AN EXPERIENCED florist has branched out and set up a pop-up flower stall beside the train tracks in Portsmouth.
Fleur Essence, at Portsmouth & Southsea train station, was started by owner Donna Hooper, 48.
Donna was a florist for 15 years at the Co-op until she became inspired by other stalls in London, Winchester and Brighton.
She said: ‘I have always wanted my own shop so I could express my creativity. I wanted to be different and quirky, now I have the power to choose any variety of products.’
For Donna, having her own stall has given her a new lease of life.
She said: ‘In a supermarket nobody tends to the flowers. On my stall I’m constantly cutting, refreshing and re-stocking so all of my products are as fresh as they can be.’
When she isn’t tending to her stock and preparing new bunches, Donna loves talking to her customers. And she says their comments have been encouraging, highlighting how much colour Fleur Essence brings to the transport hub.
Donna said: ‘The feedback has been amazing. Passers-by have been stopping me and saying how beautiful the stall looks.
‘That’s what keeps me going. When people come up to you and say how beautiful the flowers look, that’s what makes me happy.’
Donna has achieved her Level 2 City & Guilds in Floristry from Highbury College,and says this has renewed her passion.
Donna said: ‘It’s a hard trade, but it’s creative and you get to do different things every day. Now I’m a florist, not just a flower-seller.’
As well as branching out to provide wedding, funeral and delivery services, Donna is looking into new locations at Fareham and Portsmouth Harbour stations.
Fleur Essence is open 8am to 6pm weekdays and 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.
For more information, call 07818 517267.