Christ­mas is our busi­ness! read­ers’ suc­cess­ful fes­tive ven­tures

Woman & Home - - In This Issue... -

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

Web­site: adoremy­

rachel cre­ates a va­ri­ety of stun­ning, won­der­fully scented christ­mas wreaths

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