Two EDC Students Businesses Really Bloom

By coincidence, the 1st August 2009 was a real milestone in the business lives of for both Elley Tate and Kelly Graham, because it was 6 months ago to the day that they both opened their separate floristry businesses.

The florists who both trained with East Durham College, at the Houghall Campus, opened the doors of their businesses back on a frosty Monday, 1st February.

Elley Tate, aged 25, from St Helens Auckland, attended the Houghall Campus for 3 years. She studied part-time on a one year Level 1 and then a two year Level 2 NVQ in Floristry. Elley had previously worked at a Boots Optician for five years but really wanted to set up her own business. She opened ‘Stems’ in St Helens Auckland.

Elley said, “I had wonderful support from the College and they gave me loads of help and advice with starting the businesses and setting up the shop. The College staff were brilliant and great fun to work with. I’d particularly like to thank my tutor Sue Lee for her valuable support.”

Elley now employees Alison Elliot, from Bishop Auckland, who is also studying at East Durham College on a NVQ Level 2 as part of the Train to Gain initiative.

Kelly Graham, aged 30, from Hordon, took over Dunelm Florists in Durham. Kelly’s story started after she had been made redundant from Orange, so with their support she enrolled on a Level 2 NVQ in Floristry and then went on to complete a Level 3 in July 2008.

Kelly said, “It is fabulous to have my own business and be my on boss. I received some amazing encouragement from all the tutors over at Houghall, particularly Sue Lee who gave me lots of guidance and advice.”

Programme Leader for Floristry, Kay Harker, added, “It is wonderful to see two of our student’s doing so well, particularly when there is so much doom and gloom around. I wish them all the luck for the future.”