Christmas is our business! readers’ successful festive ventures
rachel Mitchell, 44, is married with two children. She lives in chelmsford, essex, and is the founder of AdoreMydoor, a company that creates elegant christmas wreaths using fresh herbs and garden foliage.
✢ THE IDEA I was working as an accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and it’s fair to say I lived and breathed my job – until I fell pregnant in 2005. after giving birth to twin boys, sadly we lost one of our sons, and seb, who survived, was in hospital for 10 weeks. It was a traumatic time. so when I was offered a four-year career break I took it, but decided not to return after having my daughter. my husband encouraged me to pursue something I had a passion for – flowers. every Christmas our family forages for beautiful foliage and herbs to make door wreaths. People commented on how beautiful they were, so I decided to test the waters, taking a dozen along to my son’s school fair. they sold out immediately, and the following year people were asking me to make more. a seed of an idea began to grow…
✢ MAKING IT HAPPEN With lots of interest in my wreaths, I began to host courses so people could make their own. although the courses were popular, demand for my own designs was still growing, so I took part in an intensive floristry course, which proved invaluable.
✢ BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT Winning the best stand award at a big country Christmas fair was a real turning point. as people jostled each other to get a peek at our products, it was manic. It was then I began to realise the
potential of the business, giving me the confidence I needed to go forward.
✢ STEEPEST LEARNING CURVE to plan! as demand for our Christmas wreaths is seasonal, the orders flood in all at once. From buying raw materials in spring to designing and making wreaths through the summer months, it’s essential to get as much done upfront as possible.
✢ WHERE I AM NOW adoremyDoor now employs up to eight people depending on how busy we are. We make 150 wreaths and host around 10 courses in the lead-up to Christmas. We’ve also extended our door garland offering to make the most of spring and summer blooms, and sell Christmas decorations, natural candles and diffusers through our website. It’s an exciting time. >> BUSiNeSS iN FiGUreS
Start-up costs: £7,650 comprising…
Professional floristry course: £1,500 Website: £150 per annum Workshop/storage:
£6,000 per annum current turnover: £75,000-£100,000
rachel creates a variety of stunning, wonderfully scented christmas wreaths