Florist and photography business set up shop at Sunderland city centre site

Jill Alderson and Alycia Rumney at the new site in Waterloo Place.
Jill Alderson and Alycia Rumney at the new site in Waterloo Place.
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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.”