Florist who proved a hit in lockdown with dried bouquets opens workshop at Sunderland's historic Eagle Building

Her Instagrammable dried bouquets and room styling earned her a following in lockdown, now businesswoman Caroline Oxberry has brought new life to a historic city centre unit.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 8:01 am

A trained beautician, like many in the industry Caroline was unable to work when the first lockdown hit in March last year.

But she used her time at home to launch a new venture, Nomad.

It was only intended as a side venture to her main profession, but soon snowballed into a business of its own.

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Nomad has found a new home at Eagle Building after lockdown success

Now, the mum-of-two from Barnes has transformed one of the units in the historic Eagle Building in High Street East into a workshop where she prepares dried floral bouquets for collection or delivery, whilst also providing a space for consultations for event styling.

Caroline said: “I never thought this time last year that I’d have my own workshop. The support has been so positive.”

Speaking about how Nomad came about, she said: “During lockdown I was at home with a toddler and a new baby and I wanted to do something to keep my mind away from it all.

"I started selling bits of homeware and then started with dried flowers, which really took off, and I really enjoyed it.”

Caroline Oxberry launched her business in lockdown

Orders and commissions for large-scale dried displays soon started rolling in, with Caroline’s styling on display at locations including her former workplace, Black Door Hairdressing.

For a time she also operated her floral business from the hairdressers in Mackie’s Corner, but soon outgrew the space.

A month ago she took up a former storage unit at the Eagle Buildings, a former pub which dates back to the late 17th century and now houses office space.

"I looked at a few units but fell in love with this one,” said Caroline, who is mum to Ossie, four, and Rudy, one. “It’s just perfect for what I need and I love all the old features.”

Caroline has put her own stamp on the unit

The area at this end of the city centre is currently undergoing a renaissance with Pop Recs and the Sunshine Co-operative moving into once dilapidated buildings at the bottom of High Street West. Whilst further up the street Mackie’s Corner has become a hub of independent creative businesses after undergoing a huge restoration project.

Caroline said: “I’d been to the Eagle Building before for yoga sessions, but hadn’t realised all the businesses that were in here. There’s so much happening in the city centre as a whole too and Sunderland needed it.

"The city centre had a dip for a while, but there’s so many independents opening, many from businesses launched in lockdown. It opened up a whole new career for a lot of people and there’s a real community of independents forming.”

Caroline fell in love with floristry so much, she’s also working with fresh flowers at Jen Watters Florist in Cleadon.

The Eagle Building is one of the oldest in the city and dates back to the late 17th century

::To make an order with Nomad, you can do so through the Instagram page @nomad_floral_styling for collection. Larger orders can also be delivered. Although not a walk-in shop, the workshop is also open for consultations on dried flower styling projects and weddings.

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Caroline uses dried flowers in her bouquets
Nomad also specialises in room styling for events