New business is blooming for creative florist Emma Ridgway.

The 46-year-old has put down roots in Rawdon by opening a new venture on Harrogate Road.

“It’s not your everyday florist shop, it’s far from it,” says Saltaire-born Emma, who also has an online flower school as well as giving face-to-face tutorials and seasonal workshops with friends, in their own homes, their workplaces or now at her shop.

Her wild and free style designs have been featured in magazines in America and Australia and have taken her all over the world to some stunning and most unusual locations, from castles to cowsheds.

“I went out to Lake Como in Italy to do one bride’s flowers, I’ve done flowers at Edinburgh Castle and on a farm in Cornwall,” said Emma who opened her first shop in Baildon in 2007 before expanding into the world of weddings and events.

Unless flowers are bought direct from UK growers, almost everything else comes through Holland, ordered by their Latin names to avoid confusion.

“It means I can work from any country and have them delivered. Anything is possible nowadays,” said Emma, whose work involving lots of fragrance and texture has been inspired by her travels and her childhood summers spent in a coastal town in Holland where her dad lived.

“There was and still is an amazing florist who works out of an old cheese factory there. He worked for the Dutch Royal family and is a total flower maestro. It’s a magical place. As a small child if I ever went missing, my family would come to his workshop and look for me there. He’s in his 70s now but I’ve stayed in touch,” said Emma.

For the last three years, Emma has been working online and travelling with her tutorials but has missed having a base of her own.

“I’ve loved running the flower school and workshops for the last three years but I’ve really missed the people side of my job, so it felt like the right time to open a new shop.

“There used to be a florist here two doors down, but they retired a couple of years ago, so it’s really nice to be putting something back into the high street,” she added.

Earlier this week, Emma was working at the Record Cafe in North Parade hanging decorative branches on the ceiling to deck with fairylights and change with the seasons.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Emma’s tutorials and workshops can contact her at the shop on 0113 345252.

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