Em & Rach
boss lady & worker bee

Em getting to work on the main beams in Wedderburn Barns, Duns.

Em getting to work on the main beams in Wedderburn Barns, Duns.

Emma mcdonald 

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

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.

For her own wedding in December 2012 she made the decision to design all of the floral arrangements for the day & used the professional photos taken to then showcase her wedding flowers online. From sharing those images the bookings started to come in and since her own wedding she has successfully completed over 250 weddings.

The business has been gradually built up bit by bit and with the help of the Princes Trust she accessed available funding and expanded her business. 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.

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 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 and whilst she didn’t scoop the national award it was an experience she won’t forget. Being able to meet & thank Prince 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. More recently she was a finalist for Florist of the Year 2016 at the Confetti Awards & came runner up in the RBS Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 for Scotland. 

Flowers aside, Em loves getting the chance to jump on her bike and head up the trails of Glentress & Innerleithen. She is a traveller at heart and will say yes to any opportunity to nip abroad be it for work or play. Nothing makes her happier than seeing and experiencing new things.

Rach adding flowers to the tables in Wedderburn Barns, Duns.

Rach adding flowers to the tables in Wedderburn Barns, Duns.

rachel lauder

Rach joined Stems in July 2016 not long after the opening of the shop. She trained at the Glasgow Flower School under the wise wing of Nick Priestly of Mood Flowers prior to joining Em. While on an intensive career course with Nick Rach learnt everything from designing bridal bouquets to corsages to amazing table-scapes. Since then she has worked on many weddings, events & all the peak seasons with Em. She has developed her own beautiful style which all of our customers love along with her infectious smile. 

Rach meets with most of our couples to discuss their wedding requirements & floral tastes while Em keeps the crazy shop boy out of the way! 

In April 2018 Em & shop boy Cody offered Rach the position of Shop Manager. She accepted and now takes care of more of the day to day running of the shop leaving Em more time to keep on top of the admin work.

Aside from all things flowery Rachel also works alongside her mum & grandfather for the family business Glendinning Groundworks - should you need to talk land drainage, she's your lass! She adores her family & her little Westie Broden and enjoys trips up North to Embo.