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Meet: Anette Kim

Pink flower garland
Pink flower garland

Written by
Eleanor Harvey
Published date
10 March 2020

Anette Kim studied at Central Saint Martins (CSM) on the BA Graphic Design course, graduating in 2007. Since then she has gone on to establish her own business, The Flower School Anette in Seoul, South Korea. We spoke to Anette about her time at CSM, and what advice she'd give to someone wanting to start their own business.

Why did you choose to study Graphic Design at CSM?

During my Foundation course, I was also interested in Fashion Design. Actually, I have always been interested in Fashion Design, but I was more confident with Graphic Design.

What are your fondest memories about your time at CSM?

Both the Foundation and the BA courses at CSM expanded my freedom in creativity, it was like being an artist and I had so much fun doing it, but once I got a job it is not always like that.

The outside of Anette Kim's shop
Photo courtesy of Anette Kim

After graduating what did you do?

I remember I became a full-time job seeker for a month and a half, I sent my CV out to over 150 job openings. I only got 5 interviews, so started working internships at Alexander McQueen, Advocate Illustration agency and then got a full-time job at the agency, SapientNitro.

Red flowers in a red vase
Photo courtesy of Anette Kim

You’re the founder of The Flower School Anette; can you tell us more about this.

To be honest, I had never been interested in flowers. I have a learning habit, I mean other than my primary work, I always try to learn something new. I think this habit started from CSM, I was always busy with college work and learning English back then.

It was very natural, I suddenly thought that flowers are so beautiful and just by looking at them makes me so happy, so I tried to get flowers whenever I could. Selecting flowers has never been difficult but I had no idea how to arrange or design with them. I started looking for a flower school and ended up taking a career course just because they said I will get a floristry certificate in the end, and I really wanted that certificate!

The more I learn, the more I got into it, and here I am, I now have a flower school and two shops which keep me very busy.

Large white flowers arranged in a vase
Photo courtesy of Anette Kim

Have you always been interested in running your own business?

Oh yes, always. I think it is so hard or almost impossible sometimes to find a company where I could have the freedom that I do now.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone who wants to start their own business?

Do not plan for your business, and be ready for opportunities. Planning is a big waste, there's not such a thing as a master plan for a business, especially for the starting phase. If you start, then whatever you do, it will lead to the 2nd step. And, don’t let the opportunity wait, they don’t wait.

What is your proudest achievement?

Having my own brand. I think a brand is like a living creature.

What is next for you?

I’ve recently launched Anette Classic, so I’m actually flying to London and Paris as a buyer, planning to purchase European touch materials for Anette Classic pearls. It has already become an interesting development.