A Hackney artist is seeking public backing in a bid to win a share of a £100,000 cash pot for her business.

Leo Flowers sells creations made from sustainable paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Each petal is cut, shaped and coloured by paper artist Jessie Beaumont in her Hackney studio.

The Independent Awards are the work of entrepreneur Holly Tucker MBE - and sponsored by Dell Technologies, Royal Mail and Adobe Express - and Leo Flowers needs public votes to win either £10,000 or £5,000.

Hackney Gazette: One of Jessie Beaumont's creationsOne of Jessie Beaumont's creations (Image: Leo Flowers)

Jessie said: "Over almost two years, Leo Flowers has moved from late nights at the kitchen table to my full-time job in my lovely shared studio in Hackney.

"I've been lucky to work on some hugely gratifying creative projects and to have found so many customers who appreciate every hand-cut petal.

"Running a small business has so many highs and lows, and winning grant funding would be an immeasurably helpful leg-up to working on bigger and brighter things."

Hackney Gazette: A Leo Flowers pieceA Leo Flowers piece (Image: Leo Flowers)

Since getting started in the midst of the pandemic in 2021, Leo Flowers has worked with big brands including Liberty London, Gucci and De Gournay, as well as on projects with other local independent businesses.

The single stems and bunches are available to buy as homeware and gifts, and Jessie creates larger scale arrangements and bespoke designs for events, prop-styling and window displays.

Jessie says paper flowers can counter the waste and air miles that can  accompany so much traditional floristry.

Jessie says paper flowers can counter the waste and air miles that can accompany traditional floristry.

Hackney Gazette: Jessie Beaumont at workJessie Beaumont at work (Image: Leo Flowers)

"As a one-woman team, I still cut every single petal, pack every single box, and reply to every single customer," said Jessie. "Time has become my most precious resource. I am looking for ways to continue to keep up with the momentum of work and to ensure I’m able to pro-actively market the business and stabilise my income.

"My goals are to invest in a paper-cutting machine to assist with some of my more laborious, repetitive tasks and more importantly, to take on a studio assistant to support the day-to-day running of the business, and to train as my creative apprentice.

"I’m always keen to perfect and hone my craft, and would jump at the chance to enrol in an event floristry course, to give me confidence in scaling up my paper designs into fully fledged floral installations." 

Voting, at holly.co/independent-awards-2022/modern-crafter-award/#nomination-872367, closes at 5pm on Thursday, November 24. 

Visit www.leoflowers.co.uk