Back In 1996, I started making and selling Christmas decorations as a means of raising the funds to pay for my children’s primary school Christmas decorations.After repeated requests for more elaborate wreaths and garlands I realised there was a need for more innovative and stylish products and The Festive Dresser was born.The following year, I contacted Selfridges to see what they thought about my ideas and to see if they were interested in what I had to offer.I made a few sample garlands, using taffeta and satin fabrics combined with fruits and fir cones and the concession company within Selfridges loved the concept.I also offered a tree decorating service which was featured on ITV news, which was spotted by a number of clients - including Luton Airport main terminal and the London Television centre on the Southbank, both of whom I worked with for a number of years.After spending two years successfully decorating trees and reception areas in hotels and local businesses, as well as selling at local Charity fairs, I decided it was time to make a leap of faith and I booked my first major retail Christmas show in London – Country Living in Islington. And then the next one – Spirit of Christmas in Olympia, Kensington, both of which I am still exhibiting at and loving every minute!-I then teamed up with an importer and became the buyer for his company, often travelling into China to source and design the products. I helped grow his business from a small importer to a major supplier of unusual, unique garlands and wreaths to a number of the London stores and all over the UK.Between us, we exhibited at most of the UK trade events and supplied a vast number of wholesalers as well as retailers, including Liberty, Fortnum and Mason, The General Trading company, VV Rouleaux and the House of Fraser.We worked 9 months in advance with the buyers, developing samples according to their briefs and colour schemes and we were successful for many years - always leading with new and different ideas. And I still designed a unique range for The Festive Dresser, selling under my own brand at the retail shows. During this time all three of my children have helped me along the way, whether it was assisting with unpacking and pricing or helping to sell at the London shows.They have moaned and groaned as we had to get up at 5 am but once the doors opened and the customers arrived, they have flourished and loved meeting people and chatting about all the range of things we sell..We spend time talking to our customers, finding out what they are looking for and putting forward ideas as we listen. We even make their ideas up for them as we speak!They have seen how happy my customers become once they have made their decision and I have to say, we are lucky - we sell a product that people WANT to buy.