From furlough to florist – how one Falkirk woman went into business in lockdown

A Falkirk store manager has launched her own business after being furloughed.

By Allan Crow
Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 8:00 am

Leigh Young finally realised her dreams to own her own florist business during lockdown, launching Alchemy Floral Design .

She cleared out her shed and set about becoming her own boss - and now handles orders from as far away as Australia.

Lisa, 34, was store manager at Topshop in Stirling until it closed earlier this year - along with every other branch of the High Street store.

Leigh Young, from Falkirk launched her own florist business after being furloughed from her role as a store manager with Top Shop in Stirling. It is a family business with help from husband Stuart, and children o Edie (7) and Sonny (4)

The mum of two had dreamed of owning her own florist business for a decade, but children and work made getting started almost impossible, until furlough created an opportunity.She said: “I had wanted to start a floristry business ever since I got married and did my own wedding flowers, but it was so hard to find the time in between having my children, working full time and moving house more often than any sensible person would.

"My husband Stuart is a driving instructor, so he was also furloughed for much of 2020 and could help with the kids, It meant that I could finally make the business I had been dying to start a reality."

The mum to Edie, 7, and four-year old Sonny cleared out the sheds at the back of their town centre home and put the knowledge picked up at several college floristry courses to use.

In just six months, the business has had orders from Australia, America and all over Europe and the feedback on Alchemy's modern design has been so positive that Leigh has now founded a subscription service.

She said: "Lockdown presented the perfect conditions to launch a florist business.

“People weren't able to see their family or friends to celebrate special occasions but most people appreciate receiving flowers so I was shocked at how good the sales were so quickly. “We launched the website in June and by the end of the year, we were working at capacity."

Leigh, who was with Acadia Group for 12 years, said: "I just hope Alchemy Floral Design continues to grow and allows me to support my family as well as give an output to my creative side."

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