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A Magazine for Sheffield

The Flower Bowl: 75 (ish!) years of blossoming creativity.

Founded in the 1940s, The Flower Bowl remains an integral part of the Hillsborough community, creating and delivering beautiful bouquets and flower arrangements.

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As regular visitors of The Hillsborough Shopping District will attest, local florist The Flower Bowl never fails to draw the eye with its overflowing greenery and vibrant flora. What some passers-by may not realise, however, is that this unsuspecting little shop has truly stood the test of time - and with around 75 years under their belts, The Flower Bowl continues to provide a unique and valuable service to Sheffield locals.

As a relative newcomer to Sheffield, I only recently became aware of The Flower Bowl - but after clicking through picture after picture of their gorgeous bouquets online, I realised how deeply personal and valuable their offerings are to the community. With this in mind, I reached out to Catherine, the current owner, to discuss the ongoing legacy of The Flower Bowl.

The Flower Bowl has been up and running for around 75 years and is an integral part of the community in Hillsborough, Sheffield. Would you be able to tell us a little bit about the history of The Flower Bowl, and how it came to be such an established name in the Hillsborough shopping district?

The Flower Bowl was founded by Margaret Windley sometime in the 1940s, she went on to marry Albert Nelson who joined her in the business after the war. Together they ran the shop until their retirement in the early 1970s, and since then The Flower Bowl has had just 3 other owners, including myself. I have worked at The Flower Bowl for around 29 years, and about 11 years ago I bought the business from my then boss.

Longevity obviously plays a big part in helping to be an established and well-known business, and when you provide flowers for all the big, important occasions in people's lives you can't help but become a part of the community.

There's no doubt that the last few years have been a difficult time for independent businesses, with many sadly closing doors due to the impact of the pandemic. What do you think has set The Flower Bowl apart, and allowed it to survive - and thrive - for so long?

The pandemic was obviously a very challenging time for us and thousands of other businesses around the country. After the initial shock, we had to adapt to the restrictions and regulations and just work out what we could and couldn't do. We realised we could still trade behind closed doors, so continued our work with orders coming through our website/telephone, and we also had commitments to Funeral Directors for funeral tributes that still had to be fulfilled. Contactless/doorstep delivery suddenly became a thing!

The Flower Bowl has a wonderfully loyal customer base, amazingly talented staff and we all care about quality, value for money and good old customer service. I think all this together helps to create a successful business that will stand the test of time.

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The Flower Bowl is known for providing beautiful and unique flower arrangements and bouquets for all occasions - could you tell us a bit about some of the projects you have most enjoyed working on recently?

As florists we get to create all sorts of amazing designs and we all enjoy making wedding bouquets, and being involved in such an important occasion. Another big part of our business is farewell flowers, and more often these days families ask for something bespoke and personal for their loved one. We have designed so many special items for funerals, such as pool tables, fishing ponds, motor bikes, pets, tins of paint, musical notes, packs of cards, Rolex watches, packets of cigarettes and we once made a giant spliff!

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It's clear that after (roughly!) 75 years, The Flower Bowl is still going strong. What do you think the future will look like for the business?

In the very near future I will be hanging up my scissors and apron and hopefully retiring, so we will be looking for a 'budding' creative entrepreneur who is not afraid of hard but totally rewarding work to take over the business.

Find out more about The Flower Bowl by visiting their website, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @flowerbowlsheffield.

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