Kim Ralph has taken the plunge to start a new business called ‘The Ludlow Flower Farmer’, offering pesticide-free, eco-wrapped natural arrangements.
“I grow, forage and arrange garden flowers and hedgerow gatherings and I’m pleased to say my unusual bouquets are proving a hit with discerning customers who shop locally, care about the impact of their spend on the environment and value fresh flowers of good provenance,” said Kim, who completed a start-up course with Bridgnorth-based business consultants Good2Great.
“Launching a new enterprise at the age of 56 has filled me with a renewed sense of purpose. I wake every morning looking forward to new opportunities and different challenges and am utterly annoying in my enthusiasm and energy!” added Kim, who originally trained as a florist and also has commercial experience in the horticultural sector, in retail and business development.
“Although experienced in business start-ups, I felt that my skills needed refreshing and that my idea required scrutinising closely to ensure success.
“The Good2Great start up programme allowed me to devote time weekly just to business planning. During the process I’ve learned how important it is to be flexible, creative and nimble – responding to the solid input from my Good2Great mentor, who encouraged me to interrogate every aspect of my enterprise.”
Kim’s flowers and herbs are grown organically in her garden near the river Teme in Ludlow, so involve no air miles or chemicals and are not refrigerated.
She explained: “My cottage garden is stuffed with flowers planted intensively. I’m out foraging locally every day to add berries, twigs, bracken, feathers, grasses and moss to my arrangements.
“I wondered if there might be a market for these — utterly different from stiff supermarket flowers and less intimidating than a high-street florists’ bouquets of expensive imported blooms. After planting a cutting patch from scratch this March, I tested the water with a few bunches and found a really strong interest in what I do so decided to launch the business.”
The Marches Step up Programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council and managed by Telford & Wrekin Council on behalf of partners.
For more information contact Kim The Ludlow Flower Farmer on 0784 2222085
or visit her on Facebook