Beth Cooper, founder of the specialist floristry company Ivy & Bud, is another example of an inspirational woman who recognises midlife opportunities and gaps in the market for their entrepreneurial brands.
Her beautiful locally grown and handpicked seasonal buds and foliage are delivered in tiny pretty vases and wrapped with a personal message. I caught up with Beth to find out more about how it all began and what makes Ivy & Bud so special.
Beth has kindly offered a 15% discount using the code NEW15
Firstly, can you tell us all about Ivy & Bud and how it began?
It was in the wake of the pandemic – I had just said goodbye to my travel PR business of 20 years, and my mum had very sadly died. I knew I needed a new direction – plus I was now based in Somerset. I had always loved posies, having been given a love of nature, flowers and the garden from my mum … So I did some research among my friends – suggesting an affordable, token gesture – and Ivy & Bud was born!
What makes Ivy & Bud different from other online floristry companies?
Affordability, combination and the variety of foliage that makes our posies seasonal and unique, creating depth, texture and interest. Our mission was always to create a touching gesture – just a bit more than a card really – to surprise and delight, and with recycled packaging working as sustainably as possible.
How and where do you source your flowers and foliage?
A combination of what is growing and being foraged here at Old Manor Farm in Somerset, as well as from a number of trusted local growers and further afield. Our goal is that by 2025 we will be entirely sustainable and everything will be grown at Old Manor Farm in Somerset.
Is one season busier than others or is demand fairly consistent year round?
We are fairly consistent all year round.
What is the most popular flower or flowers you are asked to include?
We don’t get many requests for specific flowers, but we are asked for particular colours or to stay away from certain colours, and we are often asked for anything scented.
Do you have your own favourites?
Forget-me-nots, Hellebores, Ammi, Sweet peas and Nigella …
Why do freshly cut flowers have such a positive impact on our mood and happiness?
I imagine for everyone the reasons are different – but I believe they bring the outside in; they offer beauty and hope; they are also calming and said to reduce stress. Whether we buy for ourselves or they are from others, it’s a reminder we are loved and cared for.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Hardest challenge you’ve had to face?
A divorce along the way when my business was in its infancy. The positive to be taken from this was that it created a real need and motivation to succeed and to support myself and my three children.
Receiving an order out of the blue for our late Queen!
I’m passionate about women supporting women in business – what advice would you give to emerging midlife female entrepreneurs considering starting a new business?
Passion is key. You need belief and a positive and flexible mindset to ride the ups and downs, and you need to keep moving forward. You also need good friends and the love of your family!
Top beauty ‘must-haves’ in your makeup bag?
And finally, your favourite quote to live by?
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela