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Change in Business Creates Opportunity to Grow Together

by | May 10, 2021 | Industry News

 

 

By Abigail Hunter 

When wouldn’t a florist decide to move the location of their business? That’s simple, during busy times of the year like between Valentine’s Day and Easter. But that’s exactly what one independent florist in Newark did. Not only for the opportunity to expand the business — but because they literally had no space left. Thankfully just next door on Church Street, Sweetpea Flowers by Design has moved into a much larger space — the former Happy Sundaes unit.

Here, those looking for a day experience or wanting to learn a new skill not only can learn the beauty of floristry, but the art of calligraphy writing.

Owner Melanie Slack is in charge of the flower side of things and has recently taken on her friend Bonnie Mitchell. Bonnie was looking to train as a florist and earn a bit of extra cash on the side of her own calligraphy business, Laney’s Lettering — now based in Sweetpea.

“I’ve had to adapt in offering different things like cards, but have also done hand-painted pumpkins for Halloween — they were a huge hit, with gold leaf on the top.

“Christmas was insanely busy with baubles, and there was just this huge trend of people moving towards supporting small businesses.

“It’s a real privilege and honour to be able to deliver something to a person’s loved ones. Working with Mel has been a blessing in disguise and I think we make a great team.”

Melanie and Bonnie soon realised they were running out of shop space and — with Happy Sundaes then sadly about to move out — saw the stars align.

“Our audience is the same and our services compliment each other so it made sense to move in together,” said Bonnie. “With both of us being here we are able to maximise the space, like running workshops side-by-side.”

Melanie said: “We wouldn’t have been able to do Mother’s Day next door, we were so loaded with stuff and running up and down the stairs.

“As beautiful as it was next door and it has so much character, customers couldn’t really browse and even before covid if you had a couple of people in there — it started to feel a bit cramped.”

Bonnie said with the new space all on one level it made the pair much more efficient, adding: “When customers enter the store they can see everything in front of them, from the flowers stand all the way through to the vases and the retail space.

“Being opposite the church, which is absolutely beautiful, one of the first things we thought was ‘how do we replicate that?’

 

 

“But we’ve created a very pretty space where people can walk through with the floor to ceiling glass windows, always with a seasonal display on.” Melanie added: “And for Sweetpea, although we are only three years old, we did not want to lose our location or customers — they are not going to miss the fact we are here.

“It’s such a fab part of Newark and people are always tapping on the window just so happy for you, it’s quite humbling to be honest.”

Bonnie launched Laney’s Lettering just a month before covid hit and went from having a huge market from brides and the wedding industry, to almost nothing at all.

“I’ve had to adapt in offering different things like cards, but have also done hand-painted pumpkins for Halloween — they were a huge hit, with gold leaf on the top.

“Christmas was insanely busy with baubles, and there was just this huge trend of people moving towards supporting small businesses.

“It’s a real privilege and honour to be able to deliver something to a person’s loved ones. Working with Mel has been a blessing in disguise and I think we make a great team.”

Despite Melanie and Bonnie’s joint success and ability to keep working throughout the pandemic, they realised other small businesses were not so lucky.

“We’re very fortunate and grateful for being able to work. Because I used to work on my own before covid, the businesses surrounding you were like your colleagues, you saw them every day and then it just got quiet.

“We are so excited to see everyone and start connecting with them again.”

 

 

 

For more information on Laney’s Lettering, go to www.facebook.com/laneyslettering/ or @laneyslettering on Instagram.For more on Sweetpea Flowers by Design, go to www.sweetpeaflorist.co.uk/ or www.facebook.com/sweetpeaflowersbydesign

 

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