LIFE is blooming for Cameron Watters after he quit the office to run a florists.
The 51-year-old started his working life as a marine engineer in the merchant navy before moving on to be a high-flying business development manager at training company B-Skill.
He has now scrapped the figures and training programmes to pursue the good life, running Jan Watters Florist in Cleadon Village with his wife Jan, 50.
And their hard work has paid off, with the business accepted in the Good Florist Guide (GFG) – a web-based directory of the finest floral shops in the UK.
“I absolutely love it,” said Cameron.
“The shop has been running since 2005 and it was always the intention that when it was financially viable, I would leave my work and join Jan in the business.”
Cameron went to East Durham College in 2006 and completed a City and Guilds NVQ level 2 in floristry, and despite the diverse change in his career, believes that real men have nothing to fear when it comes to working with flowers.
“It’s quite a physically demanding job,” he said.
“The predominant gender of florists in most other countries is male, a very high percentage of florists in Holland are male and a lot of the Dutch designers are male.”
Jan also changed career paths to follow her love of floristry, leaving her job working for a blue chip international retailer to manage a flower shop, before going on to open her own.
The couple are delighted to be recognised by the GFG, as the prestigious accolade is only awarded to florists who really make the grade and allow customers to feel a level of confidence that they are buying from the best.
“We are delighted to be accepted into the Good Florist Guide,” said Jan.
“We are passionate about flowers, design, quality and the service we give to each of our customers so it is wonderful to have this recognised.”