Express & Star

Meet the mother and daughter team running a successful florist's and gift shop in family footsteps

Winnie & Olive is very much a family business.

Vanessa Sweeney with her daughter Heather Green outside their business, Winnie & Olive, in Kinver

The florist’s and gift shop in Kinver was inspired by Heather Green’s grandmother, Sonia Powell, and named after her two great-grandmothers.

And helping her to create beautiful bouquets and arrangements every day is her own mother, Vanessa Sweeney.

The business started five years ago when Heather decided to follow her childhood dream of becoming a shop owner.

“I was working in an office when I was 19/20. My nan passed away from cancer. She was like a second mum to me and my best friend.

“I was working in customer service and with customer complaints and I realised I didn’t want to do it any more.

“When I was little my dream was to open a shop. I saw there was a vacant shop in Chenevare Mews.

“I went to school in Kinver and knew the area very well so I decided to take the plunge,” she explains.

Heather originally started out running a sustainable gift shop from her premises in June 2019.

Within nine months of starting the business she was forced to close due to lockdown.

During this period she kept the business afloat by offering a home delivery service.

Branching out to also offer dried and later fresh flowers, following feedback from customers, seemed like a natural next step for the shop.