About Us

Stems is owned & run by Emma McDonald – she is the ’em’ in Stems. Situated at 28 Chapel Street, Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders.

Emma started Stems in April 2012 when her daughter Shyla was 9 months old. She was due to go back to the dreaded 9-5 but the logistics of her salary versus childcare costs along with the gut feeling that she didn’t want to leave her baby led her to venture down the path of self employment.

She started with just a Facebook page & website and worked on designs at home whilst looking after Shyla. Although Em had learnt floristry on the job aged 15 she knew she had to freshen up, research the mechanics behind designs she had not previously made, attend courses held by floral geniuses and find her own style. Only then would she feel comfortable putting her name and business out there.

When her own wedding came round in December 2012 she made the decision to design all the floral arrangements for the day & used the professional photos taken to then showcase her wedding flowers online. She also felt she needed to experience being a bride to be before she could meet and empathise with other brides to be. This turned out to be one of the best business decisions she made. From sharing those images the bookings started to come in and since her own wedding she has successfully completed over 150 weddings.

The business has been gradually built up bit by bit and with the help of the Princes Trust she accessed available funding and built her first workshop in her garden. She outgrew that workshop and a second 16×10″ workshop and in March 2015 Em moved into her first bricks & mortar unit at Cavalry Park in Peebles. When her son Cody was born in August of 2015 Em & husband Chris realised they needed to upsize their family home and ended up finding the perfect home in Innerleithen. This move opened a new door for Stems. Em quickly realised Innerleithen was lacking in places to buy gifts and flowers and having never been able to miss a gap in the market she jumped at the chance to open her first shop. This move has been well received by the locals who had missed their flower shop. 

Along the way Emma has been recognised and awarded for her efforts in floristry, customer service, business excellence & enterprise.

In late 2013 she was accepted into The Good Florist Guide, a web based directory of the finest florists in the UK. This is renewed every year and she is currently listed by the GFG for 2016/2017. This was followed by winning both regional & overall title of Florist of the Year 2014 at The Scottish Wedding Awards. A few months later she won the Excellent Customer Service Award given to her by the Princes Youth Trust & Moffat Charitable Trust. In November 2014 Em won the RBS Enterprise Award for Scotland at the Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards in Glasgow. She was then selected as one of three to attend the national awards in London hosted by Ant & Dec with HRH Prince Charles in attendance along with celebrities such as Rod Stewart, Simon Cowell and many more. Em attended the red carpet event in March 2015 with husband Chris and whilst she didn’t scoop the national award it was an experience she won’t forget and being able to meet & thank Price Charles for the help she has received from his charity was the highlight for her. She was a finalist for a second Enterprise Award at the Young Scot Awards in April 2015 which was held at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

The online shop & wedding sections of the website give an idea of the sort of arrangements Em designs, but what really inspires her is designing unique individual arrangements specially personalised for you or your loved ones. Tell her about the occasion, your favourite colours and flowers, the mood you’re wanting to create, the person you’re buying for, and she will translate it into flowers for you.

Stay up to date with Em’s news here on the website, or check Facebook to see what she has fresh in stock and for her latest offerings and arrangements.

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Stems - 28 Chapel Street, Innerleithen, Scottish Borders, EH44 6HN - Tel: 01896 800848 or 07594 381 771