A new gift shop and florist at Heyford Wharf in Lower Heyford has opened to support local artists, makers and producers.
Sharron Greenaway opened The Flower Boat in July after the success of her own floristry business that was originally run from her home – a narrowboat moored at Heyford.
She said: “I have worked as a florist for more than 20 years and I love it – since my mum died when I was 22 I have always had fresh flowers in the house, so it made sense for me to follow a career in floristry.”
Having worked for a number of local Oxfordshire florists over the years, Sharron’s own business took off during lockdown, which is when the idea for opening a shop was born.
“In December I could see from social media that there were lots of very creative and artistic local people making beautiful products and I started to think how brilliant it would be if they were all available in one place. I started looking for a small premises that would work well as a shop and in April a space became available at Heyford Wharf which was ideal.”
The Flower Boat’s new home is part of an old stable building and has a very rustic and artisan feel. Sharron added: “Once we found it everything happened really quickly and it was all systems go! It needed quite a bit of sorting out as it had been used as a store room for some time, but it is a lovely building with original features and although it’s not big, it is the perfect size for what I am hoping to achieve.”
As well as Sharron’s own beautiful hand tied bouquets, plants and arrangements, the shop features products from a dozen local artisans, including jewellery, hand knitted socks, wood turning, felting, home made preserves, art, cards, lamps made from reclaimed glassware and hand made candles. Sharron is also supporting local charity BYHP by selling crafts made by young people.
Sharron added: “I wanted to provide a platform for local makers to give them the opportunity to share what they do with as many people as possible. Everything in the shop is unique and different and made locally so it is a great showcase. Shopping locally became very important during lockdown and it is important that we carry on doing that now.”