A young Peebles florist who works from a shed in her back garden has scooped a national award for her wedding arrangements.
Emma McDonald only established Stems in April 2012, but is celebrating being named Florist of the Year at the Scottish Wedding Awards 2014.
Emma said: “I hoped I might win the regional award as it was just me against a florist from Edinburgh, but I didn’t even contemplate winning the overall title, so I hadn’t prepared a speech!”
The 23-year-old has built up the business from home, while also looking after her young daughter, whose birth was a catalyst for the creation of Stems.
Emma said: “When Shyla was about nine months old I was due to go back to work in a nine-to-five job at a hotel, but I decided I didn’t have it in me to put her into day care or have her passed around relatives.
“I had worked in a flower shop when I was younger and had also studied art at high school, so I had the knowledge.
“I bought a small amount of flowers from a supplier in Edinburgh and made up arrangements, set up the Facebook page and sold to friends and family.
“I made a small profit so I bought some more flowers and it has just grown from there.”
This week Emma moved in to a new purpose built workshop in her garden, as increasing demand meant she had gradually run out of space in the 12x8ft shed she had been working from.
The new, bigger shed, has been bought partly thanks to a grant from the Princes Trust.
Emma said: “The Princes Trust have been wonderful.
“A friend recommended them to me at the end of 2012 and I contacted them to see if I was eligible for some funding and I applied for a market test grant and then they advised me to apply for £1,000 towards the cost of the new shed.”
Emma added that her greatest achievement has actually been her selection to be included in the Good Florist Guide.
Stems is just one of two Borders florists to meet the very stringent criteria for inclusion.