Melissa Mullen

Bespoke Florist, Stockton-on-Tees

Sector: Floristry

Melissa Mullen started her own business with no previous experience in floristry. But after it bloomed “from 0-100” in the first week, she now runs the very successful Melissa Jane Floral. 

Where do you call home? 

Stockton-on-Tees. 

Tell us about your role?  

I own my own business as a self-employed bespoke florist.  

How did you get to where you are today? 

I’ve always had a good work ethic, as I’ve had at least a part-time job since I was 15. I’ve spent a lot of my working life in restaurants, cafes and bars, but never knew where my passion lied. I went to university to do photography, after initially studying that at college too, but soon thought that wasn’t where my future lay. My family and partner mentioned floristry to me as I’ve always had a love for flowers, plants and nature. At first, I wasn’t so sure, so I enquired about a course which I ended up attending and falling in love with! That’s what got me here today. 

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

My biggest challenge was probably the fear of the unknown – taking a risk and leaving secured employment and diving into something new was a bit crazy and very out of character for me. Building a business from scratch isn’t as easy as everyone would think, as you seriously do have to think about every aspect – from accounts to stock, which are things you don’t have to think about in a day-to-day job. But the rewards 100 per cent outweigh the obstacles I’ve faced as my business is now something I can proudly say I accomplished myself (with support from friends and family, of course). 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

It was when my business went from 0-100 in not even a week. I built a social media base, which took off straight away. I had messages flooding through my inbox, phone call after phone call and text messages. This was such a surreal feeling for me as I didn’t even think one of my bouquets would sell! When it came to my first wedding enquiry, that was an amazing successful feeling, knowing someone out there wanted my work to be part of their wedding day. This really grew my confidence in the business and made me push to my limits of what I can achieve. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring young females? 

Go for it – you’re never too young or too old to literally just do what you want to do. We’re not all cut out for a 9-5 desk job, but that doesn’t mean you’re not also cut out for one. We are all different, with different needs and wants in life and there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back to ensure you’re in the right place for you. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

Don’t listen to everyone who says “no, you can’t do that” or “shouldn’t do that” or “you will never be able to do that”, because they’re wrong. You can do and be anyone, anyone you want! You don’t have to fit that perfect image everyone thinks about, just don’t be scared to be you and don’t be scared to express who you are to anyone. You will soon learn that everyone is going to love you and like you for who you actually are, not who you pretend to be, so be that person sooner rather than later. Don’t ever lie to yourself. 

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

Just be you. 

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