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Emma McDonald

Florist
Peebles, United Kingdom

I’m happy to say I am one of only two florists in the Scottish Borders to be listed in The Good Florist Guide & I also won Florist of the Year for my region and then went on to win overall Florist of the Year 2014 at The Scottish Wedding Awards.

60-Second Interview

Please give your name and then say who was your biggest hero when you were younger?
Emma McDonald - I didn't really look up to anyone in the public eye but have always admired my mum, Wendy Howard.
What initially attracted you to enterprise?
I was looking for some kind of funding and/or business advice and came across Tara Bolland. She helped me massively with finding courses I could attend and enabling me to go forward for grants & funding. I feel incredibly grateful for the help and support I have had.
Can you tell us about the first £10 you ever made?
My first £10 taken by the business was from a neighbour who kindly agreed to buy some basket arrangements I had made for photographic purposes for my website and Facebook page.
What has been your biggest challenge so far with your business?
I would say there have been many challenges. One would be starting the business whilst caring for my 9 moth old daughter. She is now 2 and a half so we're at a very challenging age. It's sometimes incredibly hard to find quiet time to work on the likes of my accounts. This can mean I either stay awake into the early hours of the morning or get up around 5am to find some time to concentrate. Starting with only £200 for my initial stock purpose also seemed a challenge at the time however I'm here today and the bank is happy so I'm happy.
Who is it that keeps you going through any tough times?
My mum is great, she's very level headed and full of wisdom. She tells me straight whether an idea I have is bonkers or do-able. My husband is also wonderful, when he's not at work he will keep our daughter entertained giving me space to work. He's also always there with a cuppa and a cuddle when I'm knackered.
What is it that gets you out of your bed in the morning?
Knowing that I will make this a success. You don't get anywhere in life by sitting back and waiting for something to happen. You have to work hard. I would desperately love for us to live comfortably and one day buy our own home.
How do you define success?
I believe that 'success' is different for everyone. Success for me will be when we can move into our own home. It will take a lot of hard work but I'll get there. Awards are lovely and a huge compliment but a happy family in a lovely home is all I want.
Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time?
Hopefully with an employee or two. I would like to be solely focusing on weddings and I'm heading in the right direction. I have 41 weddings booked for this year alone which I am single handedly doing. If I could double that next year I'd be able to employ a young person to help me and teach them at the same time. I think this would be hugely rewarding. Im not sure whether I would look into a shop premises. It would depend on my income and whether I felt the move would benefit the business.
If you could give your “teenage self” one piece of advice, what would it be?
Not a thing. My teenage years where incredibly challenging, loosing my younger brother was the lowest point but all of these things make you who you are today. I like to think we start life as an empty book and add chapters in as we go along. I feel I have so many chapters already, it would make for an interesting read.
If you could have any 1 person on your business contact list who would that person be and why?
Prince Charles. He is the man behind the charity who have helped me so much. He is also a little green fingered I believe. My one goal is to meet him one day and hand him one of Stems' posies.