A Surbiton institution which has provided flower arrangements for the Queen and The Beatles celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Elsa Brown florists, based in Berrylands, has been going since 1964 – and current owner Sheila Hyson, niece of Elsa Brown, has been there for 40 of those years.
She said: “I keep saying I’m going to retire and something crops up.
“It’s lovely meeting and working with such a range of people.
“We did have a shop in Esher. We can go back to when The Beatles came in, and Tom Jones.
“We’ve done an arrangement for the Queen, her silver jubilee. One of her ladies in waiting phoned and asked if we would do an arrangement.”
The store recently provided flowers for the wedding of a woman whose parents referred her, after Elsa Brown did such a good job with their own wedding.
Elsa Brown and Gwen Dalby.
Elsa Brown first opened her shop in Claremont Road with her best friend, Gwen Dalby.
The shop, which moved to Alexandra Drive following a rent hike, has exhibited its work at the Chelsea flower show for 30 years.
Mrs Hyson said the variety of work is what keeps her coming back, from weddings to funerals.
She said: “You put your heart and soul into it.
“You understand their thoughts and you try to translate that into something special for them.
“Each of those things is a challenge.”
The shop will bring back a different floristry creation from the past half-century every month this year.
Mrs Hyson added: “Over so many years it is impossible to recall everyone involved with Elsa Brown, but I would like to say a big thank you to them all.
“Our customers have supported us through thick and thin and remained loyal.”
Have you ever worked at Elsa Brown? Leave a comment below or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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