Lorraine Williams opened Knot Just Blooms in West Street, Portchester with business partners Jason and Debbie Brooker last Friday.Â
The trio, who have been friends for a year after meeting through their children, have taken over the former Charmaine of PortchesterÂ store.Â
Lorraine, from Portchester, said: '˜I feel really excited because I didn't think this was ever going to happen.
'˜I have to thank my business partners and their family, my daughter and the girls whoÂ work at the shop for getting me to this point.Â
'˜I also wouldn't have done it without my tutor Emma Dunaway because she's taught me everything I can do now, I'm really grateful to her.'Â
The 47-year-old first thought of starting her own business after completing a work experience placement while studying at Highbury College in Cosham.Â
She named the budding businessÂ in memory of her husband Justin, who died 18 months agoÂ '“Â with the Just short for Justin.Â
Lorraine says she will concentrate on the business for a year before returning to college to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Floristry.
Lorraine, who gained a distinction in her Level 2 course, said: '˜My course was really good, I met someÂ lovely people and made some good friends.
'˜I'd definitely recommend Highbury's floristry course. EveryoneÂ is lovely, very supportive and all the staff have been brilliant. I had support from start to finish.'
Debbie, 53, quit her part-time receptionist job to focus on the floristry business.
She said: '˜It has been brilliant. We still have same two florists from Charmaine's as they have built up such a good reputation but we are not tied to Interflora so we can be more creative and use more flowers.'Â
Charmaine of Southsea is still operating from its Albert Road store.Â