Upcycling business is coming up roses for village woman

Kathryn Stafford at work in her studio. INLM3712-100gc
Kathryn Stafford at work in her studio. INLM3712-100gc

LIKE the Wombles, Kathryn Stafford is ‘making good use of the things that she finds’ through her new upcycling business.

The Waringstown woman established her unique home business while de-cluttering the shed. ‘The Posy Barn’ was born after clearing out the golf clubs, lawnmower and welly boots and opening up the space for a country flower studio in her garden.

Kathryn has always shared an interest in flowers and plants with her parents who owned Creative Gardens garden centre, located next door to Kathryn on Mill Hill.

Kathryn gathers a lot of foliage and flowers for her arrangements and weddings from her own and parents’ gardens as well as the hedges and lanes nearby.

“We go to a very small church in Magherally where they pretty much give me free reign with flowers,” She said.

“That’s where it started. As the business expanded I converted the shed into the Posy Barn. We’d turned the shed into a den for the teenage kids to have their own space when my elderly father-in-law came to live with us. We got it insulated and got electric put in. They didn’t like it because it had no wi-fi and it soon became a place where all the clutter accumulated.”

As well as a home for the flower studio the barn is also used by Kathryn’s husband Paul who sings bass in the church choir. “It’s good that he can go somewhere where no one else can hear him,” said Kathryn, a former primary school teacher.

Paul, a cricketer with Lurgan, and Kathryn have been married for 22 years. They have three children - Matthew (19) and James (18), who are both at university, and Amy (14), who goes to Lurgan College.

Kathryn, who has a business degree and also studied journalism, said: “I use as much natural foliage and flowers from around where I live. I also mix in wholesale flowers to give bouquets a more natural look that brides are looking for. I use materials like ribbons, lace and brooches to give that vintage touch.

“I love the natural, country vintage look which is so popular at the moment. Especially old-fashioned roses and wild ivy which I use a lot. If you work with the seasons you really can’t go wrong.

“People are more environmentally aware and want to use products that are grown locally.”

Weddings are her speciality but she also provides gift baskets and arrangements to order, all which have the same country garden look.

She added: “I’ve also got flowers on display in the local hairdressers and do some arrangements for gift boxes.

“Every December I exhibit my fresh Christmas wreaths at the Ulster Folk Museum’s Christmas Fair at Cultra.

“I’ve a few weddings coming up and a big contract at the Christmas ball at Inst school.”

Kathryn continued: “My son James, has created a website for me, www.posybarn.co.uk, and I am hoping to attend some local bridal fairs soon.”

Kathryn has recycled lots of old furniture to use in her Posy Barn, including her grandfather’s workbench which he made over 60 years ago.

She said: “It belonged to my Grandfather McKeown. I use it now every day to do my arrangements on. I’m sure he would approve.”

Kathryn can be contacted at 2 Farm Court, Waringstown (0781 136 8978) or through her website and Facebook.