Amanda and Fil, managers of Chelsea Wild, Fulham Road, Fulham
What is your business?
We’re a florists and a gift shop. We sell flowers, balloons, greeting cards, scented candles. We send flowers all over the world and even deliver orders in Kensington and Chelsea for free.
How long have you been in your premises?
For 14 years. They call this area The Beach, we thought of naming the shop Flowers on the Beach when we opened.
When are you at your busiest?
During the usual seasons, particularly Valentine’s Day and Christmas. At Christmas the shop is packed with pine and holly, it has a very winter holiday feel to it. Business tails off in the summer because a lot of residents go away in July and August.
What is your bestseller?
Orchids sell very well, and hand-ties or bouquets. Recently our buttonholes are being snapped up because a lot of women like to wear them on their jacket for Ascot.
Who are your typical customers?
We have a cross-section, but they’re usually female and often mothers, although this does vary because we’re near the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. We do get a lot of customers who are friends and family members of patients at the hospital.
How are you coping with the economic downturn?
It is harder, people aren’t spending as much. Sales are down and rent is up. Business rates just keep increasing. If it carries on like this then small businesses won’t be able to survive here.
What is your unique selling point?
We’re well known for our flowers being long lasting. We have a quick turnover so we avoid keeping old stock. We really want to keep our customers happy, we even did a wedding on Easter Sunday. We try to be as green as possible - our flowers are ferried in, not flown. This keeps our carbon footprint low.
Any plans to expand?
We want to increase our product range, we’re thinking of building an outdoor section with outdoor plants. Really we just want to keep expanding our name and brand.