‘We do everything together’ - Family of five build unique, handcrafted business into floral empire
PUBLISHED: 14:27 20 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:21 29 July 2019
From the ‘packhorse’ father to the social media sensation granddad, this Norfolk business has family at its heart.
Once a hobby, Floral Lifestyle has now become a profitable business that specialises in personalised and unique hand appliqué.
Run by Jessica Levett, 28, from King's Lynn, along with her mother, father and her grandparents, the website creates hand stitched bows, coasters, cushions, boxes and bunting.
Miss Levett runs Floral Lifestyle's social media and does some stitching, while her mother, Penny Levett, 55 and grandmother, Jenny Fawkes, 81 are behind the scenes drawing and creating products.
Miss Levett said: "Granny is our critical companion, nothing will be put on the shelves or sold if she does not like it.
"My mum is brilliant, I will start sending her load of pictures and explaining what product I want to make and she comes up with these beautiful drawings and designs which are exactly what I was thinking of."
Roy Fawkes, 88, who is Miss Levett's grandad and has bought the Eastern Daily Press newspaper everyday for 60 years, is also a big part of the day-to-day.
The 28-year-old business owner said: "Grandad is a key part to the business, he has his own fan club online.
"People request to have their products picked and packed by him and some people ask when he is going to be at pop-up events so they can meet him."
The business began in 2015 after Miss Levett left university in Buckinghamshire.
"As a child I grew up surrounded by pretty floral materials and buttons," she said.
"My granny made me party and every day dresses, while my mum used the off-cuts for pretty accessories to match them.
"As I grew up mum and I would spend weekends making things to give as gifts.
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"Time moved on and when I was at university and funds were short I made birthday and Christmas presents for friends and family and often recipients would say 'you could sell these'.
"On leaving university I created Floral Lifestyle and I could never have anticipated the way this has grown from a hobby to what it has become today."
The business was given a boost by an appearance at This Morning Live 2018 at the NEC Birmingham.
During the event, the Floral Lifestyle team gave presenter Holly Willoughby personalised bunting for her daughter, Belle.
Miss Levett, who went to Smithdon High School, said: "This Morning Live was a real high point for us, we got to talk to all the big companies and show different celebrities what our business was all about.
"After I gave Holly the bunting the producer of This Morning came and told me how much she loved it, I was so happy."
Over the last four years, Floral Lifestyle has done pop-up events at shops in Milton Keynes and across Norfolk.
Paul Levett, 55, Jessica's father, travels to events with the business and helps set up tents and stock. He is described as 'the packhorse'.
Miss Levett said: "Because we are such a tight knit family, we do everything together from the designs and ideas right the way through to sewing and setting up shop.
"It is amazing to be able to work with my family, I think that is what people love about our business so much.
"Sometimes we disagree with each other and get on each others toes, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
Floral Lifestyle will be opening an exclusive pop-up shop in Franklyn's Yard, Holt, between Friday, August 2 and Monday, August 5.
She said: "I am so excited to finally have the chance to bring one of my pop-ups to Holt.
"I spent a lot of time here as a kid and Holt was actually one of my first ever craft fairs. It's nice for everything to come full circle."
To find out more about Floral Lifestyle visit www.florallifestyle.co.uk
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