Florist turns home into garden centre

Florist turns home into garden centre

Erica Tippett pictured taking some plants with her two children, Marine and Rookie. Click to buy photos from our newspaper ➔

An Interflora florist from Bude has reopened her business during lockdown — operating from a shed in her own garden, and juggling childcare by enlisting her young children to help deliver flowers.

Erica Tippett, 33, has been a florist for 15 years in Bude, and runs her business called Bleujen Florist. She closed her shop when lockdown was announced — unsure of what was next.

But due to demand, she decided to offer a contactless delivery service on March 31 and in a bid to better juggle childcare, she set up her shop from her garden shed, which she has now turned into a floral paradise.

She explained: “It became really obvious quite quickly that people were looking for a way to connect with each other during lockdown. We were turning away so much business after closing the shop, so I needed to think of a solution that would allow me to keep working safely, serving the local community, whilst looking after my children Marnie, 3, and Rookie, 2 . My husband is self-employed and is still working so we’re sharing childcare.

“I brought all my equipment home from the shop and now I’m operating as a one-man-band from my garden, as opposed to a team of five in a busy shop, so things are very different!”

During lockdown, Erica has found other innovative ways to adapt her business and serve her customers. She continued: “We have always sold a lot of plants in our shop, as well as bouquets, so I’ve set up a little stall with trays of plants and an honesty box outside the front of the house. It sells out instantly just from people passing by, while doing their daily exercise.

“I’ve literally got a little garden centre going on in the front garden, and the children are enjoying collecting the money that people leave in the box.

“I also get the kids to help me with local contactless flower deliveries — they have little shopping trollies or they wheel the bouquets in their toy pram. They’re loving playing real life shops!”

Erica also talks about how much more creative and resourceful she has become since lockdown.

“I’ve definitely got more creative during lockdown. Interflora have introduced Florist’s Choice on their website, which allows us to create a beautiful bouquet using the fresh stock we’re able to buy in, rather than to a specific recipe.

“Flower supply has been quite sporadic to say the least, so it’s a great solution and it also means my customers are truly getting a one-of-a-kind bouquet. I’m using lots of locally sourced Cornish flowers at the moment, which is wonderful, and I’m able to really bring my own personality and design style to the bouquets. I’m enjoying being so creative and my customers seem to be loving the bouquets I’m delivering — I’ve had so many positive reviews and messages from both people who have received the […]

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