We’re back… sort of!
What's your Gardenia story?
Kate’s Gardenia Story
When Jamie’s father gave me a job on his stall in Southfields, I was 21 years old. I was far from home and I missed my own family, so Andy became my stand-in father. Everyday, for five years, I would arrive at work to find him sitting in his red van with a coffee and a newspaper pretending he hadn’t been asleep. I was heartbroken the day that Jamie called me to tell me he had passed away.
I had lots of regular customer in Southfields and really enjoyed being there. Despite the cold in the depths of winter, it felt very homely. After seven years there I was promoted and went to work in the Surbiton store. Jamie’s mum, Georgia, was based there too and I loved working with her – she’s a happy person, always smiling.
I moved over to the Wimbledon Village branch a couple of years ago, where I was promoted to Senior Technical Florist. I am really enjoying my new role, particularly wedding work, which always makes brides happy.
I have made some very special friends through working at Gardenia – we’re a close-knit team and that has been an important part of my 14 years here. I don’t feel so far from home anymore.
Dawn’s Gardenia Story
My Gardenia story starts at the very beginning, when the company was still a small, family-run business. Jamie’s dad, Andy, was in charge whilst Jamie, his mum and his two sisters helped out. In those days, we bought flowers from the local wholesale markets – getting up at 3am to secure the best stock, taking orders with a pen and paper, and ringing up sales on an old till straight out of ‘Open All Hours’.
I have been with Gardenia through good and bad times, but have always felt emotionally involved and part of the family. I left for a while to do other things, but stayed in touch and eventually, the pull to return brought me back to a new age Gardenia. I decided to take a break from floristry so now I do the deliveries. It’s the best of both worlds, as I still keep my hand in with helping out in the shops and at events if I’m needed.
I love working in this environment. It can be stressful at times, but being part of such a lovely team who get on so well makes it rewarding and enjoyable. You could say that I have grown old with Gardenia… this once small family business has become a big part of my life.