Harold Wood florist wins big at Prestige Awards 2021
- Credit: Emma Clitherow
A Harold Wood florist has been officially crowned the Floral Designers of the Year.
Blooming Occasions won the accolade at the recent London and the South East Prestige Awards 2021, which aims to recognise the work of small and independent enterprises which may not be eligible for international award programmes.
Winning this award has seen the florist feature in a Corporate LiveWire company newsletter circulated to more than 500,000 subscribers.
Judges praised the St Ives Close business for its "bespoke" approach - "if it can be made with flowers, Blooming Occasions can make it".
Owner Emma Clitherow is delighted - albeit "still in shock" - at the recognition.
She told the Recorder: "I’m incredibly thankful to the judges for choosing us. As a small and relatively young independent family-run business, this award makes all the early mornings and long hours worth it.
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"The most important thing to us is our wonderful customers and making sure that we offer a second-to-none service with the personal touch being at the core of everything we do.
"During the pandemic I think we have all seen the benefits in shopping locally and I am very proud to serve our wonderful community."
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While Emma has been a qualified florist since 2015, the Harold Wood business only celebrated its second birthday on April 1.
Described by the awarding body as a "flower powerhouse", Emma is determined to be as embedded in the community as possible.
The owner donates bouquets and wreaths to Harold Wood and Harold Court primary schools for PTA raffles, while her daughter's primary school - Drapers' Maylands - has been given a harvest festival display.
Though Emma's dad and partner help out occasionally, Emma is the sole florist at Blooming Occasions.
While it "can be really hard work at times", she wouldn't be anywhere else.
With a particular speciality in funeral tributes, Emma considers it an "honour to be trusted to create tributes for my customers' loved one's final journeys".
Emma thanked everyone who supported her: "Without all of you, there wouldn't be a Blooming Occasions."
For further information, visit blooming-occasions.co.uk/ or Blooming Occasions on Facebook.