Floral designer saddles up for St Leger festival

Business is blooming for Millie’s Floral Boutique after the Rotherham-based floral designer secured a prestigious order to support one of the UK’s oldest and best known horse racing meetings.

Founded by experienced florist Marie Arnold, Millie’s Floral Boutique specialises in producing commercial floral displays and weddings. In 2018 the company received one of its largest orders to date, after being commissioned by Doncaster Racecourse to produce colourful floral arrangements to decorate private boxes and restaurants during its most important meeting of the year: The St Leger Festival.

With thousands of flowers needed to complete the order, Marie and her senior florist Yvette Jackson worked around the clock to fulfil the order. Their hard work quickly paid off.

Organisers were so impressed with her carefully crafted designs that her work has become a regular fixture at the racecourse. Today, Millie’s Floral Boutique supports a range of events and race meetings. throughout the year, as well as securing additional work with the St Leger Festival when the week-long race meeting returns later this year.

Unusually, you won’t find Millie’s Floral Boutique on the high street. Instead, the business calls Century Business Park home and operates from a converted workshop which has been transformed into a dedicated floral studio.

Flowers can be easily damaged and easily affected by rapid changes in temperature, but the workspace provided at the RiDO operated business centre offers the perfect environment to keep her flowers as fresh as possible. Since relocating to Century Business Centre, Millie’s Floral Boutique hasn’t looked back.

Today, 90% of the company’s work is generated through word of mouth referrals. Alongside her commercial floral displays, Millie’s Floral Boutique has built a formidable reputation for itself within the weddings sector. Such is the demand for her wedding services that the business is fully booked for weddings until 2020, and even secured commissions for 2021 and 2022.

Marie Arnold, founder, Millie’s Floral Boutique said:

“When I first launched my business, like many new entrepreneurs, I chose to work from home. Within six months, I realised it didn’t provide the right environment to keep my flowers as fresh as possible, so I began looking for premises.

“After visiting Century Business Centre, I realised it provided the perfect place for my business to blossom. Florists are typically based on the high street and rely upon passing trade. My business has always been different. I wanted to find premises which provided enough working space, but crucially, one which could keep my flowers fresh.

“One of the nice things about working out of Century Business Centre is being part of a business community. There’s a real sense of camaraderie amongst the businesses, based in the centre, often coming together to support each other and refer business to each other.

“The managed reception is ideal for businesses like mine and means when fresh deliveries arrive, there is someone to meet them. Staff have also been on hand to offer support and guidance as the business has grown – enabling us to make the most of new business opportunities as they arise. Nothing is too much trouble and they are often only too happy to help”

Anne Adderley, RiDO business Centre Manager, Century Business Centre said:

“A business centre may not necessarily be the obvious choice of location for a florist, but features such as our reception service have proved to be invaluable to the company, enabling Marie to spend time working off-site, without worrying about missing deliveries

“Our centres are designed to help entrepreneurs concentrate upon running their business, offering flexible easy-in, easy out terms. In Marie’s case, the environment for her flowers was just as important as the amount of space available. The large doors on the workshop units keep her unit cool all year round, resulting in her flowers being able to stay fresh for longer periods of time.”

Millie’s Floral Boutique was named after Marie’s daughter Millie, who was a young baby at the time she founded the business. Now a teenager, Millie has opted not to follow in her mother’s footsteps and is currently pursuing a career in the beauty industry.

Century Business Centre is based in Manvers, Rotherham and offers both office and workshop accommodation aimed at new and growing businesses. The centre is home to 66 offices and workshops and features on-site parking, meeting spaces and on-site business support.

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