Former mental health nurse opens new artisan store

Karen Wheeler and Wallace outside the Wallflower and Wallace in Heydon, Norfolk. Picture: Supplied b

Karen Wheeler and Wallace outside the Wallflower and Wallace in Heydon, Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by Karen Churches Peacock. - Credit: Archant

After working in healthcare for 17 years, a former mental health nurse from Mileham has swapped the profession for floral design and has opened up a new artisan store in Norfolk.

Karen Wheeler, 56, from Mileham, near Dereham, worked as a mental health nurse and NHS manager and although she enjoyed her career, the role eventually became too stressful and began to affect her wellbeing.

After resigning in 2017 and taking some time off, she eventually felt ready explore her creative talents once again, which had got lost whilst working long hours in her former role and also adopted a dog, named Wallace.

Ms Wheeler said: 'It was important for me to look for activities and experiences that would be uplifting.

'I had always enjoyed growing and arranging flowers so decided to sign up to various modules in floristry and this eventually led to me completing an intensive floristry career change course at the Cambridge Flower School.'

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Following on from the courses, she was made aware of a newly renovated business premises in Heydon and The Wallflower and Wallace floral design and artisan store was born.

The shop opened its doors on May 17 and ever since Wheeler and Wallace have been welcoming a wide range of customers to their eclectic store.

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She added: 'I am so fortunate to be able to work in such a wonderful environment and I hope that my story proves that, whatever your age and no matter how difficult life can seem at times, it's never too late to make changes.

'There are always new opportunities around the corner, sometimes you just have to take a risk and seize them.'

The Wallflower and Wallace sells mostly seasonal, locally grown flowers and also offers a full floristry service.

The store is also stocked with collections of house plants, planters and baskets, paintings and prints and gifts and cards.

Creative workshops for individuals and groups with no previous experience are also on offer, which hope to inspire others to release their hidden, artistic talents.

Ms Wheeler said: 'I believe that it's important to source fair trade goods and endeavour to support other small, independent businesses who produce high quality products.

'By regularly changing our displays, there is always something new to see and discover in our store.'

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