A COUNTY Durham florist set up her own shop during the middle of a pandemic – and business is blooming.

Anya Liddle, from Willington, has always been passionate about floristry.

She was a part time florist for more than three years before pursuing a career in retail.

Now, after running a successful online flower shop in lockdown, she is giving it a go again.

She has now opened her own shop, All in Bloom, at the age of 20.

Miss Liddle said: “I’ve wanted to do this since I was little, I’ve always been passionate about it.

“My dad owns an allotment and I loved helping out there, I got to know a lot about flowers.

“On Valentine’s Day I was asked to do flowers for someone – at the time I was working in customer service and I had put the floristry behind me.

“I decided to give it a go again, then Mother’s Day came round, and I got around 300 requests for bouquets.

“The pandemic has made people buy more bouquets, just to cheer others up, because I think we all need cheering up.”

Miss Liddle was making bouquets in her garage, but soon demand was increasing and so the business had to expand.

The 20-year-old added: “I started doing it all from home, it took off, which I never expected it to.

“Each morning I would get flowers from Team Valley, make them into bouquet and then go to work, come home and make more, it was tiring.

“That hard work paid off, I took a leap of faith and now I own this shop.”

The store was opened on Saturday April 17, and saw an influx of people – so many that by 2pm they were sold out.

Miss Liddle added: “It was crazy, I didn’t expect so many people to come.

“A lot of people wanted to come down and see us, as Willington hasn’t had a florist in a long time and I think they’ve missed it.

“I thought I was taking a big risk opening a business at my age and during a pandemic, but I’m doing really well.

“If it wasn’t for social media then I would not be here; I have had people contact me from Australia and New Zealand to make flowers for their relatives in Crook.

“It also gives me flexibility, if we went into lockdown again, I could continue doing flowers and delivering them.

“If anyone is thinking of setting up a business, I would say go for it, don’t doubt yourself.”

All in Bloom Willington is available on Facebook and online at: //all-in-bloom.co.uk/ To contact call 07376-945435 or email willingtonflowers@gmail.com