An independent city centre shop is set to expand and become a ‘destination’ store as it aims to bounce back from lockdown.
Flowerworks in Loseby Lane is expanding into the empty unit next door, on the corner of Loseby Lane and St Martins.
The shop is well known for its beautiful selection of flowers and plants, and now owner Parveen Rana plans to build on that and offer much more to customers.
It will involve some renovation but their plans will see more available to their customers – and lots of involvement with the community.
Parveen told LeicestershireLive: “The decision to expand the shop has been on our minds for a while.
“I know to have that extra retail space will be really good for us and our customers. The shop we have now is great but quite small and I’d really love to be able to do more.
“We are first and foremost a florist but we’re also a really popular destination for buying plants as we have a pretty large and unusual selection, so I’d love to build on that.
“The idea is to have our original space as just a plant store and then the new space will be where we have all of our flowers.
“We plan to knock through so the two rooms are adjoining, with a total refurb of both spaces, including the new shop front and entrance which will now be on the corner.
Parveen – who launched the business 17 years ago – also plans to use the new space to hold plant and flower workshops.
“I love the idea of a ‘destination’ store – somewhere our customers can browse and learn all about flowers and plants,” she said.
According to Parveen, she has had a deep-rooted interest in nature from an early age, heavily influenced by her parents who are farmers in India.
“Having come from an agricultural background, I draw from influences from the natural world, art, travel and anything botanical,” said Parveen, who worked in human resources and recruitment after she left University, before her career took a creative turn.
“I began to organise large exhibitions and events. Since then, I have gathered a wealth of experience and knowledge in the floristry world and have worked on many collaborations and projects with well known floral designers based in the UK and Europe.”
Flowerworks opened in 2003, initially in Market Place, before moving to Loseby Lane – a location which Parveen loves.
“We’re all mostly independent businesses so there is a real sense of community,” she said.
Whilst some may think it is an odd time to expand a business given the impact of the coronavirus lockdown, Parveen feels that right now could actually be the ideal time to do so.
She said: “It’s been a really difficult time for everyone and, lately, for Leicester in particular.
“Opening the new store might seem like a surprising decision at a time like this, but I think that it’s so important to stay positive at the moment and do everything we can to bounce back.
“We’ve had so much positive feedback since the announcement to expand on social media, which has been so encouraging.
“As we’ve got such a great community, I think we can all pull together and support local businesses during this time.
“I really believe that expanding in the wake of this could actually be the best time to do it, as we can really start afresh.”