SKY is the limit for one local florist who has put Fermanagh on the map with her unique arrangements and creative designs in giftware and balloon décor.
‘Lily & Thorn’ has held a special place in the hearts of local folk for over three years now, and at the helm of its ongoing success is owner and creator, Jenny Hanley, who prides herself on personalising each item to suit her customers.
Speaking to the Herald about the reasons behind her undeniable passion for the job, Jenny recalled, “When I started my career as a florist, I was first trained in all funeral and sympathy spreads. The first item I ever made was a teddy bear flower arrangement for a baby who had passed away, so from the very start I could see the full circle of life happen in one day.
“I was going from celebratory birth arrangements to death and everything else in between and it just fascinated me. I love being able to be there for people and it’s an honour to be asked to provide something for any occasion, whether it’s happy or sad.
“I’ve met couples for the first time to arrange wedding flowers, then I will be asked to arrange christening balloons and first day of school balloons as their lives and families develop and it’s just amazing.
“It’s great that I have so many repeat customers also, without them you have nothing. They are the people that you meet in the street everyday and you become part of their lives and you get to know them so well.”
Jenny says that the personal touch in which she offers clients comes as an “honour” to her, and that her process of making everything from scratch allows her products to “stand-out” highlighting that anything homemade cannot be purchased in any mainstream store, which has made her
business so popular. I love to personalise things for each customer, especially with the balloon designs.
“I like to make sure that if it is a specific order, I always ask what colours people like and what the recipient is into.
“We do either delivery or collection and 90 to 95 percent of our balloon work is delivered because the displays are so big. Then you have the organic balloon garlands which have to be built on site, so I would head out to the venue.
“To be in this business you have to have some level of creativity. It’s either something you have or you don’t.
“Being able to be creative and have that trust with customers in relation to colour choices and ideas is just an absolute joy, and it doesn’t feel like work at all.
Speaking to the Herald about the impact of Covid-19, Jenny says, “Thankfully, I was really busy over lockdown because I was able to work on my own, and from home.
“I was doing doorstep deliveries, and so many parents were just delighted that we were able to create balloon displays especially for
the kids, as they couldn’t go to McDonald’s or have a birthday party, so parents were spending that bit more on home decorations that were special to each child.
“It was really nice to be apart of that, the balloons made people so happy, especially when there was nothing happening anywhere and at least I could make someone smile with something so simple.
“Kids now know my van all over the county and you just see them at the window when you’re pulling up with excitement. It’s a really cool feeling.”
To get in touch with Jenny and her team or to keep up-to-date with all of the unique designs, gifts and creative displays that ‘Lily & Thorn’ has to offer, customers can email www.lilyandthorn.ie, telephone +353 87162 7212 or visit Lily & Thorn via Facebook and Instagram.
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