New plant and flower shop opens in Wigan
Two entrepreneurs from the borough have brought their businesses into the town centre for their budding new venture.
Amy Bithell of Little Pot Plants and Sarah McCaig of Olive Owl Flowers have taken over a unit at the top of Makinson Arcade and transformed it into a green, floral wonderland.
The duo welcomed their first customers through the doors on Saturday, with Amy selling houseplants and Sarah offering quirky and unusual flower arrangements.
Sarah was previously working as a full-time wedding florist when the pandemic hit and has been forced to massively adapt Olive Owl Flowers due to the novel coronavirus, setting up an online shop.
The two businesswomen met through Sarah’s Instagram page We Are Wigan page and are delighted to be making the move into bricks-and-mortar retail with their budding new venture.
Amy, who is originally from Hindley, said: “I think it’s something quite different for Wigan. Sarah and I get on really well and both have the same vision for our businesses and what we want to achieve.
“During lockdown everybody’s realised how much we went to Manchester or Liverpool for things like shopping rather than investing in our own town. We want to keep it in Wigan and make Wigan cool again.
“You look at the pictures in the windows of Makinson Arcade of all the different decades and in some of them the town is absolutely bustling. We want to bring that back.”
Sarah, from Orrell, said: “I originally reached out to Amy to help me run We Are Wigan and it just blossomed from there.
“We hope that by being here it will encourage other independent businesses and in a few years’ time we might have a hub of independent shops.”
Amy and Sarah said opening a new retail business is exciting but also a little scary and spoke about how they wanted to create an experience for customers rather than somewhere people simply make purchases and leave again.
They are also looking at ideas such as stocking gifts, cards, candles and other similar items alongside the plants and flowers and running workshops there in the future.
The two businesses will remain separate but will blend together within the Makinson Arcade unit with their complementing styles. Local businesses were also used to fit out the shop before it opened.
Amy and Sarah are both ambassadors for Wigan Council’s Support Local campaign and their arrival in the town centre has been welcomed by the local authority.
Becca Heron, director for economy and skills at Wigan Council said: “It’s brilliant news that Sarah and Amy have found inspiration during this uncertain period and have expanded in time for the easing of restrictions.
“The Support Local campaign forms part of our recovery plans and aligns with our community wealth building values, which are all about shaping and creating opportunities for businesses and local people.
“It’s great to have forward-thinking people like Amy and Sarah on board.”
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