LATCHLEY florist, Feina Merritt has been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year at West Country Women Awards 2022.

Feina is the owner of Bingo’s Blooms, a local florist specialising in sympathy tributes and bouquets that she delivers across the Tamar Valley.The bespoke funeral flowers that Feina creates are tailored to each families’ requirements allowing a unique design to be created to honour the individual. Feina’s designs have ranged from hearts to cats and pheasants.

The dedication and creativity that goes into Feina’s designs have sparked interest in the local community with Feina winning Spicer Designs’ ‘florist of the week’ on August 24 and the same day being nominated for the women awards.

In response to her win and nomination, Feina said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. To win florist of the week and be nominated in the same day. I’ve never had anything like this happen before.’

The West Country Women Awards recognises women in business and allows them to promote their businesses whilst providing a networking platform to connect them with other business owners.

Feina has been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tamar Valley community, receiving kind words for all her hard work.

Feina developed a passion for flowers due to her mum, Bingo. Bingo, which was a nickname for her mum who passed away in 2019 is who the business is named after and is the driving force behind Reina’s work. Reina said: ‘Flowers have always been a big part of our lives.

‘I was always involved with flowers from a young age.

Feina and her mum used to create funeral flowers for family members including a red pick-up truck arrangement they made for Feina’s dad who passed away when she was 15.

Feina said: ‘After mum died, I had this strange dream on the night of mum’s funeral that we were stood surrounded with flowers and there was a big purple and white logo and my mum was there and she said ‘‘It’s alright Feina, I’m over here watching you.’’

‘The next day I wrote it down and the purple and white logo from the dream is the Bingo’s Blooms logo.’

Bingo’s Blooms was set up three years ago as a lasting memory to her mum and Feina qualified as a florist two and a half years ago.

Since then the business has been a success, growing through lockdown during a time when Feina was working with three children and studying for the floristry qualification.

‘I put my heart into everything, said Reina.

‘People are so kind. It’s people’s nice comments that make it all worth it.

‘My mum would say- “if you love what you do, then you never work a day in your life”.

Reflecting on the nomination, Reina said: ‘My mum would be amazed. The thought of her is what makes me carry on. I stand here and make the flowers and think of her.

‘Flowers make it easier for me.

‘I feel like everything I do, I’m keeping her memory alive, my Bingo.’

Nominees will be judged later this month, with finalists being chosen in October.