From special days to takeaways; How one Edinburgh florist fought back against Covid
When Covid-19 struck it signalled a potential disaster for the Scottish wedding industry and the hundreds of small businesses that depend on it for their income.
Like many others, Aline MacLean found that since her business BBonnie Flowers had only been established in 2018, she was not eligible for government support and forced to rely on her own resources to keep things going.
‘It really was an incredibly difficult time,’ she said, ‘we seemed to fall through the gaps in every scheme that was meant to help us, it became clear it was going to be up to us to make something work.’
And so she did. In normal years Aline would run a number of Christmas workshops for friends and privates companies keen for her to teach them how best to decorate their homes for the holidays. In 2020 face-to-face sessions were out but nevertheless Aline saw a chance to recreate her offering online.
She put together do-it-yourself wreath boxes, lovingly packed with fresh stems and everything needed to create a beautiful festive display. She filmed an online tutorial giving step by step instructions so that her customers could follow along as they assembled their kits at home.But in spite of her good idea and some strong initial interest, Aline soon found building a whole new customer base from scratch was not easy.
‘In terms of the skills and supply chain of my business it was a pivot towards online but in terms of who I was selling to it was a completely new set of clientele. I was really struggling with how to display things, to make sense of it all in a way that appealed online. I found I desperately needed content to promote my business on social media.’
And that’s when she called Eilidh.
‘It’s so easy to work with Eilidh, it was amazing, she knew exactly how to get the best from my products, to help me hit my target audience.
‘Even though it’s very much my job to get things looking perfect for my clients, getting that across in a photo is a completely different skill set and I would never have managed it so well without Eilidh’s eye for the details.’
‘I felt like she completely understood what my brand was trying to achieve – and really helped me give it that professional look – which is sometimes hard to get when you run your own business and do everything yourself.’
In a nation of people bored by months at home, BBonnie Flower boxes found their perfect moment. Friends bought Aline’s boxes as gifts to each other and companies looking for ways to throw digital Christmas parties for their staff hired her to do live workshops so their whole office could take part from their kitchens.
‘At the time it felt like a bit of risk to have a photoshoot for a product I didn’t know would sell but I know now that they really bumped us up a notch and I have this great bunch of photos that I can use again and again.
‘Christmas was a real success. I met and beat all my targets for the end of the year – in fact the wreath boxes were so popular I’m bringing back a spring version at Easter!’
Over the last year Eilidh Robertson Photography has helped bolster the advertising and marketing plans of more than a dozen small businesses all across Scotland. If you have a relaunch coming up this spring that would benefit from some bespoke, high quality imagery we would love to help you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.