Irene's new Stenhousemuir shop is blooming marvellous
A long-established florists took the decision to put “all her flowers in one basket” and open a massive shop in the centre of Stenhousemuir.
Irene Klapwjik (67) – the woman behind Irene’s Florist – has been operating businesses in the Falkirk area for well over 40 years and at one stage she had as many as seven shops open at the one time.
Now she has poured all her time and effort – and a lot of money – into securing a larger premises in King Street, Stenhousemuir for the entire business to move into.
Irene said: “It was a decision we took to amalgamate the two shops – the one in Vicar Street, Falkirk and the one already in King Street – and move into one premises, having the team altogether in one place to give them more support.
"We needed more space – we had been borrowing space in the nearby Plough Hotel to store our flowers. We needed a bigger place and this premises in King Street became available in summer.”
After securing the new premises, Irene and the team then began a major four-month renovation project, investing around £100,000 into the location to create a massive new shop.
"We have a new logo, new colours – it’s a complete re-branding. The response to the shop has been amazing from our regulars, everyone we work with and our suppliers. People have said we are doing a great thing for Stenhousemuir.”
The shop is Irene’s swansong in the florist business and a parting gift to her daughter Aimee Hamilton, as a tribute to how far she has taken the business since she joined the team 10 years ago.
"Aimee took the business to a new level,” said Irene. “She’s pushed forward all the modern ideas the shops were missing. We now have an online shop and have 30,000 followers on Facebook.
"I think we are even more well known now – youngsters like Aimee can do that online stuff and we still offer the same brilliant service we have always done.”
Irene is looking to retire from the business in the near future and believes it will prosper under her daughter’s leadership.
"This is set up for Aimee – I want to see her move forward and take it on. I will always be there for her with advice and support. It’s an amazing thing we have done – I’m so proud of this business.”
And if the response Irene and the team got from customers who turned up on grand opening day last weekend is anything to go by, the business has no worries for the future.
People were able to come along for the first time and walk around the large new premises, viewing the full new range of fresh, dried and artificial flowers and plants, as well as other items which make perfect gifts for loved ones.
Irene said: “It was a terrific day, the Provost was there and did a wee speech before he opened the shop. There was some turn out for us.”