Business Action | February / March 2020


February / March 2020 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

This issue includes the Business Action Awards 2020, North Devon's independent business awards.

Retirement is a major challenge

the retail sector needs

to overcome. Many of our

finest shops have been run for

decades by owners who eventually

need to retire. Either

they have to find a buyer to

continue the business or else

close. Sadly, many good shops

close when new buyers cannot

be found. There is a need to

inspire more younger people

to come forward and continue

the great tradition of highquality

independent retailing.

This situation occurred

recently when the owner of

Exmoor Flowers, Stephanie

Kingston, decided to retire

after running the shop as a

newsagent and than as a florist

since 2005. Staff member

Laura Dyer was devastated

at the thought of not dealing

with flowers anymore and

ended up buying the business.

“I’d never thought about

running my own florist,”

says Laura. “I never had the

confidence to but, after a bit

of persuasion, guidance and

a good old confidence boost,

in September 2019 I bought

Exmoor Flowers and relocated

to 42 Lee Road, Lynton.”

Many of Laura’s family

had lived in Lynton for years

before her parents moved

there in 2006. She followed

and completed her degree in

theatre and performance at

Plymouth University and was

planning to return to London

Canine Cottages, operated by

The Travel Chapter in Bideford,

has been named headline

sponsor of national Bring Your

Dog To Work Day on 26 June.

This year the campaign will

be raising money for All Dogs

Matter and Animals Asia.

Simon Lockyer of Canine

until she married and had two

children. Her introduction

to Exmoor Flowers was as a

part-time assistant covering

a member of staff ’s sick leave,

but four years later she was a

full-time member of staff with

experienced knowledge of all

things floristry. After countless

weddings and funerals, Laura

loves her work so much that

she decided to buy the business

so that she could continue

doing what she loves.

“It was a massive step

for me. I was always used to

working for other people, but

with help and marketing from


Flower shop blooms

under new ownership

Laura Dyer of Exmoor Flowers, Lynton

my husband, who works next

door to me, I slowly started

to grow more confidence and

get into the swing of being a

business owner.

“I knew that one of the

keys to success was social

media and from day dot I’ve

put almost every bouquet,

arrangement, wedding and

funeral tribute on my Instagram

and Facebook pages and

the clients came flooding in.

“My flowers come from a

wholesaler called St Mellion

Flowers based in Saltash,

Cornwall. They come to North

Devon several times a week

Bring your dog to work day sponsor

Cottages says: “We’ve been

taking part in Bring Your Dog

To Work Day for a number of

years now and are thrilled to

be the headline sponsors for

2020 to support the important

work of the two charities. We

specialise in taking dogs and

their humans on holiday, but of

course we can’t be on holiday

all the time, so the next best

thing is to be able to take your

dog to work.”


with the freshest of flowers

from all over the world, but

mainly Holland and the UK.

“Red roses for Valentine’s

come from Colombia. They

are soil grown, not factory

produced, so they aren’t cheap,

but are exceptionally beautiful

and long lasting.

“I have a varied range of

customers from local hotels

and restaurants, to recurring

customers, local and


Laura adds that trends

change fast and that currently

English-grown flowers are

popular: “Bohemian/botanical

wild flowers, hedgerow, bushy

and plenty of foliage especially

eucalyptus – it’s everywhere

and every bride wants it!

“I’m constantly trying

to think of new and quirky

floristry ideas . . . pumpkin

arrangements at Halloween

were a massive hit – locals

went crazy for them. It was a

messy job, however.”

Laura works by herself,

although is supported by

her cousin for deliveries and

is delighted that Stephanie

helps her out when she needs

floristry advice.

“I have amazing friends and

family that are always around

for constant support. It’s hard

work getting the people in, but

I’ve never felt so happy.”

■■Details 01598 753 322 or

Beautiful candles – Handmade in Devon


Lyn Candles . Lynton . N. Devon . EX35 6BS

Tel: 01598 753321



business action | February / March 2020 |

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