"We all know what a year it’s been and I think everyone has had personal struggles of one kind or another over the last 12 months. I’m sharing my reflections on how Covid-19 has impacted my business and what I have done to adapt, and leaving the personal side out of it," says Liz, owner of Pipley Flowers, a flower farm nestled in the rolling hills between Bristol and Bath, UK.
None of us could have guessed this was coming 12 months ago and like everyone I was prepared for a normal year. My flower farming workshop went ahead in February as usual and in March I expected to be running my Mother’s day workshop again, and starting to supply florists with my wholesale flowers for weddings and events for the rest of the year.
On the 23rd of March we were told to stay at home and everything stopped.
For the next few days we all tried to understand how to move forward and what we could do safely and legally. About a week or two after the announcement, I tentatively reopened - families were struggling to source flowers for funerals so I found this was something I could help with, and one of my lovely florists (Floriography by Vera Fallacy) was making bouquets, so luckily I still had a customer who wanted to buy. At the beginning there was no help announced for the self employed (and when it was, although any help is a bonus, sadly it didn’t meet the needs of many of us who had traded for only a few years) so I needed to try to trade safely if I possibly could.
Over the next few weeks, as an industry we learned that weddings wouldn’t be taking place. Dates were postponed or cancelled and as a supplier primarily to wedding florists, the future looked bleak. The flowers were still growing but I had no outlet for them. Little jobs dripped through from time to time, a bucket of flowers here and a bouquet there.