Trader Spotlight – Ashley Walsom

October 23, 2013

Location: B80/B81

Walking down Market Place South, it’s impossible to miss the incredible floral display on offer from stall B80 and 81.

The array of colour and varied types of flower draw you into Leicester Market; something that stall owner Ashley Walsom is particularly proud of.

We spoke to Ashley to find out more about his florist stall…

How long have you been trading at Leicester Market?
I’ve been working on the Market for 11 years and it started as a plant stall initially and it’s sort of grown into flowers. I actually started from a location further down, but as I say, that was when it was just plants. I took over this stall from the previous owners left.

How have things changed on the stall over the years?
I’m a new trader on the market, so the stall isn’t as old as some of the others. In many ways, I wanted to continue the work that had been done by the previous traders from my current stall. I certainly haven’t tried to revolutionise anything; we probably have a few more lines that in previous years to generate more interest.

Are there any flowers that are popular or anything your proud of in particular?
I think that the most popular things with shoppers are the larger box bouquets that we do. A lot of people really like the big floral displays and we have quite a large following on those. We also do a lot more floral accessories than before and we have expanded to selling those online now.

What do you think makes Leicester Market unique?
In many ways, I think it’s the banter and the character that exists here. Some markets can be quite quiet places, but Leicester is one market that still has that noise and vibrancy. There’s a lot of jovial characters, so there’s some great humour and the fact that it’s open air definitely adds something.

Your stall is on the edge of the Market, where many people walk, and your stall draws a lot of people in. How long does it take to set everything up?
It takes two or three hours to get everything ready. I tend to start getting things ready at 6:00am and I’m usually just about ready by 9:00am! It’s quite long-winded, but it’s worth it.

There aren’t many florists on the high street…
No, we’re a dying breed. Unfortunately, like many things, it seems to be going the way of the supermarkets. I’d always encourage people to buy from a local trader though. I think that the conditions provided by traders ensure that you get a much better quality of product.

Ashley trades Monday through to Sunday. He also sells florist accessories through his own website – www.apwflowers.com

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