Our Licensed Conveyancer Laura Lavelle-Marshall, who is based at our Otley Branch spoke to Alishia Easthope who owns The Orchard Florist, Otley located next door to our Otley branch.

Alishia had only been open for 8 weeks when she was faced with shutting shop due to the lockdown.

“I cried for two weeks. The timing could not have been worse for me!” said Alishia. “My cut flower suppliers were based in Holland and they had shut down too so I couldn’t source any stock.  I therefore changed my focus and instead looked at what I could buy locally. I bought in a supply of bedding plants and hanging baskets from British growers and offered a delivery service on these items. This way I was able to provide some sort of service and I also felt I was helping other British based businesses who were struggling too as they were unable to supply to garden centres.”

Since she has re-opened her doors Alishia has seen some changes. “Initially it was really busy as people were so relieved to be able to go out again, but it has started to slow down. There has definitely been an increase in the number of deliveries we are doing and we offer a free delivery service in the Otley area.”

“I’m also so grateful to the local business community who, because I am a new business, have really helped to champion me and let people know that I am here,” said Alishia.

Laura, who has worked at our Otley branch for the last 12 months and has been a Conveyancer for 7 years, qualifying  as a Licensed Conveyancer in 2018,  has also had to adapt the way she works both during and post lockdown.

To cater for the needs of my more elderly clients I hand delivered documents and posted them through their letter boxes to make sure that the process did not suffer as a result of lockdown.

I do find that I work more electronically now with an emphasis on e-conveyancing. Documentation is sent via email where possible and consultations often take place over the phone or by Zoom Call as opposed to face-to-face meetings. Online systems such as drop-box have also become more commonplace to enable documents to be returned swiftly, especially when branches were not open.

Alisha and her shop filled with beautiful blooms and gifts. Alisha with Laura