A TEENAGER who was inspired to become a florist after learning to make arrangements for her sister’s grave has started her own business – from her mam’s garden shed.

Mya Saville, from Witton Gilbert, near Durham, has been running her newly fledged business from a shed in her back garden after struggling to secure any investment because of her age.

The 18-year-old, who celebrated her birthday last week, started trading as Pretty Petals in May, just over a year after being kicked off her floristry course.

She said: “I was doing an apprenticeship and they told me they didn’t think I had it in me. I’d worked through Christmas and Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day but because I hadn’t completed the apprenticeship I got kicked off my course.

“It was really emotional for me because there was someone telling me it wasn’t what I wanted when I knew it was."

The Northern Echo:

Mya Saville, working from her shed in Witton Gilbert

She re-started an apprenticeship at Katherine's Florists in Newcastle, which she has now finished and is awaiting her qualification.

She added: "When they got in touch with me they said they had a good feeling about me. I was so excited and I’ve worked my socks off because I knew I had to get the qualification."

“I think I’ve proved now that I can do it.”

After deciding to set up her own business earlier this year, she was unable to access any investment funds because she was only 17.

But the teenager is now opening a shop at Congburn Centre, in Edmondsley, later this month after being offered the spot by the owner, who had seen her page on Facebook.

She first started arranging flowers to put on the grave of her sister Shauna, who died the year before Mya was born.

“Flowers have always been a big part of my life," she said. “It was always something we did, doing arrangements and covering the grave with beautiful flowers so I feel like I’ve got an emotional connection to it.”

The Northern Echo:

She added: “I love seeing everyone smile when they see their flowers or seeing the emotion when you do a funeral tribute and you can see what it means to them.

“Some people can pick up a pen and write something but I can pick up a flower and the creativity just comes out.”

Her mum, Selina Saville, said: “She’s had such a struggle what with losing a year of her education and having to start over again.

“She’s really grafted for it. I’m so proud of her.