Bluebell Wood is a small, family run florist located in Milngavie town centre, on Station Road. Since opening in February 2010 it has become known for its professional and reliable manner. Anne Marriott is living her life-long dream of running a florist in her beloved hometown of Milngavie.
Milngavie Online recently caught up with Anne for an interview:
Q1. Anne, tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to opening your business in Milngavie.
I was born and brought up in Milngavie, I have had numerous other jobs, but I have always though
I would love to be a florist, I’ve always been interested in arts and crafts from a very early age, then when the opportunity occured I decided to re-train and become a florist in year 2000, I trained at Langside College in Glasgow, and completed the course, and got a job with a florist in Kirkintilloch, Flowers by Carol, I was there for about a year and then Carol decided to sell the business, so I became jobless, thats when I decided to open up my own florist. We started out attached to a garden centre in Balmore, we weren’t there for very long when the Garden Centre failed so we decided to set up in Milngavie.
Q2. Tell us about your business and what you offer
We are a typical florist, anything to do with flowers we do, Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Thank You’s, Sympathy Flowers we do it all, we deliver locally to within a 7 mile radius, and have a very eye catching van which I’m sure everyone has seen in and around Milngavie.
Q3. Could you tell us what prompted you to become a florist?
When I was younger a friend of mine was a trainee florist with Duncan’s of Milngavie, and I thought I would love to do that, but unforunately at that time there were no jobs available, so I got an office job, but have always thought it would be great to be a florist, to brighten up someone’s day, to make people happy, to see them smile when they receive there flowers.
Q4. What kind of floristry services do you offer?
In the past three years since we have been open we have done quite a few weddings, we have your everyday flowers Hand-tied Bouquets, Basket Arrangements, Container Arrangements, Sympathy Flowers etc. We do table arrangements for parties, new baby arrangements, gifts and balloons. We cover the whole spectrum.
Q5. Where do you source your flowers and foliage from?
We source our flowers and foliage from the Fruit Market at Blochairn in Glasgow, they have quite a few companies there who are flower wholesalers, and we are up early in the morning to get the best quality and variety of flowers that are available.
Q6. Where do you get inspiration for your floral designs?
Inspirations for design is all around you, some people have specific needs, and we try our best to produce just what they imagined. We have a growing client base and our customers are very pleased with the products they receive.
Q7. Do you have a favourite flower?
I don’t really have a favourite flower, all flowers are beautiful, and sometimes when the right flowers are put together they are just perfect.
Q8. Could you tell us about some of your recent commissions?
I have quite a few weddings booked for this year, which I am looking forward to, I recently supplied the flowers for a 50th Birthday Party, a special Golden Wedding, and a Christening so my work is very varied.
Q9. When are the busy times of year for your business
The busiest times of the year are of course Valentines Day, Mothers Day and of course Christmas. These times are exceptionally busy, Mothers Day being the busiest, with over a hundred deliveries, we had quite a few late nights and early mornings that week.
Q10. What advice would you give to anyone looking to improve their flower arranging skills?
If you want to improve your floristry skills, then go to some classes, practice, read about it, a florist is always learning, as one of my lecturers at Langside said, you can never have enough knowledge, learn about flowers, what flowers grow in what seasons etc. the more you know about flowers, the more you will be relaxed with them.
Q11. What are some of the problem/risks with running your business?
Its always a risk starting up a new business, do some market research, find a good location, create a good name for yourself, be polite and have excellent customer skills and remember the customer is always right (even if they are wrong).
Q12. What would you do to help local businesses?
I often get organisations looking for donations for charity auctions or fundraising events, which of course I give to, if I can help any local businesses I will do, we have a good relationship with all the traders in Milngavie.
Q13. How much do you enjoy owning your business and why?
Its nice to be your own boss, but if your have a bit of a quiet day it can be a bit lonely. Its a lot of work, especially if you don’t have anyone to work with, but I do enjoy the freedom it gives you, if your 10 minutes late, there’s no-one there to tell you off.
Q14. Describe your typical day in your shop
We open up at 9.30, on a normal day, at least three times a week I go to the market, cut and condition the flowers, and then produce the delivery orders for that day. I am an interflora member so, first thing in the morning I take any orders off the computer that have come in, and put them in order of date to be delivered, you could have 2 or 3 for that day and maybe 2 or 3 for later on in the week. I answer calls and take orders.
Q15. What are your plans for 2013?
Carrying on building my business, as best I can, producing high quality, long lasting products that make people smile.
Q16. In closing, is there anything you would like to say to the people of Milngavie?
I would just like to thank all my lovely customers, I know they are happy with the product that we supply here at Bluebell Wood, spread the word and tell all your friends and family, small businesses need the support of the community, if you do not use these shops unfortunately you will lose them, it may be more convenient to shop in the bigger supermarkets, but you dont get the friendly atmosphere of a flower shop and of course the lovely smell.
Thanks Anne, and good luck with your business.
If you want to find out more about Bluebell Florist then visit their website: http://www.bluebellwoodflorist.co.uk