Childhood friends Su Goodwin and Kate Haigh have joined forces in business to offer customers everything they need for home and garden.
The pair – who met at school when they were just four years old – run separate businesses in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Su runs horticulture and garden gifts business Grange Cottage Plants, while Kate has been at the helm of home and beauty products retailer Becalmed for more than 10 years.
Now Su has launched a brand new horticultural emporium from Kate’s Leek shop – so customers can get all they need for inside and outside their home under one roof.
Forty two-year-old Su said: “My business was borne out of my love for horticulture and agriculture really, it’s in my blood.
“For the last three or four years I have been operating out of my parents’ farm in Cheddleton and have been selling online, on Facebook and the odd market stall.
“During the pandemic I was really busy doing home deliveries and gardening boxes because everybody was spending a lot more time doing home and garden improvements, and the business has grown really quickly.”
Su, who is juggling the venture with her job as pest controller, added: “Now I’ve set up a concession inside Kate’s shop and I hope the business will continue to grow. Eventually, I’d like to move away from my full-time job and make this my main venture.”
Grange Cottage Plants supplies everything from hanging baskets and planters to bird feeders, terrarium plants and quirky garden gifts such as toadstool insect holders and hand-carved stag’s heads.
The business also sells a range of house plants and fresh flower arrangements which will all be available from Becalmed.
It will join the range of natural beauty products, gifts and homeware already on offer at the store.
Kate – who runs beauty, hair and massage therapy business My Calm from the same premises – said: “It was really tough during the pandemic when we had to close, but I used the opportunity to build a website where customers could still place orders.
“I also used it as a chance to re-train in candle making, and I renovated the cellar so I could have somewhere to base the business. I also extended the shop by about a third and introduced a new homeware and interiors department.”
The forty two-year-old added: “I wanted to come back from lockdown bigger and better so I was looking at where I could make improvements, keep the business fresh and find new revenue streams.
“Su and I have been friends since we were four years old and she has a great little business, so when I approached her with the idea of having a concession inside the shop she was really keen.
“The past year has been really tough, but we re-opened on April 12 and it’s been full steam ahead.”