Florist's new soap flower business proves a hit
- Credit: Contributed
A florist with years of experience has launched a new business offering bouquets with flowers carved out of soap, which can last up to five years.
Debbie Payne, 61, set up Zerenity.uk with husband Lee in January this year from their home in Hellesdon. The idea stemmed from lockdown boredom, with Mrs Payne looking for a creative outlet.
The couple ran Moonlight Aquatics in Alby with Thwaite for a decade until four years ago, when their daughter Gemma Diffey gave birth to Daisy and since then they have focused on being grandparents.
Before that, Mrs Payne worked as a florist at Margaret's in Reepham, which is now closed, from when she left school for 10 years and then, after having her children, worked at City Florist, also now shut, opposite John Lewis in Norwich for 18 years.
Mrs Payne said: "Me and my husband were browsing things to do as we were getting bored and I came across soap flowers.
"We get the flowers brought in from a UK wholesaler and I'm a florist so I can arrange them.
"I think it was the artistic bit I missed and this is the nearest you can get to fresh flowers without the hassle.
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"We launched a couple of months ago and it has taken off really well."
Mr Payne is in charge of the website and and they also offer candles, gardening gifts and oil burners, amongst other things.
The soap flowers don't have to be used in the bath, but it is safe to do so and each bouquet comes with a list of ingredients.
Mrs Payne added: "We have orders coming in every day and offer local delivery in Norwich and the surrounding areas, collection or we can post as they are quite robust.
"We have had several people buying for elderly relatives in care homes as fresh flowers have to be quarantined for two or three days, but these have a five year shelf life."
Speaking about future plans, Mrs Payne added: "We want to do craft fairs and there is also the possibility of looking for a shop."