Talking with Wendy Ireland and Wendy Kelly of The Flower Basket, Ashingdon (15th June 2011)
Rochford Life: How long have you been open?
Wendy (K): Two years on the first of July.
RL: How did you come to start up the business?
Wendy I: Wendy and I met when our daughters went to junior school together (they are now 22!). I was working for a bank and went to flower classes which Wendy held once a month and Wendy was running a florist within a green grocers shop. On the May Bank Holiday 2009 we met up and were both dissatisfied with our current employment. We discussed going into the flower business but didn't really settle on any great plans. When Wendy went to the flower wholesaler the following Thursday she asked if anyone knew of someone selling a florist shop. Luckily for us, Donna the previous owner of The Flower Basket was there and said that she was. We came and viewed the shop that Friday and reopened the shop a month later after giving it a bit of a make-over.
Wendy K: Our opening was a bit special because we had the Carnival Queen come in with three princesses and it really did attract attention and people gathered outside to watch and the local paper did an interest article.
RL: And now?
Wendy I: And now our ethos is to give the best quality, freshest flowers we can and also offer value for money. We feel that we have been really welcomed by the local community in Ashingdon, including local residents, schools and businesses.
RL: No artificial silk flowers?
Wendy K: No, mainly fresh flowers, mainly for things like funerals, a lot for funerals, bespoke items, then weddings, birthdays anniversaries and bouquets for all occasions really. We do silk flowers if people request them but people don’t tend to ask for it very much any more, so it’s mostly quality fresh flowers.
Wendy I: We also keep some cards here, helium balloons for special occasions, and bubble balloons which are huge and spectacular. We also deliver all round, from here to Shoeburyness, and even to Basildon.
RL: Well that is excellent. Thank you very much.