A NEW shop has opened in the city centre following the success of a pop-up stall which was launched in between lockdowns.

Laura Newby set up her business Belle Blooms at her York home in November 2019 and then branched out with a flower cart in York’s Coppergate Centre last autumn, along with a delivery service.

Her early profits exceeded expectations, and Laura is now celebrating a new milestone after securing a permanent base on the lower floor of Fenwick store for her new venture, The Plant Shop by Belle Blooms.

The 25-year-old, who is undertaking the level three floristry course at Askham Bryan College part time, said her new plant shop opens daily from 9am to 5.30pm and sells house plants, pots and plant accessories.

York Press:

“I had the stall in the Coppergate Centre and continued after Christmas until we went into the lockdown in January.

“I was outside Fenwick and they asked me if I wanted to have a plant shop downstairs in their store as a permanent fixture,” she said.

“They are really good at helping local businesses and have been really helpful. It’s very exciting.”

Laura earned a Fine Arts degree at Manchester Met University before pursuing her passion for floristry by enrolling with Askham Bryan College, going on to win accolades for her work, including a silver award in the Upcycled Chic category at the 2019 Harrogate Flower Show.

She tends to the plants and stock but said Fenwick staff look after the sales side.

“On the outside stall I am selling fresh and dried flowers, and downstairs in Fenwick, I sell plants and sundries like plant pots,” said Laura, who completed the Prince’s Trust Business Enterprise course online during the lockdown.

“It has been great. Houseplants are just so popular. I think, especially since the coronavirus pandemic, people have taken more to houseplants; they have given them a purpose and an extra lift.”

York Press:

Laura who sources her plants from Holland as well as the local area said she was taking each day as it comes but hopes to be able to grow her business further.

“I have only been set up as Belle Blooms for a year and it has progressed really quickly already. I am really excited to get back into the wedding season and building up my experience.

“I never in a million years thought I would be at this stage after just a year and, with the way it is going, I think a shop or workshop is the way forward.

"It it just hard at the moment but it is definitely something to look forward to.”