A florist has opened her first shop in Wanborough after starting her business during lockdown.
Charlotte Phipps, a mum of two from Swindon, has 17 years’ experience in the trade in spite of being sacked early on in her career for making a spelling mistake.
“I have severe dyslexia,” Charlotte said, “I started working in a flower shop as a Saturday girl and then became an apprentice.
"I loved the creativity of working with flowers and plants - they do speak a thousand words.
“However, during my apprenticeship I made a bad spelling mistake – and was sacked on the spot.
"I was told that I’d never make it in floristry, that my dyslexia was a deal-breaker. Clearly that person was wrong, dyslexia is actually my superpower. Flowers are my words and always will be.”
Undeterred, Charlotte persevered, gained her qualifications and went on to work as a florist in several shops around Wiltshire.
She said: “Floristry is my life. My family know how much time it takes and they support me and always have. When my children were small, I felt for this very reason it wasn’t fair to start my own business and it was better to work for someone else.
“Flowers are the tools to create art - they speak to emotion and memory. They tell a bride she is truly special on her special day, they tell a grieving family that their loved one was important and will always matter.
"They brighten anyone’s day and they light up a room.”
Charlotte Phipps Florist operates from a bespoke converted barn at Marsh Farm in Wanborough and is open six days a week.
Her parents, John and Jane, own the farm and have gladly supported Charlotte in finally running her own business.
“Mum, Dad and my stepdad Rob have been so supportive, along with my husband, Andy,” Charlotte said. “They’ve always wanted me to run my own business.
"It was actually last year that I realised the time had come to commit. My former employer told me she was going to take more time off in 2020 as sales were always up when she wasn’t around – I was the manager – so she wasn’t going to be around as often.
“It made me realise I was building someone else’s dream while having the stress of running someone else’s business. Why not just run my own business and build my own dream?”
Initially Charlotte worked from home, but flowers and plants soon took over the home she shares with husband Andy and sons Ollie, 11 and Jasper, eight.
She asked her parents if she could convert a barn on their farm into her first flower shop. Today Charlotte works at the shop and also delivers flowers and plants around Swindon to a 10-mile radius.
Charlotte said: “Anyone can drop in if they are passing, or call to make an appointment. I just ask if you are coming to give me a quick ring or a text to ensure I’m there and not out doing deliveries.”
More information can be obtained at www.charlottephipps.co.uk and on 07340 543341.
Customers are asked to be aware that social distancing is adhered to in the shop and face masks must be worn.