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A Carlisle business has launched a national internet store for the UK’s flower industry.
The Flower Bank, run by Helen Wilson, is now supplying florists across the UK with goods such as glassware, ceramic pots, packaging, ribbons and decorative materials.
“More and more of my customers had been asking about online buying so I felt it was important to make this investment,” she explained.
Helen employed a giant ‘computer’ mouse to remind customers to click on to their laptops!
“For me it’s all about offering customers a choice in how they buy,” said farmer’s daughter Helen, who runs her business from Bankdale Farm, near Wreay, on the outskirts of the city.
“Whilst we sell to florists directly from our fresh flower delivery vans, and also our headquarters, time constraints and geography can make this more difficult, hence the new online store.”
Helen has spent the last six months working alongside IT specialists to build the new online store which runs from her company website.
“It’s been a big learning curve but the response from customers has been really positive,” she said.
The Flower Bank enjoys a reputation for stocking unusual sundries which it sources from the leading design houses of Europe.
“We regularly buy in new products to keep our ranges fresh and interesting,” said Helen.
“We also visit trade fairs and shows in Europe as well as meeting new suppliers to enable us to offer our customers something different every season.”
The online store is the latest development by The Flower Bank.
Last year it erected two wind turbines and is now self-sufficient in electricity, even supplying surplus power to the National Grid.
This investment in renewable energy was recognised by Cumbria Business Environment Network who awarded it a Gold certificate.
The Flower Bank employs 17 people.