Made in Britain: The Great British Florist

What does your company do? What products services does it provide?
I run The Great British Florist and Wiggly Wigglers with my neice. Both businesses are on a Duchy Farm in Herefordshire.

Wiggly Wigglers delivers a little bit of Country Living to wherever you are in the form of homegrown birdseeds and feeds, wildlife habitats, wildflowers and lots more and The Great British Florist grew out of that business and has been online for the last 18 months or so. The floristry sells only British Flowers sourced from our own farm and other farmers from throughout the UK. We specialise in online sales, and we’ve been fascinated by the changes in how people buy flowers and what they are looking for in terms of look and provenance. The speed of change is exciting and interesting – it’s now completely normal to buy your British Wedding Flowers online and even organise funeral flowers. It’s great to be around in such changing times.

What is your inspiration in the business?
Well, I love being part of a team that have a common goal and being part of a business that is really worthwhile leading positive change. At the moment only 10 per cent of the flowers sold in Britain are actually grown here, and our flower farmers have been all but wiped out over the past 30 years. Helping to develop and build the market for homegrown flowers is changing attitudes, the customers’ get a really varied fresh and scented bouquet and at the same time we are literally changing the British landscape with fields of flowers. Love Win Win Wins! 🙂

Who do you admire?
I admire lots of high profile business people, but I think in particular I admire the women in business that I have direct contact with in my area. Women like accountant Sharon Pocock who are pushing forward with online accountancy (She’s just up for the British Accountancy Awards) Sandy Green (The HR Dept) who just came top in her franchisee’s national survey for best service and our business coach – Rachel Carr – Business Checkmate / (who just won the national Growth Accelerator best coach award) There’s many more in our area and the reason I really admire them is that they have formed a community (of which I am a part of) to build good supportive solid relationships where trust and service and humour are a very important part of the mix and this means that real honest referrals can take place to benefit each others companies which is really rewarding for all concerned.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
As I take great heart from Winston Churchill’s quote “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm” there is nothing I would have done differently as every mistake we have made has helped us to move forward (and make more different ones…).

I really enjoy living on our farm and being a part of the countryside whilst at the same time running my own company with my neice San.

What defines your way of doing business?
We’re aiming to deliver great products and service with pace and urgency and at the same time have fun ourselves. We want to deliver a positive impact on the communities we work with and I think we are approachable, trustworthy, friendly and quite kindly 🙂 Probably not run of the mill…

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Choose something you are passionate about – and get on with it. Spend the minimum you possibly can to try it out (it’s very unlikely you will get it all right first time…) so put yourself out there to fail…. Then listen, learn and repeat… and enjoy the ride 🙂