What started out as a normal evening in the local pub for 2 friends, turned into a merrily drunken evening in said pub, and led to Moonstones Ltd (Fareham Florist) being created. Neither friend has ever looked back since (or so we tell people :) ).
I (Sarah) already had 19 years experience as a florist under my belt at the time (I have many, many, many more than that now) having been lucky enough to work for (and with) some of the best florists in the country, when the decision was made; the fact my boss was selling her business to untrained flower arrangers made leaving much easier to do
Once the idea and rough plans had been laid down, the company set up and registered, the next thing on the list was to find premises. This proved to be not as easy as we thought it would be. With both myself and Clive living in Fareham, around the Highlands Road area, it was settled on the local shopping precinct as our base. As it was, a shop had just become available and 3 more new builds were about to be, so it seemed like the ideal location. However when I contacted the agents about the properties, I found (to much dismay) one of the shops had just had the lease signed and was to be a floral design shop. The difference between floral designers and florists is not that great, but neither of us had the heart to then take on one of the new builds and trample on the feet of the new floral shop owners, so we were forced to look further afield.
Numerous premises were earmarked before the decision was made to move into an old bathroom/tile shop in Horndean village. Had we known when we signed the lease that the layers of tiles we could see which needed removing, had another 3 or 4 layers of tiles underneath, we probably would have changed our minds. However, thanks to numerous cups of tea, and enough biscuits to keep McVitie (other biscuits are available) in business for a decade, a team of friends and family transformed a grotty run down place into a light, bright and airy florist shop in just 3 weeks.
Sadly, although business was (pardon the pun) blooming, the village itself was sinking into decline and the closure of the main Gales brewery only added to the destruction that was going on all around and after 3 successful years trading we were faced with a tough decision; a move to new premises was now a must. And so the search began again.
That is how we came to be where I always wanted to be. By chance one evening I made a visit to the chippie in Fareham Park Road and noticed that the shop next door was empty. This had been a sweet shop when I was at school; I would pass it every day. Often I'd would tell anyone listening, that one day I would own the shop (I didn't know then that I was going to be a florist) so when I saw it was available I got on a mission to talk Clive into moving here. He wasn't keen at first, partly because there is another shop over the road (the one which opened up when we first wanted to) and partly because he wasn't sure the area would be right, but after some intervention from friends and family he agreed to take a look. With both of us living within a 10/15 minute walk of the shop (in different directions) it is perfectly positioned for us. Once we had viewed the premises we knew it was perfect, and within 6 weeks the lease was signed, the work benches built and we were trading from our new position up the road from home. We've been here over 9 years now and things have never been so good.
Business is going from strength to strength and thankfully we have never looked back.
With wedding bookings being taken up to 3 years in advance we know we'll be here for a good many years to come.
As all of our customers are important to us and we would hate to alienate anyone, we made the conscious decision not to move into one specific area of floristry, and as such we specialise in all areas and cater to all budgets.
The fact that all our work comes from recommendations (local funeral directors, wedding venues, happy customers) is more than we could ask for. We don't advertise anywhere which makes the recommendations all the more important to us.
Location & Delivery
Situated around the corner from the main throng of a local shopping parade, on the outskirts of Fareham, we are often told we are a "Gem of a find" which is great to hear.
While we can never 100% guarantee a delivery time for orders (except funerals) our driver Chris (sadly he's no George Clooney - but he's friendly enough) will go out of his way to be as accommodating as possible for you, to ensure we try to get your flowers delivered as close to the time you require as possible.
Delivering is possibly the hardest job, what with traffic (and tractors - we are semi-rural) and there is nothing worse than when the drivers are having to drive up and down a road looking for a house with no name up, so any directions, hints or tips you can give are always more than welcomed - it also means the flowers spend less time in the back of a delivery vehicle and more time with the recipient for them to enjoy.