HELEN’S BUSINESS HAS THE X-FACTOR
Published at 11:04, Thursday, 25 October 2012
TV SHOWS are going blooming crazy to feature flowers on their sets from a Workington silk flower business.
Helen Benson, 49, of Ruskin Close, High Harrington, who owns Decoflora on Solway Road, has supplied countless TV shows including X Factor, Red and Black, Made in Chelsea, The One Show and Popstar to Opera Star, with her silk blooms.
As well as selling silk flowers worldwide, she has also supplied them for fashion and retail campaigns such as Estée Lauder, Radley handbags and Stella McCartney.
She has also supplied corsages for the orchestra which played for The Calendar Girls play at The Royal Albert Hall in London.
The latest TV show to feature her blooms is the ITV daily chatshow, The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
Mrs Benson said: “The show contacted me and asked if I could supply them with pink and purple flowers, springtime flowers and trailing and climbing flowers for 60 episodes.
“I was quite taken aback that a gardener wanted silk flowers over real ones but I was told that Alan likes silk flowers as long as they are good quality. It was quite an accolade that the show contacted us.”
The first show Mrs Benson supplied flowers to was ITV’s The X Factor in 2011.
Mrs Benson added: “The show contacted us and wanted 10,000 red poppies for its set. I had a few days to source the poppies and send them.
“I then got a call from the show to say they didn’t want the poppies anymore but they wanted white flowers so I had to recall the poppies.
“It was a bit frantic at the time but really enjoyed the challenge. Everything has just snowballed from there.
“I’ve heard that more and more shows are starting to choose silk flowers over real flowers because they don’t wilt under studio lights.
“I really don’t know how many shows I’ve done this year but it’s been a lot and we’re getting interest all the time.
“We’ve also recently supplied flowers for corsages for the orchestra that played at the Royal Albert Hall.”
Mrs Benson, a former accountant for robinson+co in Workington, decided to start the business 21 years ago after her husband Alan, 48, was made redundant.
Her mother Pat Billingham took the business over after 18 months when Mrs Benson had her second child, Paul.
Mrs Billingham, 67, of Gosforth, ran the business until she died three years ago.
After her mother’s death, Mrs Benson decided to go back into the business.
She added: “I started getting interested in flower arranging when I was 18 and started going to informal flower arranging classes. When I first started the business up it was more like a warehouse with lots of boxes.
“When I took over again three years ago I made it my mission to make the shop more visually pleasing for the customers.
“I hope my mum would be very proud. I don’t think she would quite believe the way things have gone,” she added.
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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