Floral Quarter in GosforthFloral Quarter is an independent florist and gift shop that has a very simple ethos, provide people with fresh, beautiful flowers, locally sourced hand made gifts and all with great customer service. This sets me apart from the large Interflora chains because happy customers are what drives the business and quite frankly are why I enjoy doing what I do. My customers often remark on how lovely my shop is when they walk in and I’ve often been complimented on how they can find something a little different from the floral arrangements that larger chains produce.

So how did I get started? Well I’m a bit of a redundancy success story really. I was in an office job at a certain well known local bank for years, and I eventually began to crave a career that satisfied my creative side. This got me thinking about what sort of career id be suited to and this led me to think about Floristry (which is one of the things I wanted to be when I was younger). So I enrolled on a part time course, whilst still working at the bank and straight away found that I loved it!

I found some work experience at a little flower shop on Salters Road and started doing orders for friends as well as starting a stall at Tynemouth Market on Sundays. Then, the rumours of redundancy started to circulate and eventually became true, but as luck would have it, this was perfect timing for me and Floral Quarter, so I decided to take advantage of the situation and apply for redundancy so that I could concentrate on the business full time. Since then things have gone from strength to strength!

I worked from home initially then sourced a workshop premises close by to do more weddings and internet orders, then I received a very interesting phone call….the lady who ran the flower shop where I did my work experience was retiring and selling up! So, it seemed a perfect opportunity to take Floral Quarter to where I’d always wanted it to, into the world of retail!

Beautiful flowers from Floral Quarter, Gosforth

It took a while to get the legal bits sorted out and creating business forecasts for the bank to lend me funds to start the shop etc, but eventually it all went through and I found myself standing very proudly with a set of keys to my own shop. We had a fairly quick turnaround of 2 weeks before I officially opened, during which a lot of work needed doing (completely new flooring for starters!) but after a few licks of paint, replaced light fittings and a shift around of all the furniture the place was ready to open. Although I admit I was quite worried that my new sign that I had designed by Hoopers Signs, wasn’t going to be ready in the short timescales I  gave them, they really came through and did a grand job!

My opening day was one of the proudest moments of my life and I staged a party to celebrate. Food was provided by my new neighbours Deli Espresso, my colleague Tina from Infinity Chair Covers provided a balloon arch and the entire family was on hand to help out throughout the day.

Things couldn’t have worked out better for me over the past few years and Floral Quarter is now approaching its 1st birthday on 12th July. I’m pleased to say that its doing extremely well. People like what I create and   love the gift items that I provide such as candles, jewellery and soaps.

Its not been easy, it takes a lot of time and effort and even now nearly a year on people are still finding out that the shop has changed hands and that I stock all these lovely gift items, but I’ve loved every minute of running my own business and seeing Floral Quarter build up over time. Its very satisfying and I wouldn’t change it for the world!