A growing florist business has continued to blossom despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic.
Paper and Petals, on Manse Road in Udny Green, was forced to diversify and adapt its services – much like many other local businesses – to survive lockdown.
The business, which is owned by 28-year-old Emma Reid, predominately supplies affordable stationery and flowers for weddings and special occasions.
However, with weddings being cancelled across the region from March onwards, she faced a bleak few months.
Emma said: “Since founding in 2015, the team and I have played a part in over 100 weddings in the north-east.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic first started to hit in the UK, I had a few couples cancelling or postponing their wedding. And slowly by the end of spring, my 2020 calendar was wiped out.
“The realisation started to sink in that I needed to do something in order to survive, and so Flower Fridays were born for my business. The idea is one done by many florists, offering fresh, seasonal flowers just in time for the weekend.
“The response I received has been phenomenal, especially during the early stages of lockdown when friends and family were separated, and a bunch of flowers was the closest thing to giving someone a hug.”
Emma is also a part-time accountant, and says Paper and Petals was founded as a creative outlet for her. But the new venture “hasn’t been without a few challenges along the way”.
“Having only started to offer floristry services in summer 2019, that side of my business is still fairly new,” Emma added.
“I didn’t have a customer base and was relying solely on word of mouth and the power of social media. As word spread, my order book was so busy I was making bouquets until the late hours – after finishing my day job – to ensure they all got out on time.”
Emma decided to use the lockdown period as a way to further enhance her skills and business. Looking ahead, she’s gearing up for the 2021 wedding season, which will be one of the busiest ones to date.
She said: “Lockdown has really given me the opportunity to learn more about the craft of floral arranging, building relationships with suppliers and how to get quicker at it.
“As we gear up for the 2021 wedding season, which is set to be the busiest yet for many suppliers in the wedding industry, my learnings from lockdown will stand me in good steading to ensure delivery to everyone who has booked with me.
“I definitely don’t want the retail side of my business to disappear with lockdown. I have really enjoyed spreading blooms across the city and shire, and have recently started a flower subscription service.
“Flower Fridays will also continue, with the next being August 14 and September 4.
We don’t have a store, but we are now available for face-to-face wedding appointments for those getting back to making wedding plans, as the future gets a little brighter.”
In a bid to spread word and awareness of her successful venture, Emma reached out to North-East Now, as one of the campaign’s main aims is to support local businesses battling through the pandemic.
The North-East Now campaign, driven by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, and backed by Hampton, Aberdeen Journals and VisitAberdeenshire, is shining a light on local businesses.
An online hub makes it easy for people to support local firms from a wide range of industries including food, drink, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more.
Emma said: “I think the North-East Now campaign is a great idea.
“There are so many small, independent businesses who the community have turned to during this crisis, and if the campaign can encourage shoppers to continue to support local businesses, our community and local economy will be a better place for it.”
To find out more about North-East Now, visit northeastnow.scot
For more information on Paper and Petals, visit paperandpetals.wixsite.com/paperandpetals