‘You might as well follow your dreams’ - woman to open florist after being made redundant

Penney Spall who is opening Penney's Flowers and Crafts Centre on July 1. Picture: Cathryn Lloyd

Penney Spall who is opening Penney's Flowers and Crafts Centre on July 1. Picture: Cathryn Lloyd - Credit: Cathryn Lloyd

A woman has followed her dream of becoming a florist after deciding to start a new chapter when she was made redundant.

Penney Spall will open Penney’s Flowers and Crafts Centre on the site of North Walsham garden centre on Wednesday, July 1, becoming a florist for the first time after training for the role more than 30 years ago.

Ms Spall is planning to open the shop from 9am to 5pm week days with only two customers allowed in at a time to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

She said the garden centre was seeing a steady stream of traffic even with the rules in place, making it the perfect spot to open despite the pandemic.

She said: “I got made redundant about a month ago and I just decided that if I can’t get a job, might as well create one myself.

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“I got qualified as a florist more than 30 years ago and I’ve always wanted my own shop but having kids and a full-time job just made me think ‘oh well that’s safe’, but no job is safe these days, so you might as well have your own which is obviously a little bit safer but you just don’t know.

“When you get made redundant you just think ‘well I’m not getting any younger’ so you might as well follow your dreams and then at least you’ll have given it a go.”

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Ms Spall has partnered with many local crafters to offer their wares in one half of the store while the other half will be dedicated to the flowers.

She says that opening during the pandemic may give the shop an upper hand on those who have had to adapt to it as she will go in prepared, with a hand washing station in place for its opening day.

The new opening comes after the garden centre, which hosts many other businesses alongside Ms Spall’s shop, said it had seen booming trade during the coronavirus pandemic.It follows a trend of other garden centres around the country, who have benefitted from people spending more time at home and in their garden during lockdown.

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