Flora and Grace is the name of our new long awaited business which will eventually be back in the UK hopefully by Spring 2012! The name actually came first before the business idea emerged.......I was really just playing around with names one day at work in Zucchini. I love the name Scarlett and Violet who are a fabulous florist in London and it got me thinking what would I call a shop if I had one......what sort of shop, I had no idea? I love the name Flora and I wanted to put a name with it.......so then came Grace.......voila the name was born for a retail business.......but what was that going to be?
I played with the name for many months.......still no idea what I was going to use it for.....but I just loved it all the same. We hadn't even decided by this time to move back to the UK so the name just sat at the back of my mind for future reference. If you've ever wondered how on earth we came up with the name Zucchini (which was a restaurant initially) here you go? Again everbody in the family played with names Greek, English but nothing that really struck a cord......it was all getting really boring and was going to end up with a Greek name that none of us could pronounce. Luckily I have an amazing collection of cookery books.....being a chef.....I have collected some wonderful books over the years.....great bedtime reading! One evening I took to bed the River Cafe book.....the very first page I opened in the book said Zucchini Fritters......that was it Zucchini....the name was born.......the rest is well and truly history!
So Flora and Grace my beautiful English country name.......what was I going to use it for? Gradually the plan of a retail business emerged very slowly.....each bit broken to Alex in little bite sized chunks.....he takes a while to think about things and come round to my way of thinking.......I'm the ideas person, he's the business......it works incredibly well as a team and after all we need different skills to have a successful business. I realised our combined skills were both in weddings..... after nine years we must know something about weddings......I would hope so by now!
So weddings it was but where......we couldn't afford London where we both previously lived.......what about Bristol my home town where my son and his family live....in fact most of my family so it seemed a good idea......so it was decided Flora and Grace would be in Bristol......love it. We are still looking for premises although I have my eye on two shops at the moment......location yet to be revealed.......Rents and business rates are very high as we expected and the floor space isn't huge......as we expected. No surprises there at least we fully understand the pitfalls. Next step is what products are we going stock to make enough money to pay these very high rents!
As you know I love my flowers and a wedding wouldn't be a true wedding without them in one way or another......Although I don't want a traditional florists my boutique will be doing bridal flowers and reception and event styling and decoration. This part of the business will aslo include some lovely ideas for valentines, mothers day, kiddies parties and so forth as well as having some unique packaging, beautiful wrapping papers, ribbons everything you need for buying a gift and wrapping it!
Then there will be 'The Wedding Room' at Flora and Grace where every week we will style a stunning wedding table and theming the wedding room with different floral decoration, namecards, menu's, glassware, linen and table dressings, plates, sprinkle, favours. In our room we will have matching stationery from save the dates, invitations, table plans, namecards, liitle signs for cupcakes, drink stirrers, tags, hundreds of different bespoke favours, a large array of boxes for dresses, keepsake, petal cone holders the list is endless. I will be showcasing cakes and cupcakes although I shall get these made outside of the boutique. In an nutshell I want to stock wonderful wedding related, artisan goodies that you can come in and see, touch and get advice on.....Good old fashioned shopping.....I'm not knocking the internet in anyway I use it endlessly....it is the way forward but you can't beat looking, touching and getting ideas in the flesh....so to speak now can you?
As well as a whole boutique full of wonderful wedding bits and bobs I want this to be a place for brides to come into and get ideas.....be able to discuss their wedding with people that understand how a wedding day works.....what you need for your special day, whats nice to have but won't ruin the whole day if you don't have it. Advice on colours, looking at colour palettes, matching the flowers, themes and table and room decoration, budgets and if you want someone to plan your wedding day.....look no further WE'RE HERE!
As part of Flora and Grace we will be offering our wedding planning services......Those of you who know me will know that I absolutely hate wedding packages with a passion......Zucchini never, ever had a list of packages......terrible how could you lump one bride into a silver package and the next into a platignum all singing all dancing package....sooooo wrong each bride needs a day designed to suit her purse and his or her tastes.....NO packages at Flora and Grace thank you very much!
By appointment we will be sitting you down in a beautiful space with some very relaxing music, a yummy glass of something bubbly and planning your wedding to perfection. Using only the finest suppliers and stunning venues we will be offering the Flora and Grace experience that you will remember and cherish forever....I promise!
I've produced an inspiration board on Flora and Grace I hope you like it. The whole board is general just a look at the style of boutique I want to produce. I still need to research all the goodies and will add further inspiration boards as and when I find the produce! If you see anything on your internet travels that you think may fit in well at the boutique......maybe some things that you would like to see in Flora and Grace please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will feature them on this blog!