Celebrating Start Ups – Abigail MacNiven

From PR girl to flower girl – I have known Abi for some years and have enjoyed watching her grow her passion from pop-up shop, to established shop, to brand. Growth is most definitely on the agenda here…..

Abi brings content marketing to life and grows her brand as a result.

Abigail started her journey in her head many years ago, but for the locals of Navenby, Lincoln the first glimpse we had of her plans was the pretty, well timed and very gorgeous festive ‘Pop-up’ shop on Navenby High Street.

She knew the village had seen a florist come and go in the past and wanted to test out the market before committing. Clever move. The shop was a huge success and was quickly (but not too quickly as per her cautious approach to all things business) followed by the permanent shop up the road, Petal & Stalk | Floral Design, began to bloom.


In the 2 years since it opened, Petal & Stalk has grown. Weddings, funerals,  deliveries, parties, corporate events, you name it she does it. The brand has diversified too, launching a Hand Lotion and a new Flower School in Wellingore.

So why is she so successful? From a marketing perspective she has many things right. The shop is just out of this world! It smells, looks and feels like a little sanctuary, you don’t even realise you need the lift it gives you until you enter it. Her bags, tags, arrangements and overall service are spot on. The flowers are different and fresh (as a daisy!)  Yes, she is active on social media, this is fairly easy for a creative brand such as hers, but what impresses me the most is her window display.

Content Marketing brought to life.

While everyone else is thinking about their next blog or their next post, Petal & Stalk choose not to write it, but to show it. The displays communicate directly to their local audience in a way that can only impress and generate word of mouth. The images are then used as part of a wider marketing strategy on social media – and of course they work. What better way to explain to people what you are all about than to show it, again and again and again…..

Careful attention is given to the events of the year and these are reflected in the displays – some of my favourites below.


Abi has been nominated as one of 5 Star Florists for British Flowers Week 2017. This event is brought to us by the New Covent Garden Flower Market and celebrates the best of British flowers as well as British Florists. To be shortlisted is a real honour and a testament to how much Petal & Stalk has achieved in such a short time.

abi macniven british flowers weekWhat can we learn from her?

Firstly, appearances count. Just take a look at those windows. How are you using your space? Are you making people stop and think or leaving them to walk on by? If you don’t have a shop, what can you do to create ‘talk-ability’ on your social media or web pages?

Secondly PR works, Abi has been on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, featured in The Journal and various other wedding and event related websites.

Thirdly – planning is essential if you want to succeed in marketing. Keep a keen eye on things like pantone colours of the year, international or national awareness days and get plotting…… Don’t try and do them all, pick one or 2 and do them well.

Lastly – know your industry. Apply for awards, let people know what you do and encourage them to want to know more!

petal and stalk pop up shop

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just start-ups.