NICHE – the story
Niche isn’t here to play. We mean business and we make a mean bouquet. If you don’t care about flowers, plants, or your own environment, you’re three sentences in on the wrong About Us page. We love nature so much!
Only the best, freshest, most eye-catching flowers, arranged in our inimitable, contemporary, naturalistic, high-impact fashion EVER leave our shop.
Our customers KNOW. Good enough isn’t good enough. We don’t just have a mission – we also have a vision, and a vibe, a compulsion and a conscience. We’ve got it going on. It would be exhausting if it weren’t so energising.
Where do we start?
We want to flatter, surprise, reassure, inspire and delight all our customers. We want shrieks of joy. We want to make your day. We want to make things better than they were before you chose to get us involved.
Also we want to make a bundle of money, twin a load of toilets and buy our husbands something nice.
Our world will be full of flowers, and everyone will care why and how.
We’re creative and inclusive. We care about the person buying the flowers; the people for whom they’re buying them; and we care about the flowers SO MUCH – the shapes, the colours, the quality and the origin; and we care about the people who grew them and got them to us. Our team consists of wonderful humans, and the whole set-up is a massive treat for all concerned. It’s pretty cool and kind of wild, and sort of … chic! – and … well, niche.
WE CAN’T STOP ARRANGING FLOWERS. We’ve got secateurs in the glovebox and we jump out and fill up the boot in lay-bys. We hurt so good when we see a perfect bloom. We love the interplay of the textures. We buy a rose to see how it opens. We never leave a car boot sale without accidentally buying another vase. Fritillaries get us like a physical ache. We well up when we smell lily-of-the-valley for the first time each year. We can’t pick our favourite. We count the petals and run a finger over velvety centres. We don’t mind the cold. WE’VE GOT THE LOVE.
We’ve also been doing this forever so if you want to see our history, see below.
We only use recyclable wrapping and vessels to pack, deliver and display our designs, so we’re not filling up the world with plastic crap and petroleum by-products. We specialise in locally-grown and organic varieties to cut down on flower miles and use of agrochemicals in order to promote soil biodiversity. However, we also celebrate our planet’s mad bounty and offer varieties from all over the world, grown in line with responsible, sustainable floriculture practices, ensuring industry workers in developing countries are not subjected to harsh working conditions, dangerous pesticides or rubbish pay. Our products – both those we buy and those we sell – are shipped responsibly with an eye to Co2 emissions and we hold our suppliers to account on their energy use, water use and contamination, transport emissions and waste as well as minimizing our own. We’ve got the love for our planet and it massively shows in our work as well as our ethos. You can choose what goes into your bouquet – you can buy local, or you can support flower farmers in the developing world. You can collect your flowers or request local deliveries to be made by bike instead of van.
It’s a vocation. Both Libby and Angela have been florists for donkey’s and it turns out it’s not so easy to kick the habit. Launching in 2019, Niche (Norwich) Ltd represented a new concept in floristry for our region. Norwich is a city with taste, right? We’re not going to be placated with cellophane wrapped wilting imports from the local garage.
If you’re going to accept a bouquet of flowers to adorn your dining room table or breathe life into your wedding reception, you should accept art. Oxygen-producing, joy-giving, every-bunch-is-unique art. So that’s what we do, and far be it for us to keep this living, breathing art form to the confines of the internet, we’re heading back out into town.
Early 2020 sees Niche Flowers ‘popping-up’ at Hairsmiths salon on Timber Hill – call it rehabilitation back into the community – before we excitedly fling open the doors of our own new shop very close by. It’ll be a place where you’ll want to scoop up everything inside – including us, with any luck. We can’t wait to say, “come on in”, but for now, here’s a little more about the mad enthusiasts behind it all.
Building on the success of her previous business, Libby Ferris Flowers, which she sold in 2015, Libby brought Niche Flowers to us in 2019, with a deep intent to present something different. Her work encompasses major installations and private commissions, but her favourite designs to make are the most personal ones – bespoke gifts and gestures. And we’re doing things a little differently this time around.
Corinna was well known in her own right, especially among brides and grooms, before her business, Olive et Fleur joined forces with Niche.
Corinna added floral romance to so many weddings, but is taking it easy with her pruning scissors now, and is enjoying stepping in to the foreground again whenever we need her.
Angela’s foray into floristry was happenstance. Starting off her career in interior design for high profile clients, Angela began pulling together blooms to enhance her interiors, with people increasingly telling her that her eye was on par with the pros.
Buoyed by their remarks, Angela took up formal training with Judith Blackmore and Jane Packer before taking the bold move of opening her own shop, Vive La Rose, in the heart of London’s Piccadilly.
The shop was enjoyed much success, not down to the affluent neighbourhood it found itself in, but because of Angela’s dynamite mix of floral artistry and undeniable corporate know-how. Her experience saw her named as “One of the ten best UK florists” by The Independent.
As it does for so many of us, motherhood put a different spin on things for Angela, who relocated to Norwich with her young daughter.
Ready for a quieter life, Angela was surprised to discover that our cobbled old city is in fact a creative hotbed, with appetites for the new, the stylish, the unattempted, only being sated by Libby in the world of floristry.
It seemed only right that they combine forces, and that’s where they find themselves now, channeling their frankly embarrassing number of years combined experience into Niche Flowers.