A FLORIST business which started in a Paignton sitting room has blossomed.
Becky Tapper has gone from running her business, Les Fleurs, at home to opening a small shop at 55 Torbay Road six months ago.
Now, she had just opened a new shop a few yards up the road at number 25 that is double the size.
The expansion means her mum, Julie, is about to join the business to help with accounts and marketing and she is heading the right direction to take on a florist later this year.
Becky, 23, also has ambitious plans to turn an upstairs floor space into an area where she can hold craft workshops and flower arranging classes.
Becky said: "I previously worked for a florist and gained my qualifications, but I always intended to start my own business.
"When I fell into floristry after working in various jobs including office work and hospitality I knew that I had found my calling. I also knew that if I wanted to achieve great things in my life, I had to do it for myself.
"When I first became self-employed at home I was mainly doing corporate work for hotels, restaurants and car dealerships and also wedding flowers.
"I soon missed the hustle and bustle of a flower shop. I also found working at home meant I had to use books and catalogues to show people the different types of flowers and brides, especially, wanted to see things put together and browse a choice of real flowers."
She decided to open Les Fleurs — The Little Flower and Gift Shop in July 2012.
Becky was determined to succeed and after a while her hard work paid off.
She explained: "I spent a lot of time at the beginning of 2012 working with people associated with floristry including other independent wedding suppliers.
"I also spent time travelling around Torbay and the surrounding area approaching people about my new venture and asking if I could assist them. This was hard work and long hours, but I came out of it with a really good platform of customers who were pleased with my work and began to recommend me to others.
"I was brought up within a family of proprietors and self-employed people and this encouraged me to start climbing the mountain.
"However, being young I knew that I didn't have the experience but the fact that I will turn my hand to new and innovative designs and ideas is perhaps on my side."
After six months in the shop, things went so well that she has moved to the new premises. The bridal flowers part of the business has gone exceptionally well and she is almost fully booked for weddings this year and has many booked for 2014.
"The new shop is double the size and I am able to keep a running stock for people to see. They like to come in and see what they are out buying as some are very particular about the type of flowers and the colours.
"I think running an independent florist is the way to be. I'm willing to create new things and every item I produce is made with every ounce of care and attention that I possess — every item made and delivered is 'scent with love'."