In the 33 years since they first opened, Iain and Jane Benham have built up a reputation for offering the best quality exotic and traditional flowers and count their friends in the local community as extended family.
‘Good customer service is paramount,’ said Jane. ‘Lots of older people love to come in for a chat and I love that. You must give people time.
‘We had one elderly gentleman who came to us regularly for years, until he died aged 100. He watched our children grow up. It’s like an extended family – you get back what you put in.
‘Even when we’re tired or the shop is closed, we go above and beyond to help people where we can. The other day a lady from Brighton called in as she was lost and wanted to find Portchester Castle – we put on our masks and hopped in the van, and I drove her there myself.’
Iain and Jane opened The Flower Studio in 1989, giving them an opportunity to showcase their flair for modern and traditional design.
Iain holds the Level 4 Higher Diploma of Floristry, which recognises ambitious florists who have reached the highest professional standard.
He loves to create bespoke pieces and has worked with many of the country’s leading florists and interior designers. Recent exciting commissions have included working with a high-end perfume brand to create two floral 3ft round perfume bottles displayed on 4ft high pedestals for a promotion at Selfridges in Oxford Street.
The Flower Studio caters for everything from weddings, baby showers and funerals to delivering a simple bunch of flowers. They also carry a wide range of gifts including vases, ceramics, chocolates, Jellycat soft toys, and St Eval candles.
‘We really do love what we do,’ said Jane. ‘I feel so privileged and can’t think of anything better. It’s an honour to create beautiful things for our customers and we particularly love the busy Christmas period. Our Christmas window is always a talking point – people can’t wait for us to create it.
‘We have beautiful wreaths in the shop, but we can also make them up with whatever people like. Our candle arrangements and table centrepieces are also extremely popular and make perfect gifts for Christmas.
‘If you have a relative who’s really hard to buy for you can’t go wrong with a planter of hyacinths. They look and smell fabulous, and the best thing is that when they’ve finished indoors, you can plant them outside and they will flower again.’
Jane and Iain were grateful that, as a husband-and-wife team, they were able to continue working during lockdown, delivering flowers and creating their beautiful arrangements for very emotional events.
‘We were able to be here for people when they needed us the most. We had lots of people in tears when we told them we could help them prepare for funerals for loved ones they hadn’t been able to say goodbye to in person.
‘We made new friends during that time, and they have stayed loyal and come back to us now.
‘Campaigns like this are so important to remind people to support local. We cannot thank our lovely customers enough for staying loyal. Without them we wouldn’t be here.’
For more go to tfsflowers.co.uk/
Live Love Local is a campaign to get shops and businesses across Fareham’s towns and villages buzzing in the run-up to Christmas.
The campaign is designed to help the area’s diverse range of unique, independent shops and food and drink businesses bounce back after the challenges of the pandemic and rally against competition from online and out of town shopping.
It is supported by Fareham Borough Council through the European Regional Development Fund.
For information on traders, gift guides, events and latest news see livelovelocalfareham.co.uk