A WOMAN shocked by the cost of funeral flowers has opened a florist in memory of her parents.
Clare Gray lost her father, Alfie Dennis, 72, last year to throat cancer and her mum when she was just a young girl.
While organising her dad’s funeral the 37-year-old was left stunned at the costs involved, in particular the price of the flowers.
Former mortgage advisor Clare was completing a floristry course and vowed that as soon as she qualified, she would open up her own florist selling affordable flowers she had grown herself.
Now, Clare’s determination has paid off and she has just opened Clara’s Flower Power, in Railway Terrace, South Hylton, in honour of her mum Clara who died when Clare was 12.
The florist said her parents were a huge source of inspiration in setting up the new venture.
“My mam loved flowers and I seem to have a gift of knowing what looks nice together,” said Clare.
“I wasn’t so bothered about flowers until recently, but now I love them.
“At the minute I’ve just got my head down, working seven days a week to get the business off the ground.”
Taking the unusual step of growing her own stock, Clare hopes her bouquets will help her stand out.
She added: “My own flowers will bloom in March or April and I’ve got some really original ideas for arrangements.
“The plan is to pass what I save from growing my own flowers on to the customers. I want to give people beautiful flowers and a great experience.”
She hopes her flower shop will lift the spirits of her community.