In-Jean-ious Janet revitalises her life and her shop


After Janet O’Rourke of Open-All-Flowers in Lancashire cut all ties with her relay company and revitalised her window display, she caused quite a stir amongst the locals. In fact, she generated a 20% increase in sales and footfall.

“I’m currently revitalised; I joined Slimming World in January and I’m a whole new gal! So now I’m two and a half stone slimmer I felt inspired to revamp my shop front, and Wow has it been an eye-opener!”

Janet adorned pairs of her old, pre-Slimming World jeans with flowers to create an eye-catching window display, alongside a graffiti backdrop reading: “Floral Jean-ious is ‘ere!” and “We’re in-jean-ious with Flowers!” This, plus a new black shop frontage, a new canopy and a new business model, has given her shop the surge of life it was looking for.

2janet-in-jean-ious-janet-open-all-flowers-lancashire-florist-relay-interflora-window-flowers-displayLike Amy Winehouse, I went ‘Back to Black’. It’s mid-summer now and I’m over two and a half stone lighter and my shop is following suit. Sales and footfall are up 20%, all because the exterior of my shop is now grabbing as much attention as the floral displays I sell.”

Open-All-Flowers was born 21 years ago. Janet comes from a background of florists, and after pursuing a career in floristry straight out of school, she went on to win Interflora’s North West Florist of the Year title. However after opening her shop and joining Interflora time quickly passed, leaving little room for more competitions and training.

Janet and husband Nigel battled through an extremely tough 2012, taking the shop offline to care for their seriously-ill daughter. This prompted their want for change, and so they made the decision to cut connections with relay and add some extra oomph to the business.

“What’s the point in being a wonderful florist if folk don’t give you a second look because the exterior of your business isn’t quite looking as loved and polished as it should? I’m still the same gal in the back creating the same fab stuff, but now more people are finding that out.”

“It’s simply the best advertising money I’ve spent; a pot of black paint, a stylish new blind and some ‘off plan’ thinking with regard to my window displays.”

And Janet’s revitalisation doesn’t stop there! As well as a new-look shop front and a 20% increase in sales, her fresh feelings have prompted her to get involved with floristry workshops and training days again.

naturally-who-else-in-jean-ious-janet-open-all-flowers-lancashire-florist-relay-interflora-window-flowers-displayI’ve even found the time to dip a toe back into the world of demos and training days and have just spent a very enjoyable and informative weekend attending a demo and workshop hosted by Gregor Lersch… the man is amazing!”

Despite having been an Interflora member since setting up shop, Janet found that leaving the world of relay brought a breath of fresh air, and she now has much more time to concentrate on what’s important.

“With the help of my husband Nigel, we’d already built up our website and generally cemented ourselves in a good place. I had been with Interflora for what seems like forever but all things end and it was my time to say goodbye. It takes a bit of time to wean yourself away from relay mentality; you’re not dependent on them but nor are you independent of them – they’re comforting but controlling at the same time.”

“It took around six to nine months to re-align my business after leaving but quite honestly it’s like a release… I’m reborn. I was a little lost and out of love with floristry towards the end of my time with Interflora. They had stifled my creativity as I was just busy making the same things over and over again. I had become, if you will, a flower drone! “

“Now ideas are gushing through me and I have the time to think them through and tune and tweak them. I’m no longer distracted, I’m now totally focussed.”

Janet and Nigel are now feeling revitalised in mind, body and shop. Janet says the biggest expense was the changing of the canopy, but it was worth it - she’s even advising her fellow local florists to follow suit!

“We’re based on a little parade of shops on the main road that goes through Accrington, so we do have passing trade. Drivers notice the new canopy which has ‘Florist’ written on the side. They’ve even been putting their brakes on and stopping once they’ve seen it!”

It’s obviously had an effect on the bank balance too, as Janet explains her pricing technique which seems to keep customers coming back for more:

“Cut flowers off the stand are now only 15% of my sales. Although this doesn’t mean I can do without a stand full of gorgeous flowers. My stand is an advert of ingredients from which I can create bespoke items for customers to choose from; from modern to traditional or just ‘me having a play’… and boy do they sell!”

“We aim to ensure our bouquets are not overpriced, but priced to entice. Why try to sell three designs at a big price point with a profit margin of £7 when you can sell ten of the same design with a profit margin of £4-£5? The till goes ker-ching and the customers come back!”

Janet’s old jeans inspired her to showcase what she does best in a new and unique way. Her floristry skills are no longer being neglected and her personality now shines out of her work. And thanks to her fantastic frontage, it gets noticed!

“We are a quirky, edgy and different shop. We react quickly to local news, pick up a story and then use our window to link to it. We also use our website to reflect our personalities. We’re fun! Something I’d forgotten about, and now I’m back and it’s exciting again! I’m going to carry on striving for my shop to be exceptional in all that we do.”