Sue comes home to realise her floristry dream

A WOKING-born woman has returned after 25 years to realise her dream of running a florist.

Sue Barry, who grew up in Knaphill and went to school in Sheerwater, took over Ring-a-Roses in St. John’s five months ago after being made redundant from her job in cyber security.

The team at Ring-a-Roses (l to r) Rachel, Betty, Karen and Sue

Sue learnt by chance that the previous owner, Rachel Chambers, was intending to retire from her daughter whose company, Lemon Fresh Cleaners, cleaned for Rachel.

“It was always a dream and, when I was made redundant last year, I had quite a nice payout which was just sitting there. When this came up I thought ‘if I don’t do this now, I’m never going to do it’.”

The autumnal window display

Sue did floristry courses when she was younger and ran a dried flower business called Blooming Lovely in Woking about 30 years ago before moving to Camberley and working in the corporate world for the next 22 years.

She said she is thrilled to have been able to allow Ring-a-Roses to continue serving the local community.

“I never really visited Woking after moving away, and it’s great to be working here.

“I’ve kept the name, all Rachel’s staff and most of her customers. It’s a very busy florist. We are near the Woking Crematorium and have got contracts for funeral work.

“During the pandemic people became a lot more thoughtful so business is good.”

Sue has made some changes, including substantially refurbishing the shop and an upstairs stockroom.

The workshop and function room that had been a stockroom

“It’s now a beautiful room. We’re offering flower-arranging workshops and will be renting out the room for events.”

Christmas-themed workshops will be held on Thursday evenings on November 25 and December 2 and 9 and on Saturday afternoons on November 20 and 27 and December 4 and 11.

Sue is continuing Rachel’s tradition of putting up eye-catching window displays,

“We’ve got a beautiful autumnal display at the moment and intend to change this with the seasons.”

* FOR more information, call 01483 756579, visit onlinefloristwoking.co.uk or email flowers@onlinefloristwoking.co.uk

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