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Budding floral wreaths business set for Craft Fair debut

09 November 2022
A local family owned floral wreaths business that started out as a lockdown project are looking forward to physically exhibiting their product range to the public for the first time at this year’s Guildhall Craft Fair
Gosheden based Five Oaks Floral Design hand make bespoke handmade wreaths and garlands using faux flowers and foliage.
They are one of a number of exciting new crafters who have signed up for the festive event which returns after a three year absence from Friday November 25th to Sunday November 27th.
The venture was formed by Hair Salon and B&B owner Monica Fee who jointly started up the business with her sons Josh and Jarayd and Josh’s wife Angeline after her own businesses were forced to close during the Covid 19 restrictions.
“I enjoyed the initial lockdown period as it was the first time my husband and I had a chance to spend a prolonged period of time together outside of holidays,” recalled Monica.
“As we came into the Autumn months I was ready to use the time to challenge myself and work on something different.
“I had bought a wreath online towards the end of the summer and my son Josh and his wife Angelina had said I could have created that myself so I decided I would have a go at it.
“Within weeks we had built a workshop outside the house and started to develop a line of products.”
While Monica is the main manufacturer she was keen to stress that the business is a real team effort.
“Making the wreaths came quite naturally to me,” she continued. “There’s a lot of artistry involved in hair dressing too which I have 45 years of experience in and I enjoy the creativity involved and working with my hands.
“It’s very therapeutic to work on them and I can honestly say it’s the most satisfying job I’ve had.
“Jarayd and Angelina look after the social media and website of things and Josh and Angelina manage the deliveries, quality control and social media with Josh looking after the financial end.
“It’s very much a team effort, we work well together and have a lot of fun creating the new designs.
“The business has grown quite quickly over the last two years, there’s a lot of work going on in the background in sourcing the silks and updating the website to ensure we can meet our customers’ needs.”
The Craft Fair will feature the cream of Derry and Strabane's local and regional craft under one roof in the Guildhall's Main Hall.
Five Oaks Floral Design will be joined by a wide range of contemporary and traditional craft stalls featuring craft design makers and artisan food producers from across Ireland.
 “We’ve only been operating for two years and this is one of the first opportunities we’ve had to connect with customers and other crafters,” Monica added.
“Three of us will be there and we’re looking forward to meeting people and showcasing our Christmas range - if you look after them they are the Christmas gifts that keep giving each year!” 
The Guildhall Craft Fair marks the start of a comprehensive Christmas programme in the City and District which includes the Christmas Lights Switch Ons in Strabane on Saturday November 26th and Derry on Sunday 27th.
Other highlights include the Mayor's Christmas Tea Dance, the Mayor's Magical Christmas Experience and the Christmas Winterland Market full details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information about the Craft Fair and the traders visit derrystrabane.com/craftfair.
Updates and scheduling of Council's festive programming are at derrystrabane.com/Christmas.
You can view the whole Five Oaks Floral product line at fiveoaksfloral.com.