How did Bliss Fields come about?
I come from a big family of market traders – there’s a picture of my grandmother at her stall on the wall here at Bliss Fields – and I inherited the stall from my mother; I sold cosmetics at East Street Market at Elephant & Castle. I also sold painted furniture in the early ’90s and I’ve always loved floristry.
What’s your favourite flower?
The rose because it comes in all forms. I love the scent of English roses.
Why did you choose Brook Green to set up shop?
I wanted to bring a bit of Portobello [where Katie is from] over here, but at the right prices.
You clearly have a good rapport with the locals [people frequently pop by to say hello during the interview]…
There’s a real villagey feel here. As well as the customers, many of our suppliers are also local. Plus, this is a real family business: my daughter-in-law, Stephania Pena-Nu, sells her reworked vintage jewellery [www.golden-jewellery.co.uk]; my niece, Tracy Ritson, of Angel Creations, who makes cakes for the Orient Express, also supplies this store. We have beauty sessions on Fridays – my close friend gives manicures and pedicures. Basically, anyone who has a talent for something can come in and do it.
Tell us a little more about your local suppliers…
We sell childrenswear by locals, Pattie’s Vintage, Their Nibs and Indigo, which is based in Portobello Market. Prints by local lady Tracy Marshall start at £25, and we also love East London-based Rachel Wonder’s cool cards.
Do you have any interior no-nos?
I believe everything can work. I love vintage mixed with modern pieces, but it’s a matter of your individual taste. My no-no is you shouldn’t try to impress your taste on others.
What’s your current bestseller?
We’re a good all-rounder, but the flowers are our mainstay.
What’s your indulgence?
Chocolate – every type.
What’s your philosophy on life?
Does it really matter!