StemGem, by florist Yvette Coates, are affordable, recyclable vases.
A woman who turned her ideas into reality has seen her business blossom and flourish.
Florist Yvette Coates is a director of StemGem, a business created as a practical solution to a problem she faced every day.
As working florists, Yvette and a colleague wanted a modern vase that was easy to use, practical and time-saving.
They also wanted it to be affordable, recyclable and unbreakable.
Unable to find anything to fit the bill, they set about sourcing a manufacturer to meet their requirements — and StemGem Vases was born.
The vases are made in the UK from recycled high-density polyethylene, which is one of the most recycled waste products, and which can also be melted down to be re-used.
“They can be dropped without without cracking or breaking so they are child-friendly and pet-friendly, too,” Yvette said.
Yvette, who lives with her husband Stefan and five children in Barnby-in-the-Willows, started working as a florist in her native Yorkshire soon after her eldest son Dylan, now 18, was born.
In a busy working life, in which she also studied jewellery-making and ran a wedding events company, Yvette is now focusing on StemGem, where Dylan works with her, based in a unit on Quarry Lane, Leadenham.
The original vases, in a small selection of colours, were so well received that Yvette is now started adding to the products.
Keen to keep everything enviromentally-friendly, she supplies vase decorations made from wood, papier mache and rope, and uses brown paper rather than cellophane for wrapping.
“You can make the vases look really nice,” Yvette said.
New sizes and colours of vases are also in the pipeline, designed for different uses. They include larger vases for use in shops, and smaller posy vases.
One of the most popular uses of the StemGem vases has been to replace the cellophane bubbles that are filled with water and placed into boxes.
They are sturdier, more stable, and more practical, allowing the water to be topped up easily and without mess. They can also be re-used, creating less waste.
Yvette said setting up her own business had been hard work, but she had received lots of help and advice, courses, and some funding, from organisations including Newark and Sherwood District Council, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, NBV Enterprise Solutions, and the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub.
“This business is my little baby and I have worked my butt off for it, but there is help out there for you if you look for it,” she said.
“Growing a business keeps you on your toes, but I have worked to provide for my five children and I am proud of it.”
More by this authorJulia Jones