Jacqueline Owen, flowers business, wedding awards

Two Nantwich women who have launched successful businesses in recent years, have made the North West Wedding Awards final.

Helen Williams, of Helen Williams Photography, and Jacqueline Owen, of Jacqui O Fairytale Flowers, have made the final shortlist run by County Brides.

Jacqui’s floral design company, located in Nantwich, specialises in wedding and event flowers.

She works from a home studio on Brine Road, to create personal designs for couples tying the knot.

Jacqui, 38, (pictured above) grew up in Shropshire but her grandparents lived in Nantwich, and she moved to the town four years ago.

“I have so many happy memories and before my grandad, who was a true dabber passed away last December, he had told me how proud he was of my business and my achievements so far.

“It meant a lot to me and still does.”

Jacqui achieved a 1st class honours in Surface Pattern Design at Staffordshire University.

In 2013 she set up her business after achieving a floristry qualification at Reaseheath College.

Last year, she was nominated for County Brides Wedding Awards in the floristry category.

She also supplies major venues such as Crewe Hall, Cranage Hall, Residence Bar & Restaurant, The Crown Hotel Nantwich, and Wychwood Park.

“I enjoy working with other local suppliers including Helen.

“We have a number of wedding this year and next which we will be working together on.

“This week I will be providing bridal flowers for Helen on a photoshoot at the Dorfold Hall can’t wait to see the images and of course create my floral designs!”

Photographer Helen, 31, is originally from South Wales but moved to the area in 2006 and lives in Wistaston where her business is based.

The former drama teacher (pictured, below) taught at Tarporley High School and Malbank High School.

Helen Williams Photography, wedding awards

“I was given my first DSLR camera for my 25th birthday and was immediately hooked,” she said.

“I loved having the opportunity to pursue a creative hobby outside of teaching and the theatre.

“I enrolled on evening courses at South Cheshire College and spent my free time reading, practising and improving my skills as a photographer.

“Over the years I was approached by friends and family to start photographing portraits and events for them, which I did just for fun and the experience but as time went on the demand for my services grew along with my dream to be a full time photographer.”

When she left teaching at Christmas in 2014, she had only five weddings booked for 2015.

But through online campaigns, business networking and word of mouth, she was able to book and shoot 27 weddings in the first 12 months of business.

“I currently have 32 booked for 2016 and 50% of my 2017 availability has been taken along with bookings for 2018 already being made!

“Most clients live in Cheshire and Staffordshire and it’s great that they are often willing to hire me for their weddings, even when they are travelling further afield.

“The response from my Brides and Grooms has been overwhelming. It means the world that they took the time to vote for me!

“To be announced as a finalist though when there are so many amazing photographers in the North West is beyond incredible.”

The final takes place on June 15 at Imperial War Museum in Manchester.

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