Strike a posy – a North East florist has joined forces with a photography company to take over a city centre unit.
North of England Wedding Awards winners BDazzled Florals and Events, of Newbottle Street, Houghton, have moved into the former Baguette Express site in Waterloo Place with J Aldo Photography also opening up shop at the site.
The two businesses say the move comes at a time when they have both seen impressive growth.
Alycia Rumney, director of BDazzled Florals and Events, said: “In the first year, we didn’t make a profit and actually lost money, so I had to make sure that in year two we didn’t do that again.
“We changed the way in which we operated and having never been self-employed, I learnt a lot of hard lessons.
“In year two, we broke even, and I was happy with that, but needed to continue to work hard to make sure each year we improved.
“I joined a networking organisation called BNI (Business Network International) and can honestly say without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. They helped me get in to businesses and places I never would have had access to and for that I’ll be forever grateful.”
The business turnover increased from 10% in year three, to 15% in year four, with the first six months figures of year five already beating the entire previous year.
Alycia started her business five years ago and now has a team of four operating over the two stores.
She added: “I knew I wanted a more central florist and this seemed (although a mammoth task) the ideal place for me. When I saw the sheer size of the property, I approached Jill Alderson of J Aldo Photography who I worked very closely with, and she took the leap with me.”
Jill said: “My business has been doing well and has had continual growth of 20% year on year over the last three years, so I knew I needed a more permanent base to help me continue expanding. Having been in the industry for 23 years, I know a good florist when I see one, so this wasn’t a difficult decision for me, especially with someone who I work hand-in-hand with.”