A florist whose business was born out of lockdown said it has taught her to take a chance on things, as she celebrates its second-year anniversary.
Grace Erritsos started The Outhouse Florist in Sale in November 2020, at a time when she wasn’t certain what she wanted next in her career. The idea came about when she was living at her grandparents’ house during lockdown.
Grace said: “I knew I needed a change; I have been a florist for 10 years and all that time have been working for other people. When the first lockdown came, it gave me the chance to think about what was next for my career.
“My family and friends were all saying ‘you should start out on your own’, but honestly, that wasn’t what I was thinking – I thought it sounded like a stupid idea at first!
“While living at my Nanny and Poppa’s house during lockdown, I spent a lot of time in their conservatory thinking about job plans, looking at their outhouse building. I didn’t know then that only a few months later, I’d have set up a business working out of it!
The Outhouse Florist, so named because Grace converted her grandparents’ garden room into a floristry studio, today celebrates two years of success.
“Using the outhouse as my studio was my grandparents’ idea; I wasn’t sure at first but my family encouraged me to give it a try, so I did and I’m so glad I took that risk!
“I cleared the space to make room for all my bits and pieces and it’s just grown from there. In the last two years, I’ve built up my business through social media and word of mouth. Part of the job I love is working with people to deliver something that they fall in love with. Whether it’s a bride sharing her wedding colour palette, or a business looking to make an impact with a huge flower arch, I work hard to make sure that they are all happy with the final product.
“The past two years as a new business owner have flown by, I’ve learnt a lot and continue to learn every day, which is why I love coming to work!
“One of the best things about starting my own floristry business has been realising how many different areas I can get involved with – I now have regular customers from all different worlds. I get a lot of work from bakers, who really like my dried flower cake toppers – it’s a booming industry at the moment.
“Two years ago, I never would have thought that those types of businesses would reach out to me to provide a flower service, so it’s been great!
A florist with a “modern, funky” style, what makes The Outhouse Florist stand out against its competitors?
“Sale has some fantastic florists, so I know I need to stay at the top of my game. Quality is key and everything I produce is bespoke, no arrangement is ever the same and I work hard to ensure that the final result is of very high quality. The customer feedback I’ve received over the last two years has been really encouraging, so I just hope to keep building on that in the years to come.”
How has the cost of living crisis affected business overheads?
“I never want to sacrifice on quality, so I continue to buy the best flowers that I can find. More recently, I have seen prices rise at a wholesale level, so I am always completely honest with customers and make sure to manage their expectations on costs. I have recently slightly increased the cost of my arrangements and thankfully people have been really understanding – we’re all experiencing a rise in the cost of living at the same time, so I think that makes it slightly easier to get your head around.”
What are your ambitions for the next 12 months?
“I have quite a few things in the pipeline. I am considering looking for a larger unit, to allow me to grow the business further. I am keen to focus on producing more fresh flower bouquets and more space will allow me to do that more easily.
“But even if I do move on, I will always think fondly of the outhouse, it’s been the perfect home for starting my business!”