Florist to hand over the keys after more than five years in business
- Credit: Archant
It was a dream that began more than five years ago following a life-changing accident.
But now the owner of Bright and Beautiful Flowers in Dereham is preparing to arrange her last bouquet after health concerns has forced her to give up her passion.
Back in 2012, Claire Brightwell, 41, of Cabinet Close, was at home raising her young family and recovering after breaking her back in a horse riding accident.
'I was sitting at home, off work, so I decided to start doing floristry again,' she said.
'It's something I did from school, before I had my family, and I'd worked in other florists too.'
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Miss Brightwell, with more than 20 years of experience, began working from her garage at home. As the business grew, and premises become available on Wellington Road in the town, she decided it was time to expand.
The independent, family-run shop has been trading from town centre location since October 2013 and has gone from strength to strength.
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'For the first two years I didn't pay myself a wage,' she added.
'We've built it from the ground, up. It's taken an amazing amount of live, sweat and tears.'
Then three years ago, Miss Brightwell began experiencing pain in her right wrist and following an operation, she had to have her right arm fully fused.
Over the years, she retrained herself to use her left arm to continue floristry but was recently diagnosed with the same condition in her other wrist and has had to make the heartbreaking decision to sell the business.
'Thankfully it's a really happy ending.'
Bright and Beautiful Flowers will keep trading after being sold to another local florist.
Miss Brightwell added: 'I am so please. We did not want to pull it apart after the hard work that has gone into it.'
She praised her parents - Peter and Sheila Brightwell - and described them as 'instrumental' in helping the business develop and grow over the past five years.
She also thanked all of her customers for their well wishes and support over the years.
Bright and Beautiful Flowers also sells tickets for Dereham Memorial Hall and it is expected that this will continue under the new ownership.