, Caitlin will be battling it out against nine other florists for a chance to represent her country in the World Skills Competition 2016.
Speaking about her trip to Number 10, she said: “I got a call from my tutor at the Academy of Flower Art where I trained. She had the opportunity to go up and she needed people she thought were good enough to go.
“We left Devon at about 2am and drove up in two cars. We had a look around the flower market and went into Number 10 at about 8.30am.
“We were meant to go back and actually meet the Prime Minister, but he was tied up.
“We went with a red colour scheme because it is the Chinese lucky colour, which was also nice because it fitted with the autumnal colours. We did a few designs incorporating pumpkins and orange colours.
“It was nerve-wracking. It does not really hit you until you are at the door.
“We had to go through two lots of security.”
Parents Graham and Jackie are partners in the business, but do not have a background in floristry themselves - they say they are very proud of their daughter’s incredible achievements.