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Independent Retailer Month: Mon Amie Living

To celebrate Independent Retailer Month, with the help of our partners SumUp we’re spending July highlighting some incredible independent retail entrepreneurs.

SumUp helps small businesses to get paid, whether they’re starting up or leveling up, supporting entrepreneurs to make their business ‘oOOooficial’.

Business name: Mon Amie Living
Founded by: Louise Wesley and Julie Buchanan
Launched in: September 2014
You can find them: In-store at Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire, and online at monamieliving.co.uk and Pedddle

Mon Amie was born on a beach in France – a floral idea Louise and Julie dreamed up in the sunshine whilst surrounded by their friends and their children. And it’s been blooming ever since. Floral design is the core of the business, while they also create stunning faux flowers, wedding flowers and funeral tributes.

When did you switch the business from a hobby or side hustle into an oOOoofficial business?

When our cross-back apron design was accepted by Country Living Magazine for a space at their Spring Fair within the ‘Kitchen Table Talent’ section. We traded there for a day and have been associated with Country Living Magazine ever since in one way or another – featuring on a 6-page spread in April 2020.

What are your hopes for the business post-Covid?

To keep trading!

Because we are a small business, we can be nimble and reactive to situations – so we focussed on what was possible rather than what was not during lockdown. This meant the key focus for us was on the supply of fresh flowers on a weekly basis on a click and collect basis. As we move out of Covid times, we are taking baby steps back to normality – hoping to do more larger workshops for creatively-minded people.

What’s the best thing about being an independent retailer?

The flexibility to be who we want, when we want, how we want. Also, the best thing for us is having each other to bounce off – we are a team and that comes first – always!

Being a small business, how have you benefitted from digital transformation?

Digitising the business helps in all the usual ways you would expect – it’s 2021! You can’t operate a small retail business without some form of digitisation, in our opinion – from people being able to find us, shop with us nationally and internationally – and also reserve items for click and collect. Everybody expects to pay with a card now – cash is rare! Julie also loves a spreadsheet to keep track of orders, workshop bookings and financials.