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Diss town centre welcomes new business run by 19-year-old from North Lopham

A first-time business owner is preparing to embark on an exciting venture – at the tender age of 19.

Ell’s Corner will be a plant shop in Diss , run by North Lopham resident Ellie Gardner.

It will be situated in St Nicholas Street and is due to open at the end of next month.

Ellie Gardner is opening a plant shop in Diss
Ellie Gardner is opening a plant shop in Diss

Miss Gardner said: “I have always loved plants and, since I was quite young when I got into it, I had no choice but to fill my room with plants as I didn’t have a garden.

“When you’re young, everyone has the one job they aspire to, whether that’s an astronaut or a ballerina. Mine was to own a plant shop.

“It became more real when I started getting curious about how much shops were to let around Diss and Bury. I happened upon this one quite accidentally and didn’t tell anyone when I organised with the landlord to view it. Little did I know that same day I would say that I actually wanted it.

“I realise that there are three garden centres and a variety of florists in and around Diss but none that specialise in house plants. I know a lot of people who travel further to Norwich or Thetford for more of a variety, but now they won’t have to.

“The response on Facebook and Instagram has been incredible and very unexpected. My expectations were low as I didn’t want to get too excited for something that might not work out.

“But within a few hours of me posting for the first time as Ell’s Corner, I had almost 500 likes and followers, which is amazing. I was speechless.

“So far, all I have in place for publicity are Instagram and Facebook, so it’s mostly social media and word of mouth at the moment.

“Hopefully, in the future, I will get a website set up which will help customers to make online purchases. At the minute, though, I’m trying not to get ahead of myself.

“I’m just taking it a day at a time but there is a plan to expand things online if everything goes well for me and the business in the early months.”

She added: “When it comes to plans for stocking, I’m looking to get a big range and I’m working on ordering everything in this month so everyone who comes in will find what they are looking for and leave happy.

“I’ve already received some money trees, snake and palm leaf plants, along with a bonus tray of little succulents and plenty more, so that’s a start.”

Ell’s Corner will be located opposite the Corn Hall on the lower ground floor of Albright Crafts of Diss.

The small business is not the only one to brave the current uncertainties facing the country, with Mollie’s At The Mere also opening its doors a few weeks ago.

Owner Karen Sinclair sent a good luck message to her fellow new business owner, posting on Facebook: “Our best wishes for your venture from Mollie’s At The Mere.

“Having opened in the midst of this pandemic, I know how I agonised over should I, or shouldn’t I? But I can only say how much support and kindness I have received from the community.”

Business owner Wendy Faulkner, from Diss Emporium Vintage and Antiques, added “Good luck. Great to see a new shop opening in Diss.”

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