We are very excited to now be stocked in the, The Wallflower and Wallace, in one of our local villages, Heydon.
Thank you so much Karen for joining us! Please tell us a bit about The Wallflower and Wallace?
We are a floral design business providing floristry services, we sell seasonal cut flowers direct from the store with a preference for sourcing these locally. However we also use various good quality Norfolk based wholesalers when required. We stock a great range of houseplants, succulents and cacti, unusual plant pots, hanging planters and terrariums.
Our artisan store also supports several local artists and creators. There are currently 18 Norfolk artisans showcasing their work which allows us to always have something unique on sale. Our displays will change with each season and we are always looking for new suppliers who have a good fit with our brand. We always have a great selection of gift cards, gift wrap, candles, baskets, and items for the home and garden.
Where did the idea come from to start the shop?
I have always had a passion for growing and arranging flowers, and decided to have a career change around 18 months ago. I intended at that stage to offer home based floristry services. My brother in law who is the artisan baker at HUSK also based in Heydon, informed me about the newly renovated barns at Heydon. On my first visit to Church farm barns I was able to visualise its potential not only as a functioning studio but also as an eclectic little shop. The other very positive factor was its location in beautiful Heydon which I felt was an excellent fit with my own business brand.
Had you always dreamt of having your own shop?
To be honest no, it was a very recent idea, which came about as a result of some very difficult and stressful years working within Mental Health and me actively looking to change in my lifestyle, to tap into my creative talents and in pursuit of happiness if that doesn’t sound too cliché.
Wow so different to what you are doing now...how exciting. Please tell us the meaning behind the name?
After resigning from my previous role as an NHS manager working in mental health. I was quite “burnt out” and spent several months in a kind of self-imposed isolation, spending time in the garden or on country walks and had said to my husband and family that I had become a bit of a Wallflower! Then soon after, I spotted a scruffy black terrier dog on a Cyprus charity’s face-book page called “Save Oroklini’s stray dogs ( SOS). The little dog’s sad eyes just melted my heart, so I decided to adopt him and was told he was called Wallace, hence why we are known as “The Wallflower & Wallace”. Wallace is the shop dog and my furry business partner who just loves all the attention he gets from our customers.
Wow, what a wonderful meaning behind the name and so personal to you. What we love about the shop is that you stock local products- is this something that is important to you?
Absolutely! I certainly aim to continue to search for suitable Norfolk suppliers producing quality items which have a good fit with our kind of store. As a small start-up business myself I can see the importance of supporting other small business owners, also the benefits of working in partnership whenever the opportunity presents.
And in Norfolk there is just SO much to choose from. As you know all of our products are designed by Izzi and manufactured in the UK, is this something you feel passionate about? Do you stock a lot of other British designer makers in the shop?
I think we should be incredibly proud of our British designers, especially our Norfolk designers. I currently stock Green pebble gift cards which is a company based in Suffolk who pays British artist/designers a fair commission to produce gift cards and notebooks etc. We are so impressed with our new Izzirainey items and our customers are buying these. So we definitely will plan to add more items as we approach Christmas. I am in discussion with other Norfolk designers and hope to add to our British designed and made range.
If it possible to, do you like to stock local producers in the shop?
At least a third of the stock in the shop comes from local artists, producers and creatives. I am always looking out to add more local stock. The flowers are sourced locally from Norfolk flower growers such as Sarah Hammond at English Peonies, Knapton, and Cel Robertson at Forever green flowers based at Aylmerton. As we move into autumn and winter I intend to source foliage from the local estates of Heydon & Salle.
It is wonderful to be stocked in a shop that feels so strongly about British production and local designer makers too. You have lots of wonderful fantastic products in store, where do you tend to source your products from?
We are proud stockists for Nkuku, Dassie artisan, the handmade candle company and Nutscene these all have good ethical values and environmentally friendly policies in place which fits with our own values.
Do you plan to do any floral workshops at all?
We certainly do have plans to run a workshop programme from the studio/store. These will take place on Tuesdays when the store is closed throughout the Autumn and Winter. All details and how to book can be found by visiting our refreshed website:-thewallflowerandwallace.com
These include floral design, festive wreath making, along with other arts and crafts based workshops such as mosaics and ceramics workshops. We want to encourage people to come along and learn new skills in a lovely environment as part of a small group experience. We also think they make an ideal gift for others.
Make sure you sign up now!!!
Please tell us a bit about Heydon as a village as we love it?
Heydon is a privately owned heritage village, at the centre is its wonderful village green. It has an award winning village tea room and public house “ The Earle arms”. There is a woodfired artisan bakery “HUSK” selling delicious bread during the day and woodfired pizzas on a Friday Night. The Wallflower & Wallace’s lovely neighbour is Moochi-modo, an interior design business. Heydon village has several special events throughout the year, including an annual tug of war, an open gardens day and a little vintage lovers fair. Details of these are advertised via the Heydon events face book page.
If you haven't ever visited Heydon...make sure you do! What first drew your attention to IzziRainey products?
I visited the Erpingham festival of crafts and met Izzi selling her products there a couple of years ago.
I purchased some fabulous hob covers for my aga, and just loved the simplicity and colours of the dandelion design. I also admire the way that Izzi and lara have marketed and grown their business and the fact that everything is made in the uk. They are two impressive young woman, who are great role models to other young people wanting to start up new businesses.
Thank you so much, that is so kind. And finally...what would be your perfect day out in Norfolk?
It has to be a trip to Blakeney & Cley with Wallace of course, and a spot of lunch or supper in the garden of the Dun cow looking out over the sea marshes.
Sounds perfect. Thank you so much Karen for chatting to us. Make sure you pop and see Karen and the lovely Wallace if you are ever in Heydon or take a look at the website to sign up to their wonderful flower workshops. http://www.thewallflowerandwallace.com
We are a textile company, based on a farm in Norfolk, designing and manufacturing high quality homeware and interior products within Norfolk and the UK.