At Vale Life, we’re keen to hear what business owners think of the Covid-19 pandemic and how they’re coping with lockdown life. Here we chat to Craig and Julian Parker-Trott who own Florist 64 in Penarth, in The Vale of Glamorgan.
What does your business offer?
Flowers for all occasions, we have an on-site flower school and, more recently, we also make our own candles and reeds.
If you are staying at home, what are you doing to keep yourself occupied? How are you coping?
Making new candles and expanding the range.
Do you find the situation stressful?
We are really missing the shop and having all our lovely customers popping in to see us or even waving as they walk by. We are keeping in contact with our Facebook and Instagram pages. The situation is stressful at times but it’s vital to try have a daily routine and we are lucky to have the boys (two dogs) to help occupy us so, thankfully, we can take them out for walks.
It’s important to adjust your thinking from not being “trapped at home” to being “safe at home”. Do nice things for yourself and your family; cook, bake, learn a new skill and look after your mental health, and try not to watch/read every single piece of news on the pandemic!
What are your overall thoughts about the pandemic?
Worrying times, more so for the vulnerable, Craig’s Mum is in Birmingham and is disabled and haven’t seen her in a while but daily calls keep us all going. Julian’s mum is in a care home so we get regular updates from them too.
I would say it’s brought out the good in a lot of people as there seems to be a real sense of community. People are looking after one another and that’s really positive. I think we will all need to adapt all aspects of our lives for quite a while yet.
Can customers buy from you online? Do you deliver for example?
Yes, all the above, and we have adapted deliveries to contactless to keep everyone safe.
Have your furloughed your staff?
No, as there is just myself and Jules.
What are you doing to keep your business going during the pandemic?
We introduced contactless delivery, and we’ve developed our lovely candle range. We are still taking wedding enquires, and obviously funerals – funerals are something we have always put that little extra into, and we are finding them more emotional to do than normal – everyone is hearing of people they know passing.
Have you had any support from the Welsh Government?
We are in the process of seeing what help is available to us from the government – it’s tricky as the shop only opened in March.
What will you change about the way you run your business or what you offer when this is over?
We will continue to love what we do and hopefully offer everything to our customers we did before – even if it means adapting how we do that.
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