After decades of commuting from her home in Leavenheath to London, City worker Julie Ivory has embarked on a more flourishing career.
Julie, who worked in the financial services industry for more than 40 years, has swapped money orders for flower orders at her newly-launched floristry business in Assington called Jules’ Flowers.
She said: “When I retired from the City after more than 40 years, I went to work with my husband Richard who runs Assington Plant Centre.
“I found I loved being outdoors, rather than stuck in an office, and learning all about the shrubs and trees. We had frequent requests for cut flowers and so it was a natural progression to combine the garden centre with a florist.”
In September - practically a year to the date she started training as a florist - she completed her City and Guilds Level 2 in Floristry at Easton Otley College and opened her business at Assington Barns two weeks ago.
Fellow college student, Cheryl Harris from Clacton, has joined her to work in the business, and together they are planning to open seven days a week to provide cut flowers as well as arrangements for all sorts of occasions.
Julie added: “My passion is to promote British grown flowers and that’s what I intend to offer at the shop. In my opinion, we import too many flowers.”
“There should be more emphasis on growing our own for sale. I think we have some wonderful flowers in this country and the right conditions to grow them.”
Julie aims to serve the corporate and weddings market with floral arrangements, but will also concentrate on offering beautiful blooms to people who needs them for occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
“I’ve had a great response to the launch and look forward to working with local companies and customers throughout Suffolk,” she added.