New era for Edelweiss florists after almost 50 years in Stowmarket High Street
A landmark in Stowmarket High Street has disappeared after Edelweiss florists closed its shop after almost 50 years.
However owner Isabel Wilton is continuing the name and business with an online presence as well as classes and workshops from her studio in a village near Stowmarket.
Isabel’s journey of floristry excellence began at local flower shows when she entered floristry competitions and following a Saturday job and further shop work she became manageress at the floristry department of Nottcuts in Woodbridge at the young age of 19.
When Isabel was 24, a close friend rang her to say a florist shop was available in Stowmarket. She sold her beloved Triumph Spitfire to buy her first delivery van and Edelweiss began to grow and flourish.
She said: “ At that point I thought I’d be a wife and mother not working in the industry for the rest of my life.”
She gained her Constance Spry Society of Florists Diploma and Interflora Judges Diploma and over the years has lectured and demonstrated, judging for 25 consecutive years at the Chelsea Flower Show as well as winning gold medals and being named three times best in show.
I count my blessings that I’ve done a job that’s given huge amounts of pleasure and comfort - Isabel Wilton
Edelweiss moved from Ipswich Street to 1 Market Place but in 2014 disaster struck when a bus collided with the front of the shop. Isabel had opened her gift business Noble & White 13 years ago at 4 Market Place and eventually Edelweiss moved there.
She is saddened by the loss of high street florists. “It’s a tragedy they are disappearing from the high street. There is pleasure in going into a flower shop and being inspired by what can be created,” she said.
Her daughter Louise has worked with her for the past 22 years and will continue doing so from their home studio.
Isabel said: “I count my blessings that I’ve done a job that’s given huge amounts of pleasure and comfort. It’s nice to think I’ve been involved in that. When you think of the hundreds and thousands of cards and messages that have been sent and we’ve facilitated the opportunity for people to say all those amazing messages.
“The shop has been a very important part of what I’ve done. Without the customers and the business I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I’ve had.”
Edelweiss can be contacted on 01449 736820 or www.edelweissflorist.co.uk